Introduction: Recognizing the Signs of Severe Aortic Stenosis
Aortic stenosis is a serious heart condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the aortic valve, responsible for allowing blood to flow from the heart to the rest of the body, narrows and obstructs blood flow. This can lead to numerous health complications and, in severe cases, can be life-threatening.
Timely diagnosis and treatment are crucial for individuals with severe aortic stenosis. Recognizing the symptoms is the first step in seeking medical attention and ensuring a better quality of life. This article aims to provide you with detailed information on the top 10 symptoms of severe aortic stenosis, helping you identify this dangerous condition and take the necessary steps to protect your heart health.
1. Chest Pain (Angina): A Classic Warning Sign of Heart Trouble
Chest pain, also known as angina, is one of the most common symptoms of severe aortic stenosis. It occurs when the heart muscle doesn’t receive enough oxygen-rich blood due to the narrowed aortic valve. This lack of oxygen causes pain or discomfort in the chest area, which can feel like pressure, squeezing, or burning.
Angina usually occurs during physical activity or stress, as these situations demand more oxygen from the heart. It may last for a few minutes and subside with rest or medication. However, if the pain persists, it is essential to seek immediate medical attention, as it could be a sign of a more severe heart condition or even a heart attack.
People with aortic stenosis may experience different types of angina. Stable angina follows a predictable pattern and is triggered by physical activity or stress. Unstable angina is less predictable, can occur at rest, and often signals a higher risk of a heart attack. Variant angina, also known as Prinzmetal’s angina, is a rare form caused by a temporary spasm of the coronary arteries. (1)