Fremont Cardiovascular Care
A heart murmur is an “extra” sound that occurs between beats
during an individual’s heartbeat cycle. This murmur may be picked
up with a stethoscope and may sound like a “whooshing” or
“swishing” sound. It is caused by blood that is in or around
the heart. In some cases, heart murmurs develop later in life. In other
cases, the heart murmur may have been a congenital condition, meaning
a condition that was present at birth.
Are Heart Murmurs Dangerous?
In most cases, heart murmurs are not dangerous and do not require treatment.
In cases of harmless heart murmurs, the condition may not cause any symptoms.
In some cases, however, the heart murmur could be caused by a heart valve
that is damaged or overworked. You may develop a heart murmur as a result
of aging or as a complication related to other problems with your heart.
Factors that can contribute in causing heart murmurs include:
- Hypertension / high blood pressure
- Overactive thyroid
In some cases, issues with a heart valve could be causing the murmur. Your
heart valves function as gates that open and close between the upper chambers
or “atria” of your heart and the lower chambers or “ventricles.”
These valves facilitate blood flow between the two upper and two lower chambers.
Problems with a heart valve that could be causing a murmur include conditions such as:
- Aortic sclerosis
- Aortic stenosis
- Mitral valve stenosis
- Prolapse of the mitral valve
- Mitral regurgitation
- Aortic regurgitation
- Heart defects present at birth
Diagnosis for Heart Murmurs at WTMF in Fremont
Diagnosis of a heart murmur usually occurs during a physical exam, when
your doctor listens to your heart through a stethoscope. Your doctor will
be able to diagnose the cause through further
tests such as an
electrocardiogram (EKG), chest X-ray, or echocardiography, in order to determine whether treatment
is required. Learn more when you visit Washington Township Medical Foundation.