5 Symptoms that Could Mean You Have a Heart Murmur

Heart Murmur

The heart makes a characteristic sound when it beats. This sound is often described as a “lub-dub” sound. This specific sound is heard when the valves of the heart close. A heart murmur is a sound created when blood flows rapidly through the heart creating a noise that sounds like a “swoosh” or a “swish,” instead of the typical “lub-dub” sound.

Some people are born with heart murmurs, and these congenital heart murmurs are often harmless. Murmurs that develop in a woman during pregnancy are also typically harmless. In other instances, heart murmurs can develop later in life and can be a sign of an underlying condition.

Here at Shahbandar Heart Clinic, we provide expert diagnosis and treatment for heart murmurs. While some heart murmurs don’t have any symptoms, others do, and it’s important to be aware of the typical warning signs.

Problematic heart murmurs

An abnormal heart murmur can occur in a normal heart, or it may indicate an infection or a structural problem within the heart. For instance, a narrow heart valve can interfere with the outflow of blood and cause a murmur.

It’s important to know that heart murmurs themselves don’t cause symptoms. The symptoms experienced in patients with heart murmurs are related to the underlying condition causing the murmur.

 

Here are 5 of the most common symptoms that may indicate an abnormal heart murmur.

#1: Fatigue

A heart murmur can be a sign of heart valve disease. When valve problems are moderate-to-severe or worsening, you may experience fatigue as a result. This type of fatigue is typically worsened by physical activity. You may find that your energy is lower or that your stamina has declined. People with abnormal heart murmurs may find that they tire easily when engaging in physical activity.

#2: Chest pain

Whether you suspect you have a heart murmur or not, chest discomfort should never be ignored. While it’s true that harmless conditions like heartburn can cause chest pain, it’s best to see a cardiologist for an evaluation. Chest pain can be a sign of a heart murmur. This can be caused by a defect in the structure of the heart or from another underlying abnormality. The pain may come on suddenly and come and go. Activities that increase the demand on the heart may trigger symptoms of chest pain.

#3: Heart palpitations

The turbulent blood flow that occurs in heart murmurs can cause heart palpitations, and they may occur frequently. This may feel as if your heart is pounding, fluttering, or skipping a beat. You may feel that your heart is beating too fast or too hard, or you may feel your heart beating in your throat or neck.

#4: Dizziness

A problem with your heart valves may cause dizziness or fainting. This symptom is common in patients with aortic or mitral valve stenosis (MVS), which causes a narrowing of the heart’s mitral valve. In people with MVS, the valve doesn’t open properly, blocking the flow of blood into the heart’s main chamber. MVS can make you feel dizzy and more tired than usual.

#5: Shortness of breath

Certain heart valve abnormalities can cause shortness of breath. This is often due to a disruption in blood flow through the heart. Some patients with heart valve problems experience shortness of breath only upon exertion, and they find that it improves when they rest.

Heart murmur treatment

Without treatment, an abnormal heart murmur can cause problems down the line. Treatment is aimed at addressing the underlying cause. If abnormal valves are causing your murmurs, we may monitor your heart with periodic checkups. Dr. Shahbandar creates an individualized treatment plan to best address your needs. He starts with less invasive options, but if the underlying condition is causing severe problems, you may be a candidate for surgery.

To learn more about heart murmur diagnosis and treatment, call one of our offices in Rochester Mills or Romeo, Michigan, to schedule a consultation. Or you can request an appointment using online booking.

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