A condition of aortic valve stenosis cannot really be prevented. However, there are certain things which one can take care in order to reduce the risk of having aortic valve stenosis.
Inform Doctor: In the first place, the doctor should be informed in case there is any history of other heart disease or valve damage.
Regular Doctor Visits: It is to be noted that proper visits to a dentist in order to ensure a good dental hygiene is important to reduce the risk of various infections including endocarditis. This may help in the prevention of having a disease in the heart valve.
Prevent Rheumatic Fever: In case, the patient has throat infections like pharyngitis it should be treated early with care in order to prevent rheumatic fever. This may prevent further infections which has a possibility to travel to the heart valve.
Inform about Congenital Heart Disease: In case of a history of congenital heart disease in the family of the patient, it should be reported to the doctor. It helps in the screening tests of aortic valve stenosis.
What Are The Symptoms Which One May Find In A Patient With Aortic Valve Stenosis?
Stenosis of the aortic valve is basically narrowing down of the valve due to deposition of plaque in it. Some patients are seen not to have any symptoms over the years. On a broader sense, in case of the following symptoms, seeing a doctor may be advisable:
- The patient may complain of angina, which is basically chest pain.
- There may be shortness of breath, which is specifically seen in case the patient is active.
- The patient may become easily fatigued.
- The patient may experience heart palpitations or sudden rapid heartbeat.
- There may be situations in which the patient may feel like fainting or dizziness even with minimum activity.
- There may be a presence of heart murmur if heartbeat is checked with a stethoscope.
- In case of children having aortic valve stenosis, they may not eat well or may look lean in accordance with the age.
Sometimes, due to the weakening of the aortic valve, the patient may undergo heart failure. In heart failure, the feet and ankles are seen to swell up excessively.
How is a Condition of Aortic Valve Stenosis Diagnosed?
The doctor may ask the patient to go for one out of the several tests to confirm the presence of aortic valve stenosis-
EEG Exam: One of the most frequent tests which the doctor may recommend the patient to undergo is an echocardiogram (EEG). The mechanism of an EEG includes the use of sound waves in order to take pictures of the heart along with its valves. In case of blockage in the valve, it can be easily detected.
Doppler Exam: Another technique, called the Doppler technique, is sometimes recommended. This is used to diagnose how severe the stenosis is and also helps in the measurement of the amount of the flow of blood from the damaged valve.
Angiography: There are other methods for the diagnosis of aortic valve stenosis which are not much used frequently. Such include angiography. This method is also called cardiac catheterization that is normally used just before the surgery aimed at the replacement of the aortic valve. This method involves inserting a catheter in the heart and injecting a contrast medium through it in order to take X-ray images as the medium moves through the blood vessels. In case of blockage, it can be easily detected through the images.