Is a Hole In The Heart The Same As A Heart Murmur?
Everyone must have noticed a variation in our heartbeats at some point in our lives, it all seems normal. The heartbeats might sound somewhat heavier during chest congestion caused by casual cough and cold. Those get back to normal eventually after the cold leaves the body. But, all in all the human heart is observed to have two variants of beat. The swishing or whooshing sounds experienced during a heartbeat is prevalently known as a heart murmur.
As, said above such sounds can be encountered during fall seasons. Most of the times, such seasonally experienced heart murmurs are innocent and harmless. But this may not the case every time. Sometimes, this little extra rasping kind of sound heard in between a heartbeat cycle, can be outcome of a precarious underlying heart disease as well.
The reason behind this murmur is abnormally fast paced blood flow via heart valves or via blood vessels near lungs or heart. This problem may be by birth or may arise as a result of aging or any related issues such as anemia, high blood pressure, overactive thyroid or prolonged fever.
The heart valves in human body have the duty to close and open timely in order to let a healthy blood flow through the atria (upper chambers of heart) and ventricles (lower chambers of heart). Heart murmur means there is some defect with the bodies’ heart valves. There are different kind of valve problems, consisting of mitral valve prolapse, mitral valve or aortic stenosis, aortic sclerosis and stenosis, mitral or aortic regurgitation and congenital heart defects.
Noteworthy point is that, heart murmurs in themselves are of no harm. They are just temporary, but when they do stay they can cause one’s life as well. Heart murmurs turn dangerous when they are being accompanied by either of these-
- Bluish skin at fingertips/lips
- Shortness of breath & chronic cold
- Enlarged neck veins or liver
- Heavy sweating without exertion
- Chest pain and dizziness
- Or poor appetite (in infants).
A prominent cause of heart murmurs is a hole in the heart and heart valve abnormalities. In cases when people are born with congenital heart defects, they are said to have a hole in their heart. However, it is not exactly a hole in the heart; it is a structural deformity that causes trouble.
The human heart is made up of left and right sides which are separated precisely by septum. The job of septum is to maintain a smooth blood flow between left and right sides of heart. When there is a hole in septum between upper or lower heart chambers, depending on location the person is said to suffer from Atrial Septal defect or Ventricular Septal defect.
In the cases, when an infant is born with a congenital heart defect, he/she usually suffers from heart murmurs right from day one. In such cases diagnosis of the issue is easy and hence more prone to be cured on time. But some cases have been reported when a child has hole in the heart by birth but it goes un-noticed until adulthood. This is because often any peculiar symptom like heart murmur doesn’t ever appear before.
And a patient gets worse news when heart murmur starts after the age of 30. Treating such an ailment at a tender age is much easier than treating it after all organs reached maturity. When heart murmurs are caused by congenital heart defects, whole body is at risk. As in case of congenital heart defects, oxygen rich and oxygen poor blood gets mixed up inside the heart. So, when oxygen deficient blood is pumped to the body, it can harm any organ which is just a bit weak than others.
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