A Heart Murmur – What is it?
Posted by: Tampa Cardio
On: November 26, 2021
While being told you have a heart murmur may seem scary the majority of heart murmurs are harmless.
While it’s a common term its an often misunderstood one. Tampa Cardiovascular Associates wanted to jump in with a simple overview, so you are better informed.
A Note: When talking about underlying heart issues it can be helpful to review the following information. Undergoing regular heart screenings can be helpful in preventative care including heart murmurs.
What is a heart murmur?
A normal heart produces just two beats that sound like thumps of “lub” “dub”, but a heart murmur causes your heart to sound different. A heart murmur is distinguished by the sound of blood flow through the heart, which sounds like whooshing or swishing. Sounds are made by blood in or around the heart, and the murmur occurs as the heart cycles through the beats.
What causes heart murmurs?
Most often the cause of a heart murmur is abnormal flow of blood through the heart chambers. What causes the abnormal flow is more important. Here are the most common reasons why a heart murmur may occur.
- A high fever during sickness including COVID-19
- High blood pressure
In other less common scenarios, a heart murmur may occur due to a defect with the valve. Everyone’s heart has valves that allow blood to enter the upper and lower chambers. Blood flow is necessary here to keep the heart pumping. There are other situations in which valve malfunctions can also cause problems.
The following conditions may result in a heart murmur.
- Mitral valve prolapse
- Congenital heart defects
- Mitral or aortic regurgitation
- Mitral valve or aortic stenosis
- Aortic sclerosis and stenosis
Almost all valve conditions have heart murmurs as part of their symptoms.
How do you treat a murmur?
Most of the time, a heart murmur does not require treatment. Instead, your cardiologist will look at accompanying symptoms. If there are any present, further testing may be required. If there are no other problematic symptoms, then it is likely that the heart murmur is harmless. In patients where they have a harmless heart murmur, a better diet, regular exercise, less stress and a good night’s sleep will likely be the recommendations.
Why get checked out?
A heart murmur can be indicative of some very serious conditions, which is why it is necessary to consult with a cardiologist on a regular basis. Routine heart screenings can identify a heart murmur, which can help the cardiologist determine the appropriate course of action.
Request an appointment here: www.tampacardio.com or call Tampa Cardiovascular Associates at 813-975-2800 for an appointment in our Tampa, Florida office.
Posted by: Tampa Cardio