When the heart beats, it makes two clear sounds. However, when the doctor discovers the change in these two sounds by means of the stethoscope, it is thought to be the heart murmur. This condition may be present on birth or obtained later in life. It is important to know that the heart murmur is not a disease, but it can be an indicator of some heart disorder.
Symptoms of heart murmurs
The heart murmurs can be divided into the innocent or harmless and abnormal. The people with innocent heart murmurs barely have any symptoms. On the other side, the abnormal heart murmurs usually indicate some heart disorder and thus may be accompanied by several symptoms like shortness of breath, pain in the chest, excessive sweating and dizziness. Moreover, the people who have the abdominal heart murmurs might also experience bluish color of the skin on the fingertips and lips, swelling and enlarged liver, as well as enlarged veins in the neck.
Causes of heart murmur
The innocent heart murmurs are not serious and almost half of all children develop it at some point in their life. On the other hand, the abnormal heart murmurs should be taken seriously since they usually point out to some serious heart problem.
- The innocent heart murmurs typically happen when the blood passes through the heart faster than it is normal due to certain conditions such as physical activity, pregnancy and fever. Hyperthyroidism and anemia may also be responsible for the incidence of the innocent heart murmurs. Furthermore, a heart surgery and aging can also cause the occurrence of the innocent heart murmurs, which can pass over time or stay for life without causing any additional health problem.
- On the other side, the abnormal heart murmurs can be congenital or acquired. The common congenital defects that usually lead to the incidence of the heart murmurs are septal defects, forming of the holes in the walls that divide the heart into the four chambers, and the abnormalities of the heart valves. The acquired abnormal heart murmurs are usually caused by several medical conditions like rheumatoid fever, endocarditis, mitral valve prolapse and valve calcification.
Treatment of heart murmurs
In the people who suffer from innocent heart murmur, the treatment is not required since they have normal heart. When the abnormal heart murmur is in question, the treatment depends on the causative factor and severity of the problem. As for the medications for the treatment of abnormal heart murmurs, the doctors usually prescribe digoxin, anticoagulants, diuretics, statins and ACE inhibitors. In the most severe cases, a surgery or catheterization is necessary.