Aortic Valve Stenosis (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Most people who have aortic valve stenosis are born with a normal, healthy aortic valve but develop aortic stenosis late in life. Aging and calcium buildup cause the leaflets of the valve to thicken and harden, preventing the valve from opening properly. Typically, stenosis develops slowly over many years.
Some people may develop aortic stenosis after having rheumatic fever as a child. It usually takes 30 to 40 years after a case of rheumatic fever for aortic stenosis to develop. Rheumatic fever has been rare in the United States since the 1970s.
You probably won't have any symptoms if you have mild or moderate aortic valve stenosis, because your heart can make up for the stenosis. You may begin to notice symptoms if the pressure buildup in the heart becomes severe or if blood flow to the heart and the rest of the body is reduced. You may have symptoms when you exercise or do something strenuous, because your heart has to work harder.
Symptoms may include:
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