Heart valve disease is a serious issue, especially for senior citizens. But what causes heart valve disease in the elderly- and what treatment options are out there? Read on to learn all about heart valve disease in the elderly, including causes, treatments, and how to stay healthy.
What is Heart Valve Disease?
Heart valves play a very important role in our health. These four valves open and close as the heart beats, helping to control the heart’s blood flow. Heart valve disease is simply when one of these heart valves doesn’t work the way it should. The flaps may have problems opening and closing, or they may fuse together. Heart valve disease is a serious condition that may require surgery. Therefore, it’s important to know if you’re at risk for this disease.
Symptoms and Warning Signs
Heart valve disease can happen to anyone. However, there are few things that can increase your risk. A history of high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and/or cardiac events are all reg flags to look out for. Having a pre-existing heart condition can also make you more likely to have a valve issue.
Heart Valve Disease in the Elderly
Elderly people are also at a higher risk for developing heart valve disease. This is simply due to the fact that our hearts can atrophy with age. Maintaining a generally healthy lifestyle can help you keep your heart strong. Of course, it’s also important to work with your doctor so that you can properly care for your heart.
Symptoms of Heart Valve Disease
Some symptoms of heart valve disease include chest pain, shortness of breath, changes in the heartbeat, and problems catching your breath. However, many people don’t have symptoms at all. Therefore, it’s important to see a cardiologist if you are at risk for this disease.
Talking to a Cardiologist
A cardiologist can help you take charge of your heart health, whether you have a heart condition or are simply looking for preventative care. If you are a senior citizen, then regular cardiologist appointments can help you stay heart-healthy as you age. Call Northwest Heart Center to learn more today!