Mitral valve prolapse is a heart condition which affects the mitral valve that is situated between the left auricle and left ventricle. Abnormalities in the mitral valve can lead to conditions like mitral valve prolapse, mitral valve regurgitation and mitral valve stenosis.

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Can You Feel Mitral Valve Prolapse?

One cannot really feel mitral valve prolapse. Most people with mitral valve prolapse do not even experience any symptoms throughout their lives. However, if you do, you may feel or experience following signs and symptoms-

  • You may feel palpitations, a feeling that your heart is fluttering or skipping a beat
  • It may also feel as if your heart is beating too fast or very hard
  • You may feel a shortness of breath, also known as dyspnea
  • You may feel tired very easily or you may feel fatigued
  • You may get cough
  • You may feel some chest discomfort or sometimes, chest pain
  • You may feel headaches

Signs and symptoms of mitral valve prolapse may vary from person to person-

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Though, you may not present with any symptoms for years, they may start suddenly and progress very rapidly in some instances, especially when complications occur. Signs and symptoms usually occur when there is reverse flow of blood from left ventricle into the left auricle. This condition is known as regurgitation

  • There may be an irregular heart rhythm, which may feel very rapid or very hard
  • You may feel lightheaded or dizzy
  • There may be dyspnea- difficulty in breathing which is more prominent after an activity or in a lying down position
  • You may feel excessively tired or fatigued due to shortness of breath
  • You may feel chest discomfort or chest pain, which is not triggered by a heart attack or a coronary artery disease

Causes of mitral valve prolapse-

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  • Mitral valve prolapse is commonly caused due to very stretchy valve leaflets. This is known as myxomatous valve disease
  • However, why the leaflets of the valve get so stretchy is a fact still unknown
  • Most people who are affected by this condition are born with it
  • In some cases, other health conditions like connective tissue diseases may be responsible for this abnormality in the valves

Risk factors for mitral valve prolapse-

  • Mitral valve prolapse can affect any person of any age
  • However, it does not produce symptoms in most cases
  • In severe cases, one might experience symptoms listed above
  • Mitral valve prolapse is seen to run in families

It can be associated with many other conditions, including-

Complications of mitral valve prolapse-

Though most people do not suffer with any problems, there may be a sudden onset of symptoms and complications may arise at any time. These may include-

  • Mitral valve regurgitation
  • Arrhythmia (irregular heart rhythm)
  • Endocarditis (infection of the inner lining of the heart)

Diagnosis of mitral valve prolapse-

  • Most of the times, people get diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse during a general physical examination
  • People may be surprised that they are even affected by this condition
  • The doctor may hear a clicking sound which is very common in this condition
  • If there is a regurgitation, doctor may also hear a murmur along with the clicking sound

The doctor may ask you to get other tests done, which may include an echocardiogram, a chest x-ray, an electrocardiogram, a stress test, a coronary angiogram among others

Treatment of mitral valve prolapse-

  • Most people with mitral valve prolapse do not require nay treatment
  • However, if needed, treatment options include both medications and surgery, depending upon the severity of your condition
  • Medications may help in improving your symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, arrhythmia etc.
  • Surgery can be a mitral valve repair or a replacement surgery

Mitral valve prolapse is difficult to feel, however, those affected may experience or feel some of the signs and symptoms mentioned above.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: February 2, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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