Heart Murmur: Signs and Symptoms

A heart murmur is a common condition that affects many otherwise healthy adults and children. Although the majority of heart murmurs are harmless, and never develop into a serious illness, there are instances in which heart murmurs are indicators of a more serious heart condition. For this matter, those diagnosed with a heart murmur should be evaluated by a cardiologist. In more serious cases, heart murmurs are more than irregular heartbeats. Instead, they could be caused by decreased blood flow, damaged heart valves, etc.

How are Heart Murmurs Detected?

Heart murmurs are often detected by a general practitioner during routine physical exams. Using a stethoscope, doctors will listen or observe the heartbeat. If the heartbeat is irregular, further examination is necessary to determine specific cause. If further tests prove that the heart murmur is harmless, treatment is not necessary. On the other hand, if the tests reveal a heart condition, physicians will treat the condition accordingly.
In rare instances, surgery or medication is required to treat underlying heart problems which cause a heart murmur.

Symptoms of a Heart Murmur

Because symptoms of a heart murmur are extremely vague, many people dismiss signs. Furthermore, some people never show signs of a heart murmur, and the condition is diagnosed only after the heartbeat is listen to through a stethoscope. Common symptoms of a heart murmur include:

� Chest Pain
� Fast Heartbeat
� Winded Feeling
� Tiredness
� Bluish Skin Tone (commonly affects babies)

Causes of a Heart Murmur

Innocent or harmless causes of a heart murmur involve blood flowing through healthy heart valves. This condition does not require treatment. On the other hand, if blood flows through a damaged or defected valve, treatment is necessary because this condition could bring about heart attack, heart disease, and a range of other illnesses. Other causes of heart murmurs include:

� Mitral Value Prolapsed
� Aortic Sclerosis
� Mitral or aortic regurgitation
� Congenital Heart Defects
� Hyperthyroidism
� Anemia
� Pregnancy
� High Blood Pressure

Treatment and Prevention

The majority of heart murmurs require no treatment. However, if the condition has the potential of becoming a serious health concern, physicians will treat the underlying problem resulting in the heart murmur. In most cases, heart murmurs cannot be prevented. However, maintaining healthy blood pressure may prevent a heart murmur from developing.

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