A heart murmur is a condition where an individual's heart makes swishing or whooshing sounds during the cycle of their heartbeat. These noises can only be heard through a stethoscope. They are caused by the turbulent movement of blood in the heart. The normal noises that the heart makes during the heartbeat are described as 'lubb-dubb' when the heart valves are closing.
There are many different treatments for heart murmurs out there. Innocent heart murmurs often need underlying condition treatment, such as antithyroid medication for hyperthyroidism. Patients who need heart murmur treatment may also need diuretics or other medications. Blood thinners for heart murmurs are an option, as are statins for high cholesterol and beta blockers. Heart murmur surgery is also a major treatment. Of course, the best treatment for heart murmurs varies based on the cause. Learn about the causes now.
Some heart murmurs can be caused by exercise and other conditions where the blood flows at a high rate of speed through the heart. This type of heart murmur is referred to as an innocent heart murmur or physiological heart murmur where the noise is present, but there are no structural defects or abnormalities in the heart. Many experts believe that this form of exercise-induced heart murmur is a sign of enhanced cardiovascular fitness and not a heart abnormality.
The heart of an athlete who undergoes intense training may become slightly enlarged as an adaptive measure to these exercise regimens. This slight enlargement allows the heart to pump a greater volume of blood with every beat. This higher than normal amount of blood flowing through the heart upon each beat can even be as significant as a gushing noise heard through a stethoscope. This type of heart murmur is most prevalent among young individuals and those who participate in endurance and aerobic sports. This form of heart murmur can be distinguished from a dangerous heart murmur by listening to the pitch and timing of the murmur.