Heart has four valves and they regulate the blood flow into and out of the heart. Heart valves can get damaged over time leading to leaky or narrow heart valves. It is important to identify these symptoms of leaky heart valves so that treatment can be started soon. The common types of heart valve problems include aortic stenosis, mitral regurgitation, tricuspid regurgitation. In this article learn about the anatomy of heart valves, symptoms and treatment of heart valve problems.
What are heart valves and what do they do?
The heart has four chambers, two on the top and two at the bottom. Top chambers are small, called atrium. Bottom chambers are larger and called ventricles. Atria and ventricles are divided by a muscle into the left and right side. These chambers work in sync with each other so that blood flow in one direction from one chamber to the other( from Right upper chamber to the right lower chamber to Lungs to Left upper chamber to left lower chamber to Rest of the body). Heart valves are like doors between two chambers which open and close at the right time so that blood does not flow back and continues to flow in the right direction. The heart has four valves - tricuspid valve and pulmonary valve on the right side, mitral and aortic valve on the left side.
Where are heart valves located?
Tricuspid valve: It is located between the right atrium and right ventricle and opens to allow blood flow from the Right atrium and Right ventricle.
Pulmonary valve: It is located between the right ventricle and lungs and opens to allow blood flow from the right ventricle to the lungs.
Mitral valve: It is located between the left atrium and left ventricle and opens to allow blood flow from the left atrium and left ventricle.
Aortic valve: It is located between the left ventricle and aorta, the main artery of the body and opens to allow blood flow from the left ventricle to aorta.
Symptoms of Leaky Heart Valves
- Shortness of Breath and Leg Swelling are the most common symptoms of leaky heart valves. The similar
- Chest pain
- Passing out
- Weight gain due to leg swelling
What are the different types of heart valve problems?
Stenosis or Narrowing of the valves: Valve opening can become restricted or narrow causing difficult for blood to flow.
Leaky or Regurgitant valves: Valve does not close properly, and blood flow in the opposite direction making it hard for the heart to pump blood.
- Aortic valve: Aortic stenosis, Aortic regurgitation
- Mitral valve: Mitral stenosis, Mitral regurgitation
- Tricuspid valve: Tricuspid regurgitation, Tricuspid stenosis
- Pulmonary valve: Pulmonary regurgitation, Pulmonic valve stenosis
PREVALENCE OF LEAKY HEART VALVE
Leaky and Narrow Heart Valve Problems by age in USA
45 to 54 years
55 to 64 years
65 to 74 years
CAUSES OF NARROW AND LEAKY HEART VALVES
- Age-related calcification of the valves
- Rheumatic fever
- Congenital deformity of the valves
- Heart attack
- Congestive heart failure