Heart valves divide our heart into 4 chambers that receive and send blood to the lungs and body. Heart valves create a one-way circuit and prevent blood from flowing the wrong way.
Valve disorders can either be a obstruction during valve opening (stenosis) or a leak during valve closing (regurgitation). Depending on which valve is involved and how severe the damage is, it may result in symptoms of heart failure or other symptoms.
Heart valve problem may be picked up by your doctor when they listen to your heart and hear a murmur. A murmur is simply a noise heard with the stethoscope. It may indicate turbulent blood flow, which could be due to a narrowed or leaky valve. Fortunately, not all heart murmurs are from serious valve problems. However, investigations are best done to exclude serious valve problems. The echocardiogram is the main test to define the nature and severity of the problem.
Treatment depends on the type and severity of the valve lesion.You may simply be monitored over the years for interval changes. Some conditions require medication to thin the blood or treat any complicating heart problems. In severe cases, you may be referred to a heart surgeon for consideration of a valve repair or replacement.