Around 30% of children and 10% of adults have mild murmurs
Chest pain and palpitations are signs of heart murmurs in adults
Innocent heart murmurs are harmless and don’t require treatment
Generally, the hearts make a ‘lub-dub’ sound when it beats. This is normal in a healthy heart. On the other hand, heart murmurs are unusual. These are caused by the normal turbulent or vibrant blood flow within the heart. They make whooshing or swishing sounds. Doctors can hear heart murmurs through a stethoscope. Typically, heart murmurs are of two types, which are:
Innocent heart murmurs are harmless and common in children . Around 30% of children and 10% of adults have a mild murmur . Innocent heart murmurs are not injurious and often don’t require treatment. But, an abnormal heart murmur in adults is a sign of an underlying heart condition. It points to sickness and causes other symptoms.
Read on to understand the different heart murmurs causes, symptoms, as well as a few heart murmurs prevention tips.
Additional Read: Heart Attack Symptoms: How to Know if you are Having a Heart Attack
Innocent heart murmurs can happen due to several reasons. Some of the causes include the following.
Abnormal heart murmurs happen for the following reasons:
People with an innocent heart murmur may not show any signs or symptoms. But, if you have an abnormal heart murmur, you could experience symptoms. This will vary based on the cause. Here is a list of the symptoms.
Your doctor may make an initial diagnosis by listening to your heart with a stethoscope. Sometimes they also check for any abnormal breathing patterns or changes in skin color. Doctors conduct other tests too. Physical examination and tests will help your doctor diagnose the cause of your heart murmur. Some may even assess your blood pressure and pulse rate. To detect whether your heart murmur is innocent or abnormal, doctors may order a battery of tests. Common tests include:
These will determine if you have an innocent or abnormal heart murmur. If your heart murmur is linked with heart problems, your next step is to visit a heart specialist or cardiologist. Medications or surgery may be prescribed to treat heart murmurs.
Innocent heart murmurs usually do not require any treatment or further testing. However, for abnormal heart murmurs, your doctor may prescribe treatment. These generally treat the cause. For instance, doctors may prescribe medicines to prevent blood clots, control irregular heartbeat or palpitations, and lower blood pressure. Drugs such as diuretics  are prescribed to get rid of excess salt and water from your body. This makes it easier for your heart to pump. In some cases, surgery may be required to correct heart defects. These may exist from birth or be caused due to heart valve disease.
Heart murmurs are not a disease and are often harmless. You can’t prevent heart murmurs in most cases. But, doctors will treat underlying conditions such as high blood pressure or heart valve infection to prevent heart murmurs. In children, heart murmurs fade as they grow. For adults, improvements in the underlying causes can make the murmurs go away.
Additional Read: 11 Lifestyle Tips to Maintain a Healthy Heart
If you experience indications of heart murmurs in the form of chest pain, breathlessness, or palpitations, consult your heart health care provider. To get advice on healthy lifestyle practices, book an online doctor consultation on Bajaj Finserv Health. Start following recommendations by heart specialists and keep heart murmurs at bay.