What are the types of heart valve disease?
Heart valve disease can affect any of the four valves. A valve may not be able to open well enough (stenosis) or close well enough (regurgitation). Heart valve diseases include:
- Aortic valve regurgitation.
- Aortic valve stenosis.
- Mitral valve regurgitation.
- Mitral valve stenosis.
- Tricuspid valve stenosis.
- Tricuspid valve regurgitation.
- Pulmonic valve stenosis.
- Pulmonic valve regurgitation.
How can you care for yourself when you have heart valve disease?
- Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine. You will get more details on the specific medicines your doctor prescribes.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet. For example, eat more fruits, vegetables, fish, lean meats, whole grains, and other high-fiber foods. Limit sodium, sugar, and alcohol.
- Be active. Ask your doctor what type and level of exercise is safe for you. Walking is a good choice. You also may want to swim, bike, or do other activities.
- Stay at a healthy weight. Lose weight if you need to.
- Do not smoke. Smoking can cause more heart problems. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor about stop-smoking programs and medicines. These can increase your chances of quitting for good.
- Manage other health problems. These include diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. If you think you may have a problem with alcohol or drug use, talk to your doctor.
- Avoid colds and flu. Get a pneumococcal vaccine shot. If you have had one before, ask your doctor if you need another dose. Get a flu vaccine every year.
- Take care of your teeth and gums. Get regular dental checkups. Good dental health is important because bacteria can spread from infected teeth and gums to the heart valves.
- If you have had a valve repaired or replaced, you may need to take antibiotics before you have certain dental or surgical procedures.
Copyrighted material adapted with permission from Healthwise, Incorporated. This information does not replace the advice of a doctor.