Aortic Valve Disease
Aortic valve disease is a condition that affects the valve that controls blood flow from the heart’s left ventricle to the aorta, the main artery of the body. The aortic valve has three flaps or cusps that open and close to regulate blood flow. When the valve becomes diseased, it can either narrow (aortic stenosis) or leak (aortic regurgitation), which can lead to a variety of symptoms and complications.
Aortic stenosis occurs when the valve becomes narrowed, reducing the amount of blood that can flow through it. This can cause symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, and fainting. Aortic regurgitation, on the other hand, occurs when the valve doesn’t close properly, causing blood to leak back into the left ventricle. This can cause symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, and palpitations.
Risk factors for developing aortic valve disease include age, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, a family history of the condition, and certain genetic disorders. Treatment options for aortic valve disease depend on the severity of the condition and may include medications, lifestyle changes, or surgery to repair or replace the valve. It’s important to seek medical attention if you suspect that you may have aortic valve disease to prevent further complications.