Know the Signs and Symptoms of Heart Valve Disease and #StepUp for Your Health

May 17, 2021

Knowing the symptoms of heart valve disease and seeking care when needed is one of the best ways to #StepUp and protect your heart health during the pandemic. Symptoms are often disregarded as normal parts of ageing, so it important to watch closely for occurrences or sudden onset of any of the following:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness and/or pain
  • Light-headedness or dizziness
  • Unusual Fatigue
  • Coughing
  • Fainting
  • Swollen ankles
  • Abnormal heart rhythm sensations (i.e. irregular heart beat)
  • Waking up gasping for breath
  • Trouble sleeping laying down (i.e. the need to prop yourself up with pillows or lay on your side)

If you are experiencing any signs or symptoms of heart valve disease, you need to seek medical attention. As you wait for an appointment or are directed by a doctor to continue monitoring your symptoms, use our Symptom Tracker to help you document any changes in your health.

When you are being seen by a doctor, ensure that you ask them to perform a stethoscope check. This will help identify heart valve disease. An echocardiogram or electrocardiogram may be performed to confirm a diagnosis.

The symptoms of heart valve disease are not always severe or may be assumed as other forms of heart disease, lung-related problems, or common illnesses. These factors, in addition to commonalities with ageing, often hinder individuals from getting care. However, it is important to #JustGo to the hospital or doctor if you have any symptoms.

When Symptoms Aren’t Visible

Individuals can also have heart valve disease but be “asymptomatic” which occurs when no symptoms are present. The best way to protect your heart health in this scenario is to ask for a stethoscope check at your yearly (or more frequent) doctor’s appointment. This simple activity can help detect heart valve disease.

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