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Aortic Insufficiency

Overview

Aortic insufficiency is a disease in which aortic valves of the heart become weak and balloon, and thus preventing the valves from closing strongly. Due to this, backward flow of blood takes place from the aorta to the ventricle. Aorta is considered as the largest blood vessel in the body and ventricle is the left and lower chamber of the heart. Out of 10000 people, only 5 people get affected from the condition. As compared to females, the disease is more common in those males who are above 30 years of age. Some of the alternative names of the diseases are aortic regurgitation and aortic valve prolapse.


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Causes

Any condition that result in weakening of the aortic valve can cause aortic insufficiency. The condition leads to other condition known as dilation (widening) of the left ventricle which gets worse with the passing time. Due to dilation, it becomes incapable of pumping blood. Previously, rheumatic fever was considered as the primary cause of the disease. But, with the advancement in technologies, new antibiotics have been introduced in the market. These antibiotics treat rheumatic fever effectively. So, this indicated that many other conditions also cause Aortic insufficiency. Some other causes include valve problems, present from the birth, and other medical conditions like high blood pressure, aortic dissection, ankylosing spondylitis, systematic lupus erythematosus, Marfan’s syndrome, etc.


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Signs & Symptoms

Some of the symptoms that can be experienced in the condition include:

  • Fainting
  • Weakness, particularly with activity
  • Bounding pulse
  • Palpitations
  • Fatigue
  • Angina pain
  • Shortness of breath while lying down or performing any kind of activity

Chest pain is also experienced during the condition. Commonly, it is observed that the pain increases when a person performs any activity and decreases when rest is taken. It is important to disclose that aortic insufficiency does not show any kind of symptoms for many years. Symptoms can occur suddenly or gradually.

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Prevention

The disease can be prevented by taking care of its causes. Before taking treatment of any condition, do not forget to notify the heart valve disease to health experts or dentist. Reason being, if a person is opting for any dental treatment, then invasive procedure may introduce any bacteria into the bloodstream. And bacteria affects weakened valve adversely, causing endocarditis.  


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Treatments
Conservative Treatment Modern Medicine

If a person is experiencing mild or no symptoms, then he only requires echocardiogram from time to time that should be monitored by health experts. However, if a person’s condition is serious and he is experiencing severe symptoms, then he has to stay in the hospital.  In such conditions, diuretic and ACE inhibitors will be prescribed by health experts. Sometimes, health experts recommend these drugs in moderate cases also in order to prevent the condition from getting worse.

Surgical Modern Medicine

Sufferers are advised to restrict certain activities, whereas, strenuous activities are strictly restricted under serious conditions. Depending upon the symptoms, functioning and condition of the heart, surgery is recommended to treat aortic insufficiency. Surgery is basically done either to replace or repair the aortic valve. 

Conservative Treatment Modern Medicine

If a person is experiencing mild or no symptoms, then he only requires echocardiogram from time to time that should be monitored by health experts. However, if a person’s condition is serious and he is experiencing severe symptoms, then he has to stay in the hospital.  In such conditions, diuretic and ACE inhibitors will be prescribed by health experts. Sometimes, health experts recommend these drugs in moderate cases also in order to prevent the condition from getting worse.

Surgical Modern Medicine

Sufferers are advised to restrict certain activities, whereas, strenuous activities are strictly restricted under serious conditions. Depending upon the symptoms, functioning and condition of the heart, surgery is recommended to treat aortic insufficiency. Surgery is basically done either to replace or repair the aortic valve. 

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