Monday, August 17, 2015

Murmurs in the heart: What are they and what are the symptoms?

A heart murmur is a noise that is heard at the time of listen to the heart and means that blood flow circulates abnormally to this body. However, half of the patients with murmurs continue with their lives without any treatment, and there are cases where that noise disappears with the passing of the years. We know a little more about what they are, what are the symptoms and more in this article.


Murmurs in the heart: What are they and what are the symptoms?

1- What is a heart murmur?:

In order to understand what is a blow to the heart, first it is necessary to refresh some concepts in relation to the functioning of this body. The heart has four cavities, two lower (ventricles) and two upper (Atria), which are separated by valves, through which passes the blood. In a person without murmur, this procedure does not produce any sound. When there is an abnormality in the valves, the blood flow causes a vibration, which is known as "puff" noise similar to a blowing of air. In the majority of cases, it is due to a valve does not shut properly, also if it is narrow or rigid than the rest.
Blow of heart is only detected when listening with a stethoscope on the chest and an Echocardiogram can determine the exact cause. It is good to know that a blow is somewhat common and does not mean whenever there is a serious disease. In the majority of patients, murmurs are benign. They usually appear in childhood and even disappear alone. There is a scale of severity in blows from 1 to 6. 80% of the patients belong to the first group (mild).
Children often have murmurs as part of their development, do not require treatment, and there are different types (of lung, of Still and venous flow). It is also common in pregnant women due to weight gain and blood has to do more work to reach the heart. At the same time, many patients with puffs are people older than 60 years, since the walls of blood vessels, tissues and the valves are aging by the passage of the years.

2- What are the causes of the heart murmur?:

Abnormal noises in the heart may be due to the following causes:
Thickened heart valve, rheumatic fever or atherosclerosis (especially if the blow is the aortic valve).
Abnormal communication between two cavities in higher or lower, by a congenital cardiopathy.
Arteriosclerosis, affecting the arteries and cardiac valves, producing an abnormal blood flow and emitting a sound like hissing in the arteries.
Hypertension.
Pregnancy.
Anemia.
An overactive thyroid gland.
Congenital disorders of the muscle of the heart and the cavities.


Murmurs in the heart: What are they and what are the symptoms?

3- What are the symptoms of a heart murmur?:

Benign blows do not have symptoms and are discovered only when the person goes to the doctor and is a general check-up. It is not a major disease and most people can live with a blow without altering their routine at all. Therefore, if the pediatrician diagnosed a breath in our children or during pregnancy, it should not be reason for concern, but follow-up.
In the case of the most serious blows if they have symptoms, such as:

chest discomfort
stunning
fainting
very noticeable neck veins
shortness of breath
swelling in the ankles
breath sound
palpitations
weight gain
intolerance to exercise or efforts.

4- What is the diagnosis of a blow to the heart?:

To be able to detect a heart murmur, as noted above, physician performed auscultation with a stethoscope on the chest and on the back of the patient, to well listening to the heartbeat. Blows may change depending on whether it is inspired or exhaled or the position of the body. The technique used is breathing deeply and then hold for a few seconds.
In addition, can perform a series of questions to the patient (or parents if it is minor or very small), style:
Other members of the family have puffs?
Is there a family history of heart problems?
Do you have difficulty breathing, chest pain or has fainted?
It has greatly increased weight, suffered swelling in ankles or calves, or distended neck veins?
Do you have the blue skin?
If the doctor hear an abnormal murmur may prescribe other tests:
Echocardiogram (to investigate the movement of the walls of the heart and its size, the operation of the valves or if there is a valvular disease)
chest x-ray (to check the size of the heart)
electrocardiogram (to locate arrhythmias - irregularities in the heartbeat - or if the heart is enlarged)
inhalation of Amyl nitrate (alter blood pressure and heart rate of momentarily).


Murmurs in the heart: What are they and what are the symptoms?

5- What is the treatment of a blow?:

The benign do not require any treatment, especially in children. If the blow is associated with a disease like hypertension, is the cause and not the result. If it is due to valvular disease you can choose by drugs or surgery.
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