Aortic stenosis and mitral regurgitation are the most common forms of heart valve disease. The symptoms of mitral valve disease usually occur earlier, generally when patients are in their 40s and 50s.
The symptoms of heart valve disease:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness and/or pain
- Light-headedness or dizziness, and fainting
- Difficulty exercising
- Feeling old
At the age of 65+, being breathless, having chest pains or feeling dizzy are not necessarily part of ageing – they could be a sign of heart valve disease. If you experience any of these symptoms then book an appointment with your GP and ask for a simple stethoscope check today.
Some patients don't experience any obvious symptoms, which means they could be asymptomatic. Regular health check ups and annual stethoscope checks could help in early detection of heart valve disease.
For severe symptoms – particularly if you have chest pain or collapse – call 999 and ask for immediate medical assistance. For milder symptoms, get a stethoscope check from your GP. Having mild symptoms does not mean that a valve disease isn’t severe. So, even if your symptoms are mild, go and see your doctor who will recommend the right treatment depending on test results.
Why does this make me feel unwell?
The function of the heart is to pump blood, full of oxygen, around your body. If your heart valves aren't functioning as they should, your body is not getting the amount of oxygen it needs to work properly. This leads to the symptoms of heart valve disease.
If you are worried about the health of your heart then use our symptoms tracker. The planner has been developed to help people, who think they may be suffering from heart valve disease, to capture their symptom ahead of visiting their healthcare professional.
Please click here to view and print the symptoms tracker
Not long after her 50th birthday in 2005, Marina attended a Well Woman Clinic, as many women do, to look into having Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). It was during the routine tests at the clinic when she first discovered that her blood pressure was quite high. On the clinic’s recommendation, she paid a visit to her GP. Thinking back, Marina also had begun to notice that she would sometimes feel shortness of breath when she exerted herself, but simply thought it was all part of being in your 50s!
Click here to Marina's story