Is heart murmur dangerous?
Heart murmur does not cause symptoms as such and most cases of heart murmur are harmless. In the past, heart murmur was sometimes an indication of a congenital heart defect, but nowadays paediatricians and cardiologists often detect heart defects before birth. A baby’s pulse is first checked in the womb. The flow of blood in the heart can make a flowing sound. A murmur is an abnormal sound which often increases alongside heart functions. A murmur can also be heard in a healthy heart when blood flow increases in connection with, for example, fever, pregnancy, anaemia or an overactive thyroid. Even extreme stress can sometimes create a murmur. A heart murmur may be caused by a heart disease, such as valvular heart disease or a hole between the heart chambers. The early stages of valvular heart disease do not usually involve symptoms. A heart murmur may be the only abnormality. Once the cause of the murmur has been identified, the cardiologist assesses the necessity of treatment and provides instructions for further monitoring.
Heart valves are gateways, which allow blood flow. They ensure that blood flows in one direction. If blood flows in the wrong direction for some reason, this creates a sound that can be distinguished from the steady thumping. Such murmurs may indicate a valvular disease. It is impossible for a person to distinguish valvular disease, because partial blood flow in the wrong direction is painless.
Chest symptoms – when to seek treatment?
A heart murmur is innocent unless it is connected to fatigue and weakness. A basic heart examination is used to examine whether the patient has a structural defect, which changes normal heart sounds and causes murmur. The patient can be referred to more specific examinations based on the heart examination. In practice, echocardiography always reveals the cause of a heart murmur. It is important to examine whether a heart murmur is a symptom of something serious, such as a heart disease.
It is always important to examine the cause of a heart murmur.