You have been diagnosed with mitral valve stenosis. This means that the mitral valve in your heart is stiff and doesn’t open right. Because of this, blood must move through a smaller opening. In severe cases, fluid can build up in the lungs, leading to coughing and breathing problems. You can also develop heart rhythm problems such as atrial fibrillation. Over time, mitral valve stenosis may slowly get worse.
Many people with mitral valve stenosis do not need treatment. Some cases can be controlled with medicines. In a few cases, surgery is needed. Here are things you can do at home.
Maintain a healthy weight. Get help to lose any extra pounds.
Cut back on salt.
Limit canned, dried, packaged, and fast foods.
Don’t add salt to your food at the table.
Season foods with herbs instead of salt when you cook.
Request no added salt to your order at restaurants.
Begin an exercise program. Ask your doctor how to get started. You can benefit from simple activities such as walking, gardening, swimming, or dancing.
Break the smoking habit. Enroll in a stop-smoking program to improve your chances of success.
Check with your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medicines, herbal products, or vitamin supplements.
Take your medicines exactly as directed. Don’t skip doses.
Keep all follow-up appointments. Some people with mitral valve stenosis don’t have symptoms. Others need close follow-up and surgery.
Make a follow-up appointment with your healthcare provider, or as directed.
Call 911 or go to the emergency room right away if you have any of the following:
Chest pain or shortness of breath
Weakness in the muscles of your face, arms, or legs
Fainting or dizziness
Swelling in your hands, feet, or ankles
Irregular, rapid, or pounding heartbeat