Heart Valve Disease – Treatment and Prevention of Heart Valve Disease
Heart valve disease is a condition when one or more valves of the heart are not working properly. This creates a difficulty in the heart and it pumps blood less efficiently. The disease is also characterized by breathlessness and swollen ankles. Heart valve disease may be caused as a result of infections, disease conditions and birth defects. The treatment and prevention of heart valve disease are discussed below.
Heart Valve Disease Treatment
Heart valve disease treatment depends on the severity and type of the disease. The treatment aims at protecting the valves, reducing the symptoms and replacing or repairing the valves. The disease may be treated by medications and surgeries.
Medications – Medications reduce the symptoms and treat the further complications. The medications prescribed by the doctor include:
Diuretics – These reduce swelling by helping the body to get rid of excess of salts and fluids. They decrease the workload on the heart.
Digitalis – This increases the force of heart muscle’s contraction and thus helps in treating congestive heart failure.
Calcium channel blockers – These reduce the blood pressure and workload on heart.
Blood thinners – These are prescribed for people with artificial valves. They prevent blood clots.
Blood pressure medications – These control high blood pressure and decrease the amount of blood that leaks from damaged valves.
Beta blockers – They slow the heart rate so that the heart works easier.
Antibiotics – These are prescribed when the heart valve disease is caused as a result of any IV drug, surgery of dental procedure. They fight against bacteria and prevent their survival in the blood stream.
Anticoagulants – They help in preventing blood clots on heart valves or inside heart chambers.
Antiarrhythmics – They reduce the rapid heartbeats and maintain a normal heartbeat. They help in pumping more blood throughout the body but with less heartbeat.
Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors – They decrease the workload on heart, lower the blood pressure and widen blood vessels.
Surgery and other Procedures
The doctor diagnoses the heart valve disease type, location and the extent. The surgeon decides and suggests the right surgical method depending on the age and structure of heart. Surgery involves heart valve replacement or repair. The procedures include invasive heart valve surgical method and percutaneous balloon valvotomy.
Prevention of Heart Valve Disease
The following measures help to prevent the risk of heart valve disease:
- Controlling hypertension
- If you are a diabetic, maintain a proper blood sugar levels
- If you have any heart ailment, take proper medications
- Exercise regularly
- Take a diet i.e low in fat and salts
- Avoid alcohol
- Avoid smoking
- If you have sore throat accompanied with fever that lasts for a long time, take an immediate treatment.