Patient Comments: Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP) - Symptoms

For mitral valve prolapse (MVP), what were the symptoms and signs you experienced?

Comment from: LJ, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 25

I am a 43-year-old female and was diagnosed with MVP at age 27. I suffered from classic ocular migraines, which causes blurred vision, for many years and have always felt short of breath and like I can't breathe. My heart feels like it is doing flips most of the time and I have anxiety attacks where I feel like someone is standing on my chest. I feel like I just can't get a good breath. Because I have always been an athlete and am an avid runner, people don't understand why I have so many symptoms. I have just never let it control me or stop me from doing things I enjoy. Looking back, I remember when I was 15 and I woke up early one morning with sharp chest pains and I couldn't breathe. My mother took me to the ER and they said I had pleurisy. I have been on a beta blocker all these years and take anxiety medicine and migraine prevention meds. I recently saw a cardiologist because I am so tired all the time and feel dizzy even when I am laying down. Also, I have cramps in my calves and toes and my right eye twitches all the time. I found out that I also have PFO (Patent foramen ovale), which is a small opening in the heart that normally closes after birth. My doctor said he does not think it is necessary to repair at this time. I just get so aggravated, because I struggle breathing, which makes it very difficult to run. I really hope my information might help others know that we are not crazy.

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Comment from: LAF, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 03

I am 47 years old and was diagnosed with MVP when I was 25. I have been having episodes of fainting, dizziness, heart palpitations and extreme fatigue since I was 12. I had rheumatic fever as a child, I believe, when I was in third grade. On July 12, I experienced severe stabbing chest pain for about 15 minutes. On July 13, I passed out four different times during a 30-minute period. When I would barely come to, I could see, but I had trouble registering what I was seeing, as though I was watching what was going on around me from a different world. When I came to the last time and was able to sit up without feeling nausea and dizziness, my left eyelid would not fully open, my head was numb, and my speech was impaired. Since then, I've had numerous spells of chest pressure and tightness with some pain. On September 2, I experienced again severe sharp stabbing pain in my chest that radiated through my left shoulder and down my left arm. I also felt a stabbing pain between my shoulder blades. I had difficulty drawing a breath, and had limited control of my left side, which was shaking uncontrollably. My fingers became cold and I had a terrible pain in my calf muscle. I went to the ER. The doctor ordered a cardiac blood workup, an EKG, and a chest X-ray. All tests came back negative for heart disease. I was told that I had an anxiety attack and the fainting episodes could have been seizures. I told the doctor about the MVP, to which he simply stated that it may be getting worse. I do not have a lot of faith in doctors, and as I don't have medical insurance, it is difficult to find a doctor who will take me on as a new patient. I had hoped that the ER would have been able to help me. Today, I am still experiencing chest pressure and tightness and some stabbing pain between my shoulder blades. I fear that I will have a major heart attack or stroke.

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Comment from: Latiesha, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 03

I feel good sometimes but, when I suffer from mitral valve prolapse (MVP) symptoms they are usually, excessive sweating, chest pain, shortness of breath, and fatigue. The pain usually starts right behind my scar from my open heart surgery. After the tension in my chest has passed, I can gain a sense of my whereabouts. I have a hard time with my vision during these episodes. I experience these symptoms two to three times a week.

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Comment from: keep calm, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 26

I am a 39-year-old female and was diagnosed at age 9 with mitral valve prolapse. They monitored it throughout my childhood and teens, and I hated it. I felt fine. I studied professional ballet for 16 years, have lots of energy, am quite slim and eat a lot. My blood pressure has always been low. I stopped getting it monitored in my 20s, and about four years ago, I had an echo done by a doctor who was fresh out of medical school. He said I had "severe regurgitation" and that if I didn't have surgery soon, I would be gasping for air on staircases within two years. That never happened. I don't take drugs for it, and I still work out. I'm mainly asymptomatic with only occasional palpitations or sharp pains if I lie on my left side. I do have migraines and occasionally feel anxious but honestly, that runs in my family and no one else has mitral valve prolapse. I think that too many doctors want to perform expensive surgeries and scare people into them. Try to live your life: eat well, exercise, sleep and try not to stress. I still have an internist who really wants me to get it looked at again and I probably will, but the thing is, I've never broken a bone or had a surgery and the last thing I want to do is invite trouble for something that may never kill me.

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Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP) - Diagnosis Question: How was your mitral valve prolapse (MVP) diagnosed?
Mitral Valve Prolapse - Treatment Question: What was the treatment for your mitral valve prolapse (MVP)?

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