A heart murmur in and of itself is not a disease. They are merely abnormal sounds which your doctor might notice while listening to your heartbeat with a stethoscope. However, heart murmurs can indicate a cardiovascular issue requiring treatment. “Innocent heart murmurs” are normal variations in heart sounds, but other murmurs might be owed to abnormal function of your heart’s valves, due to narrowing or leaking.
A heart murmur alone does not necessarily indicate a heart problem. A stronger indication of an underlying issue would be some of the following symptoms occurring along with your heart murmur:
- Shortness of breath
- Poor appetite
- Heavy sweating after little or no exertion
- Blue-looking skin, especially in your lips and/or fingertips
The initial diagnosis will occur when your doctor listens to your heart with a stethoscope. After that, your doctor will want to discover if the heart murmur is innocent or abnormal. This will involve an analysis of the heart sounds, a review of your family and health histories, and possibly some additional tests:
- Chest x-ray
- Cardiac catheterization
Your treatment will depend upon what, if any, underlying heart problem has led to the heart murmur.
Your aftercare will depend upon what, if any, underlying heart problem has led to the heart murmur.