Heart valve disease is caused by wear, disease or damage to one of the valves affecting the flow of blood through the heart. This can cause symptoms such as breathlessness, chest pain, dizziness and fainting. However, if diagnosed and treated early patients can be returned to a good quality of life.
The human heart is a highly efficient pump with four chambers – two upper (the atria) and two lower (the ventricles). Each of those chambers is closed off by a one-way valve. As the heart expands and contracts 100,000 times a day, the four valves open and close in sequence to keep the blood flowing the right way. When the heart valves are diseased, the pumping action of the heart is impeded.
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