Some heart valve problems are minor and do not need treatment. Other heart valve problems are more serious and require medicine, a medical procedure or surgery.
If you have advanced heart valve disease, you may need to have valve surgery to repair or replace your valves. If left untreated, advanced heart valve disease can be life-threatening and may cause heart failure.
Talk with your doctor about heart valve disease prevention, your condition and your concerns.
Managing Heart Valve Problems
Visit your doctor regularly and keep your medical appointments as scheduled. You may have an echocardiogram or other tests to check your condition.
Let your doctor know if your symptoms change or get worse. Call your doctor if you experience symptoms of endocarditis. Classic symptoms include fever, chills and sweating. They can also include fatigue, weakness and muscle or joint aches.
Lead a heart-healthy lifestyle. Avoid smoking. Limit your intake of alcohol and caffeine. Get regular exercise. Maintain a healthy weight. Follow a heart-healthy diet. The American Heart Association is a good source of information.
Support for Living with Heart Valve Problems
As a patient of the Valve Clinic, you will receive a treatment plan that is tailored just for you. Talk with your doctors about any concerns you may have. We are here to help and guide you as you live with this condition.
How to Help Prevent Heart Valve Problems
The best way to handle heart valve disease prevention is to take steps to lower your risk for heart disease. You can do that by leading a heart-healthy lifestyle:
- Do not smoke
- Get regular exercise and be physically active
- Follow a diet that is low in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol and includes a variety of vegetables, whole grains and fruits
- Maintain a healthy weight
Medicines aimed at preventing a heart attack, high blood pressure or heart failure may help.
Heart valve disease is sometimes caused by rheumatic fever. This is an inflammatory disease that occurs following strep throat. Signs of strep throat include a painful sore throat, fever and white spots on your tonsils. See your doctor if you have signs of a strep infection.