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Aortic Valve Stenosis - Living With Aortic Valve Stenosis

How you will feel and how aortic valve stenosis will affect your life will vary greatly depending on whether you have symptoms and the treatment decisions you make.

If you have no symptoms

  • Watch for changes in your health. See your doctor right away if you have any signs of chest pain, lightheadedness, fainting, shortness of breath, palpitations, or other symptoms that worry you.
  • Keep your heart healthy. Make healthy lifestyle changes such as eating a heart-healthy diet, staying at a healthy weight, and managing other health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
  • Get the tests you need to monitor your health. You will need to have an echocardiogram every 6 months to 1 year for severe stenosis and every 1 to 5 years for mild to moderate stenosis.1
  • Be active, but you might need to avoid strenuous exercise. Physical activity is good for your overall health. But the type of exercise that is appropriate varies depending on how severe your aortic valve stenosis is. If you have mild stenosis, you will not need to restrict your level or type of physical exercise. But if you have severe stenosis, you should avoid strenuous activities such as weight lifting or running. Talk with your doctor about what kinds of exercise are safe for you.

If you have symptoms

  • Decide on treatment. After symptoms of stenosis appear, you'll need to decide whether to have valve replacement surgery. For more information, see Surgery.
  • Manage heart failure. If you don't have surgery, you will likely develop severe heart failure. But you can make lifestyle changes to manage heart failure, such as:
    • Eating a low-sodium, heart-healthy diet.
    • Being active with walking or other mild exercise. Avoid strenuous exercise, including weight lifting. Talk with your doctor about what kinds of activities are safe for you.
    • Quitting smoking.
    • Taking medicines for heart failure.

For more help, see the topic Heart Failure.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 30, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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