Aortic stenosis is a condition where the aortic valve in the heart becomes too narrow, resulting in its functional impairment. Oxygenated blood returns from the lungs and flows into the left atrium, where the mitral valve allows it into the left ventricle. The blood moves from the left ventricle through the aortic valve into the aorta. From there, oxygenated blood is distributed to tissues around the body. When this valve cannot open enough due to narrowing, blood flow to the rest of the body is reduced or obstructed. This malfunction causes the heart to work excessively hard to pump enough blood throughout the body. Over time, this burden on the heart results in a reduced ability to pump an adequate blood volume. This causes symptoms such as heart murmur, fainting, fatigue, appetite loss, weight loss, angina, breathlessness, and palpitations.
Patients need prompt aortic stenosis treatment. One option is medication for aortic stenosis, such as beta-blockers. Surgery for aortic stenosis is common as well. In addition, there are natural remedies for aortic stenosis, which include getting regular exercise and eating a heart-healthy diet. However, the treatment for aortic stenosis that patients need can vary. Thus, they should first understand how this condition is diagnosed and their treatment options before discussing them with a doctor.
Many doctors will order an echocardiogram as part of the aortic stenosis diagnostic process. An echocardiogram involves a transducer and uses sound waves to create a short video, which shows an individual’s heart in motion. In addition to looking at the aortic valve, doctors will typically evaluate the patient’s blood flow through their heart and their heart chambers. Echocardiograms may be able to determine the cause of the patient’s condition in addition to revealing the severity of it. In some instances, doctors may use a transesophageal echocardiogram to take a closer look at the individual’s aortic valve. This test runs the transducer into the individual’s mouth and down their esophagus.