Mitral stenosis is a disorder in which the mitral valve does not fully open. This restricts the flow of blood. Adults may have not symptoms. However, symptoms may appear or get worse with exercise or other activity that raises the heart rate. Symptoms will most often develop between ages 20 and 50.
Symptoms may begin with an episode of atrial fibrillation (especially if it causes a fast heart rate). Symptoms may also be triggered by pregnancy or other stress on the body, such as infection in the heart or lungs, or other heart disorders.
Symptoms may include:
- Chest discomfort that increases with activity and extends to the arm, neck, jaw or other areas (this is rare)
- Cough, possibly with bloody phlegm
- Difficulty breathing during or after exercise (This is the most common symptom.)
- Waking up due to breathing problems or when lying in a flat position
- Frequent respiratory infections, such as bronchitis
- Feeling of pounding heart beat (palpitations)
- Swelling of feet or ankles
Treatment depends on the symptoms and condition of the heart and lungs. People with mild symptoms or none at all may not need treatment. For severe symptoms, you may need to go to the hospital for diagnosis and treatment.