We all view our heart as our most precious and vital organ (and with good reason)! Not only do we need our heart to survive, but we also need it to function properly. For many people, this can be a struggle. Even though the heart is a powerful organ, it’s also incredibly fragile. There are so many things that can go wrong with it.
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A leaky heart valve is one of them. The seriousness and severity of a leaky heart valve varies depending on how much it interferes with the blood flow in your heart, and thankfully, it can be treated. The most important thing is to know and understand the signs and changes that can occur. Here’s a look at everything to know about a leaky heart valve, including the symptoms, causes, and treatment options.
1. What is a Leaky Heart Valve?
A leaky heart valve sounds a bit grotesque and is essentially exactly what it sounds like. This condition occurs when blood leaks back into any of our four heart chambers while pumping blood. To better understand this, we’ll rewind a bit. First, let’s explain that there are four valves: the tricuspid valve, pulmonic valve, mitral valve, and aortic valve. “The valves consist of flaps that open to let blood flow in one direction as it moves through the chambers of the heart,” explains WebMD. The valve then closes in order to keep blood from flowing backwards into the chamber. Every heart valve, except the mitral valve (which has two flaps), has three flaps, or leaflets.
According to WebMD, a leaky valve occur in any of the four heart valves and is sometimes referred to as valve regurgitation.