What are Heart Valve Diseases?

Your heart has four valves. Normally, these valves open to let blood flow through or out of your heart, and then shut to keep it from flowing backward. But sometimes they don't work properly.

1. Regurgitation is when blood leaks back through the valve in the wrong direction.
2. Mitral valve prolapse is when the mitral valve has "floppy" flaps and doesn't close tightly.
3. Stenosis is when the valve doesn't open enough and blocks blood flow.

Some valve problems are minor and do not need treatment. Others might require medicine, medical procedures, or surgery to repair or replace the valve.

Causes of heart valve problems

Valve problems can be present at birth or caused by infections, heart attacks, or heart disease or damage.

Signs of heart valve problems

The main sign of heart valve disease is a heart murmur. A heart murmur is an unusual heartbeat sound. Doctors can hear a heart murmur with a stethoscope. But many people have heart murmurs without having a problem. Heart tests can show if you have a heart valve disease.

Find, compare & rate cardiologists near you

Learn more about the heart & cardiologists:

How to find the best cardiologist
Tips to preventing heart disease
What are congenital heart defects?
What is a cardiologist?
What is a heart attack?
What is arrhythmia?
What is coronary artery disease?
What is heart failure?

Heart valve disease is also known as valvular heart disease.