Symptoms of Heart Valve Problems

How would I know if I am having symptoms of valve disease?

Some people have no symptoms. It's important to know that some patients do not experience any symptoms, yet they can still have a valve problem that needs treatment.

Some people suddenly experience very noticeable symptoms. Valve disease symptoms can also develop very quickly if the condition is severe.

Some people don't notice slowly-developing symptoms that may point to a serious valve condition.

For some people, the disease progresses very slowly, and the heart is able to compensate over time so that the symptoms are barely noticeable.

However, the risk and damage may still be significant, so education and awareness about the possible causes for a gradual onset of symptoms is important for patients who may be at risk.

Valve disease symptom tracker image(link opens in new window)

Download our Valve Disease Symptom Tracker (PDF)(link opens in new window) (also available in Spanish (PDF)) so that you can track your symptoms over time. A change in symptoms is important to discuss with your physician.

Some physical signs of heart valve disease can include:

  • Chest pain or palpitations (rapid rhythms or skips)
  • Shortness of breath, difficulty catching your breath, fatigue, weakness, or inability to maintain regular activity level
  • Lightheadedness or loss of consciousness
  • Swollen ankles, feet or abdomen

Symptoms do not necessarily determine the seriousness of a person’s valve problems.

A valve problem can be severe with no symptoms. A valve problem can also be insignificant in terms of leakage, but problematic because of the uncomfortable symptoms. It is important to tell your healthcare provider any time you notice new or irregular symptoms that may relate to your condition.

Former Heart Valve Ambassador Ray Rivera’s journey with heart valve disease 

Heart Valve Disease Resources

Find out more about your heart valves and how to manage heart valve disease.

Dr. Robert Bonow on Heart Valve Disease
The Importance of Tracking Heart Valve Disease Symptoms