How would I know if I am having symptoms of valve disease?
Some people have no 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.
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.
Download our Valve Disease Symptom Tracker (PDF) (also available in Spanish (PDF)) so you can track your symptoms over time. A change in symptoms is important to discuss with your health care provider.
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 fainting
- Swollen ankles, feet or abdomen
Symptoms don't necessarily determine the seriousness of a person’s valve problems.
A valve problem can be severe with no symptoms. A valve problem also can be insignificant in terms of leakage, but problematic because of the uncomfortable symptoms. It's important to tell your health care provider any time you notice new or irregular symptoms that may relate to your condition.