Aortic valve stenosis is when the aortic valve is narrowed and it does not open properly to pump blood from the heart to the aorta.
The aortic heart valve separates the left ventricle from the aorta, the main artery from the heart. When this valve is healthy, the sufficient quantity blood goes unobstructed to the aorta.
In aortic valve stenosis, the valve is narrowed, conditioning reduced blood flow. As a consequence, the heart has to pump harder and faster so that the blood can circulate throughout the body, which can eventually lead to serious heart problems.
Aortic valve stenosis may not give symptoms in years if it is of a mild type. In some these cases, the symptom may be fatigue only. However, the symptoms for more complex cases are:
- dizziness and fainting
- chest pain
- rapid heartbeat
- sight disorders
- pains in the legs
- valve infection
The causes of aortic valve stenosis can be:
- Congenital defects
- Calcium plaques on the aortic valve
- Rheumatic fever, used to be the main cause of heart valve damage, but today it is rare
The risk factors for aortic valve stenosis are:
- Congenital defects
- Age – increasing age, occurring more often in persons over 70
- Aortic valve damage
- Chronic kidney disease
The complications of aortic valve stenosis can be:
- Enlarged left ventricle
- Chest pain
- Heart failure
- Cardiac arrest
Preventive measures for heart valve disease have to be in line with leading a healthy lifestyle, in order to prevent high levels of cholesterol and overweight. During a regular check-up, the doctor may diagnose aortic valve stenosis in its early stage. The earlier it is diagnosed, the easier treatment. Although it’s rare today, but you should cure a strep throat since it can cause rheumatic fever.
In case you already have a damaged or artificial valve, then the prevention will be focused on avoiding infections, especially infectious endocarditis (oral hygiene, avoid places where you can easily get infections), keeping normal blood pressure. You should also avoid strenuous exercises.