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21 May, 2022
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Congenital Heart Disease

Congenital Heart Disease: From Types to Treatment

Congenital heart disease can be defined as a situation in which a person suffers from heart issues at the time of birth. From the moment that a child is born because of some abnormalities, he or she might suffer from severe heart issues. These heart issues then do not just affect the heart condition but also impact the heart walls, cardiac valves as well as the associated blood vessels. 

According to the best cardiologists, congenital heart issues have a wide range of types. They can range from simple issues that are not that important to serious and life-threatening problems that can make all the difference in the world. The numbers of adults that are currently living with such numbers on a global scale are equally drastic and eye-opening. Thus it is important to educate the current youth about the problems that one might be facing if he or she is living with a congenital heart problem. 

It is also pertinent to note here that with the passage of time more and more scientific advancements are on the go and this has caused a wave of positivity across the globe when it comes to the context of treatments and care. This is what causes people to live a life that is full of colors and positivity despite suffering from this issue. 

Before we dive deep into the treatment options for congenital heart conditions, let us just update you about the types of these problems. 

Heart Valve Defects

This is a birth defect that affects the valves of the heart. This causes either a leak or a hole which leads to the blood getting spilled. Due to this defect, the heart is unable to pump blood properly and effectively. 

Heart Wall Defects

In this type of congenital heart issue, the heart walls such as those of the upper and lower chambers and the left and right sides might suffer from a development issue. In case they are not developed properly then this might lead to the blood backing up to the heart. It can also give rise to a situation where blood can pool in a place where it is not supposed to be. All this causes the blood to put a strain on the heart which can cause it to work harder and then can lead to high blood pressure

Blood Vessel Defects 

In this type of congenital heart defect, the person suffers from a birth defect in the blood vessels. This causes the person to suffer from poor blood circulation as well as backing up of the blood. All this can cause the heart to get overworked and you might also suffer from various other health issues. 

Now that you have an idea about the types of congenital heart diseases. Let us discuss the symptoms and signs of congenital heart diseases. It is also important to note here that these signs differ from one stage to another in a person’s life. For example, a newborn might suffer from the below symptoms.

  • Bluish lips, skin, fingers, and toes
  • Troubled breathing
  • Breathlessness
  • Feeding difficulties
  • Drastically low weight at the time of birth 
  • Chest pain
  • Delayed growth pattern 

Yet, there can be special cases where these issues are not visible at the time of birth but might surface after some time. Then the symptoms might be like these:

  • Irregular heart rhythms
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Fainting occasionally
  • Swelling
  • Fatigue or getting tired 

Treatment of Congenital Heart Defects

It is important for people to realize that these congenital heart diseases are possible to treat. But that primarily depends on the type and severity of the heart defect. In some cases the defects can get resolved on their own and in other cases they might take some time as well as careful treatment design. 

Medications

 There do exist some medications which can put the heart at ease. They are not only important for keeping the heart in the right shape but also work towards the prevention of blood clots formation in the blood vessels. Some medications are also in use to keep the heart rhythms as regular as possible. 

Heart Devices

Latest medical advancements have brought us to the doors of implantable heart devices. The complications that one might be suffering from congenital heart defects can be controlled with the help of pacemakers and implantable cardiovascular-defibrillators. 

Pacemakers are a way to ensure that the heart is beating regularly. Whereas ICD can be used to rectify the issues of dangerous and irregular heartbeats. 

Catheter Surgeries

These procedures allow the surgeons to repair some congenital defects without even opening the chest and heart. A small and thin tube is inserted in the vein of the leg. Once all is set, the doctor rectifies the defects with the help of designated tools. 

Open Heart Surgeries

In case the catheter procedures are not enough to cater to the heart defects, then a person might be recommended an open heart surgery. These surgeries can be used either to close the openings in the heart, to repair the heart valves as well as to get rid of the obstructions in the blood vessels. 

Prevention of Congenital Heart Diseases

It is wrong for people to assume that there are no prevention for congenital heart disease. But behold, there are some measures that a person can take to ensure that the child is at lower risk of congenital heart diseases. 

Make sure to take into account the following things if and when you are planning a baby.

In case you are trying to get pregnant, you should consult with your doctor regarding any medication or OTC that they might have prescribed you. 

If you are a diabetic, then all you have to do is that you have to pay attention to your blood sugar levels. You can try to talk it out with your health care practitioner regarding what you need to do in such matters.

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