Valvular Heart Disease refers to the disease of the heart valves. Heart valves act like doors to control the blood flow between the different parts of the heart. Valvular Heart Disease affects one or more heart valves, which then become damaged and do not function properly. Different Valvular Heart Diseases involve different valves, and certain diseases can affect more than one valve.
Valve diseases can consist of congenital abnormalities (present at birth), or they can be acquired later in life as a result of infections or degeneration.
There are two major types of valvular heart disease:
- Valvular Insufficiency, which it occurs when the valve does not close tightly enough
- Valvular Stenosis, which occurs when the opening of the valve is smaller than normal