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Taking good care of your heart is the key to the effective management of aortic stenosis. With the proper discipline, patients diagnosed with aortic stenosis can still live a long, and happy life. It is highly recommended to have regular visits to a heart specialist to properly monitor the heart condition of patients living with aortic stenosis. A cardiologist will be able to provide guidelines to lessen the risks of further complications, and also advise the appropriate action plan for an effective treatment, and management for the heart condition. To learn more, you can visit today.


What is Aortic Stenosis?

Aortic stenosis is a typical, and serious health condition which affects the heart. The aortic valve narrows, and limits the blood flow from the aorta’s left ventricle, and could also affect the left atrium’s pressure. The problem with aortic stenosis is that typically, symptoms may not be apparent before they develop. However, once they do, it gets worse over time. Aortic stenosis is also known as one of the most common valvular heart diseases globally. Elderly people, especially those over 65 years are usually affected by the diseases. It affects about 2% of their population. It also has a mortality rate of 50% in 5 years, and about 90% in ten years., for people who do not have a chance to be diagnosed properly. Left untreated, the disease can be very fatal.


Do I Have Aortic Stenosis?

Aortic Stenosis CardiologistSymptoms vary widely and depend on the level of the condition. Many people may not recognize the symptoms if its in the early stages. This usually occurs to mild to moderate stenosis. However, in some cases, symptoms appear even to those who only have mild to moderate conditions. There are many symptoms of aortic stenosis, but the most common of these are loss of consciousness, chest pain or angina, and shortness of breath with activities.

General Symptoms

  • Angina or chest pain
  • Palpitations or rapid heart rate
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing with activities
  • Loss of consciousness up to fainting
  • Swelling of feet or ankles
  • Trouble sleeping


Signs and Symptoms Explained

The most common symptoms of aortic stenosis can also be the most fatal. Because of its slow development, the person may not feel the effects at first, however, once it develops, it can be very fatal if left unchecked.


Angina or Chest Pain

Angina occurs when your heart muscles don’t get the oxygen-rich blood it requires. Once the aortic valve narrows, there will be a considerable amount of decrease in blood flow. Most patients experience general chest discomfort and pain. The sensation sometimes mimics other muscle-related pains, and people may not think of it as angina. The other parts of the body that may experience pain are neck, shoulders, jaw, arms, or back. Patients may even feel like they are having indigestion. People with angina have a mortality rate of 50% in 5 years if left unchecked. However, angina is not heart disease, rather a precursor of an underlying heart condition.


Primary Risk Factors of Angina and Heart Disease

  • Hereditary or family history
  • Diabetes
  • Old age
  • Inactivity
  • Cigarette smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Poor or unhealthy diet
  • High level of cholesterol
  • Being overweight or obesity


Diagnosis and Detection

A chest pain associated with the narrowing of the aortic valve causes the poor blood flow in the heart. Your doctor will be able to tell if the condition is in fact angina. There are several types of angina, however, the most fatal type is called unstable angina. In case your doctor detects this type, you may require an emergency medical treatment, to prevent the occurrence of a heart attack. Tests include:

  • 2D echo to detect aortic valve constriction
  • Stress test
  • Chest X-rays
  • Blood tests
  • Physical exam
  • ECG or electrocardiogram
  • Cardiac catheterization

These are the typical tests that your doctor will recommend to get a definitive result in angina detection.


Treatment and Management

  • Lifestyle – A general change in lifestyle is one of the greatest factors in managing aortic stenosis. Research has proven that being physical activity helps in many ways. A moderate physical activity of approximately 150 minutes per week lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Quitting cigarette smoking also helps. Smoking increases the risks involved; it is highly recommended to quit smoking for effective management. A healthy diet is also a key player. Choosing food that is high in fiber, and low in fat will be beneficial to your health. Limit alcohol intake as well, excessive alcohol intake increases the risks, and it can be tougher to manage the condition.
  • Medication – Aside from lifestyle change, and physical activity, maintenance medicines are also essential, and beneficial. There are a wide variety of medicines your doctor may prescribe; however, they are all intended to target the treatment of your heart condition. What the medicine typically does is to decrease blood clots by treating blood vessels of the heart. They are also used to prevent existing clots to further advance, which may cause complications.
  • Surgical Procedure – In some cases, surgery is required to prevent adverse complications. The benefits of angioplasty include Increased blood flow in the affected artery, chest pain relief, the capability to increase physical activity, prevents the occurrence of stroke.
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation Management – Cardiac rehab proves to be an effective program in keeping your heart healthy. It involves controlled medicine intake, physical activity, and doctor visits, to help improve the general wellness of the heart after surgery.


Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive heart failure or CHF is a more severe case of aortic valve narrowing caused by angina. People with congestive heart failure have an increased mortality rate of 50% in only 2 short years. Blood flow is compromised because of the thickening of the left ventricle of the heart also known as left ventricular hypertrophy. The usual doctor’s recommendation is the replacement of the aortic valve via surgery. Tests include:

  • ECG or electrocardiogram
  • Chest X-ray
  • Stress tests
  • BNP Blood test (hormone level measurement during heart failure)
  • Cardiac MRI to detect aortic valve constriction

Your doctor may offer additional testing depending on the initial test results.


Treatment and Management

  • Lifestyle – Similar to the changes made in the treatment of angina, a healthy lifestyle that includes a certain level of physical activity, eating your doctor’s recommended food, and regular monitoring of symptoms. Always make it to a point where you inform your doctor about the progress of your condition. Remember that the program is a team effort that requires you, and your doctor’s participation.
  • Medication – Like the treatment for angina, certain medicines are prescribed, together with physical activity, and regular doctor visits. The goal of the medicines is to lower the heart rate, and blood pressure. Beta-blockers are typically prescribed. ACE inhibitors are also administered o help prevent harmful hormones that affect your heart. The prescribed drugs differ depending on the degree of the condition.
  • Surgery and Rehabilitation – In some cases, surgery is the answer to prevent further complications that may lead to death. Several procedures may be involved, depending on the case. Bypass surgery is the most common. Surgery aftercare is also essential to the patient’s full recovery. Your doctor will be able to provide the appropriate guidelines and counselling.



Syncope or fainting is a temporary loss of consciousness that causes people to pass out. It can be linked to heart disease, and it is known as cardiovascular syncope. A cardiac syncope may be fatal and may cause sudden cardiac arrest that could lead to sudden death. The elderly are at a greater risk of cardiac syncope, especially those 80 years and above. Tests include:

  • ECG or electrocardiogram
  • Stress tests
  • Blood tests
  • 2D echo to detect aortic valve constriction
  • Tilt table test


Treatment and Management

  • Proper Diagnosis – The diagnosis of syncope must be accurate since there is also a condition called NMS, also known as Neurally Mediated Syncope, which has a different cause, and treatment. Your doctor will be able to diagnose the cause, so, there’s no need to be alarmed. A change in lifestyle is also recommended. This also includes physical activity, the right diet, monitoring.
  • Medication – Many medicines are used to treat syncope, including those that control salt retention, motion sickness, and lower high blood pressure. Medicines may have side-effects and may interact negatively with each other, so, always follow the right administration as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Surgery and Rehabilitation – In some cases, an implantable heart monitor is needed to help prevent, or intercept complications. The monitor is also known as a loop recorder. Its primary function is to monitor the heart’s rhythm, which usually lasts for three years. It’s powered by AAA batteries. Continuous monitoring brings a significant factor in a patient’s well-being.


Is Exercise Good for Aortic Stenosis?

Aortic Stenosis Exercise for the Elderly

The answer is yes. However, it doesn’t mean that you are free to exert effort in physical activity that is similar to when you are in your prime. The level of physical activity is reduced for people with aortic stenosis. The purpose of minimum physical activity is to help you maintain the right weight, and reduce the risks of sudden heart failure. If done correctly, with the help of proper medication, and doctor’s intervention, people living with aortic stenosis will have a rewarding experience. Click here to see what equipment you can use to start an exercise plan.

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