Symptoms can occur quickly if the onset of your valve disease is severe and sudden. If your disease develops slowly and your heart has time to adjust, you may barely notice your symptoms. The following are symptoms of valve disease:
Shortness of breath or difficulty catching your breath
You may notice this most when your 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
This may feel like a rapid heart rhythm, irregular heart beats, 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.
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.
Quick weight gain
A weight gain of two or three pounds in one day is possible.
Discomfort in your chest
This may feel like a pressure or weight in the chest with activity or going out in cold air.
Call your doctor if you begin to have new symptoms or if they become more frequent or severe.
Symptoms do not always relate to how serious your valve disease is. 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 diagnostic tests may show your valve leak is not significant. These symptoms may cause you to worry, but they are not dangerous or life-threatening, and may not require treatment at all.
- Know your symptoms
- See your doctor for regular visits
- Call your doctor if you have any new symptoms or if your symptoms become more frequent or severe