A heart murmur is a sound made during your heartbeat. It can be heard with a stethoscope and is an extra sound outside the usual two sounds made by your heart valves closing. Heart murmurs can be innocent and require no treatment or they can be abnormal and treatment can be focused on the cause of the murmur. Common causes include: heart valve disease and heart failure
Innocent heart murmurs are extra sounds made as the blood travels through the heart. They generally require no treatment or change in activity. They rarely cause heart failure and are not likely due to heart valve disease
Pathologic heart murmurs are caused by an abnormality in the heart, most specifically heart valve disease . They can be identified by the sound they make as the blood travels through the heart. This type of murmur can often be identified by a doctor but they may utilize tests to confirm. These heart murmurs can be accompanied by other symptoms of heart failure including:
Heart related conditions that increase your risk of Heart Murmurs are
Additionally, other medical conditions including
There are also lifestyle factors that can increase your risk for Heart Murmurs. They include
Additionally, being older than 65 increases your risk.
It is important to reduce your risk factors by managing your medications and making lifestyle changes. Reducing these can help reduce symptoms and your risk for complications.
If your primary care doctor has identified a heart murmur, it is important to see a cardiologist for follow up. In some cases, heart murmurs that are caused by heart valve disease or abnormalities can worsen over time and cause heart failure . It is important to continue to monitor your heart murmur and any related symptoms with your doctor. They will be able to provide more information about treatment plans and confirm your diagnosis through testing.
Checking in with your doctor is important when you have an abnormal heart murmur. Discuss with your doctor how often you should schedule your visits after you discuss your heart murmur, especially if you have heart valve disease or heart failure