Heart Valve Disease (cont.)

What Are the Symptoms of Valve Disease?

  • Shortness of breath and/or difficulty catching your breath. You may notice this most when you are active (doing your normal daily activities) or when you lie down flat in bed. You may need to sleep propped up on a few pillows to breathe easier.

  • Weakness or dizziness. You may feel too weak to carry out your normal daily activities. Dizziness can also occur, and in some cases, passing out may be a symptom.

  • Discomfort in your chest. You may feel a pressure or weight in your chest with activity or when going out in cold air.

  • Palpitations. This may feel like a rapid heart rhythm, irregular heartbeat, skipped beats or a flip-flop feeling in your chest.

  • Swelling of your ankles, feet or abdomen. This is called edema. Swelling may occur in your belly, which may cause you to feel bloated.

  • Rapid weight gain. A weight gain of two or three pounds in one day is possible.

Symptoms do not always relate to the seriousness of your valve disease. You may have no symptoms at all and have severe valve disease, requiring prompt treatment. Or, as with mitral valve prolapse, you may have severe symptoms, yet tests may show your valve leak is not significant.

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