Basics About Having a Heart Murmur
A heart murmur is an extra sound that is unusual when listening to the heartbeat.Others describe the sound as a whooshing or swishing noise. Heart murmurs can range from very faint to quite loud. A doctor with a stethoscope should be able to listen to the heart and detect a heart murmur if one exists. While this problem may seem slight, it may be an indication or more serious problems that may happen with the heart in the future.
Below we are going to take a closer look at the causes of heart murmurs. We are also going to look at some of the common symptoms and signs that they may be a problem. Various treatments and help for those who have a heart murmur will also be discussed. By the time you are done reading, you should have a better idea of what heart murmurs are and how they can affect your life. Keep reading to learn more.
What is a Heart Murmur?
There are two basic types of heart murmurs – innocent (also known as harmless) and an abnormal heart murmur.
- Innocent Heart Murmurs - These are somewhat common and even otherwise healthy children may suffer from them. They are not caused by heart problems. Most children may experience them at some point in their life.
- Abnormal Heart Murmurs - The other type of heart murmur is more deadly. People who have abnormal heart murmurs usually suffer from other heart problems. In children, congenital heart defects may be the cause of the murmurs.
If you are dealing with an abnormal heart murmur, it can be a frightening experience – especially if young children are involved. This is why knowing the symptoms and having a plan in place to deal with them if they appear is a good idea for anyone with abnormal heart murmurs.
Heart Murmur Symptoms
An innocent heart murmur has no other signs or symptoms other than the heart murmur itself. Below are some of the common symptoms and signs that may appear with an abnormal heart murmur.
- Poor eating habits
- Abnormal growth in infants
- Shortness of breath
- Excessive sweating without a noticeable cause
- Pains in the chest
- Bluish color on the skin, especially around the fingers and lips
There are other symptoms that may or may not appear, but the list above should give you a good idea of whether an abnormal heart murmur is becoming serious, requiring medical attention.
Heart Murmur Treatment
For an innocent or harmless heart murmur, just making sure a child is eating healthy and getting enough exercise is usually enough to make sure that it doesn’t evolve into a bigger problem later in life. In most cases, however, there is no treatment necessary to deal with a harmless heart murmur. Still, making sure children know how to eat healthy and keep their heart happy with exercise is important, even at an early age.
On the other hand, an abnormal heart murmur may need specialized treatment from a medical professional. In most cases, they will diagnose something to help with the root cause of the heart murmur – whether it is a disease or condition in the person. For example, if the cause of the murmur is a congenital heart defect, the treatment is going to be different than if you are dealing with a disease like hyperthyroidism.
The bad news is that heart valve disease is not curable at this time, but medicine and changes in lifestyle (living healthier) can greatly increase a person’s chance of living a long and happy life, even if they have a heart disease that causes a murmur. Below are some tips and advice you should take to heart!
- Proper Diet - One of the most important things you can do is to change your diet and start eating healthy. Beyond the normal healthy diet of most people, someone with an abnormal heart murmur may need to watch what they eat – especially things like sodium (salt) because of their effect on the body.
- Daily Exercise - A good aerobic exercise routine can be a good way to keep your body healthy and help your heart not have to work as hard to pump blood through the body. You want to make sure you check with a health professional if you have any existing heart problems so that you do not harm yourself while trying to help yourself!
- Doctor Visits - Additionally, making sure you have regularly scheduled visits to the doctor so that he can monitor your progress at becoming heart healthy as well as give you further advice or instructions on how to better take care of your heart. When you have a heart murmur, it is crucial to take any medications prescribed to you by a doctor exactly as instructed.
There are other things you should do and you should consult with your doctor or a health care professional to make sure you have a good game plan in place to deal with everything that comes along with heart problems. Knowing the signs and symptoms of a heart murmur – and that they may be caused by underlying issues or problems like disease – is important to make sure you have the best chance of living a long and fulfilling life with minimal negative effects because of whatever heart condition you may have.
As mentioned, a hart murmur can be a sign of a more serious underlying condition – in some cases. For those with an abnormal heart murmur, knowing as much as you can about proper heart health is important to increase the odds of not having a serious complication due to heart disease. While there is no cure for heart valve disease – which can cause a heart murmur – there are many medicines and lifestyle changes you can put in place to protect yourself. Keep reading our site to learn more about various heart attack signs and how you can keep your heart happy and healthy.