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Heart leaks, what actually happens?

Heart leak or a hole in the heart, often undetected because it rarely causes special signs or symptoms. This condition can happen to everyone without realizing it.

The term heart leak is commonly used to refer to heart valve abnormalities and the presence of holes in the heart block. In adults, heart leak occurs more often because one valve cannot be closed or functions properly. Whereas in children or infants, cases of leaking heart can be caused because the hole between the walls in the left and right chambers of the heart is not completely closed properly, although there are also children who have a heart valve disorder.

 Hearth Leaks

Heart Valve Disorders

The human heart has four valves, the tricuspid, pulmonary, mitral, and aortic valves. This special network in the heart functions to regulate blood flow from one part to another. Each valve consists of two or three petals that can open and close. The valve petals will open when blood is pumped between the heart chambers or pumped to other organs through the blood vessels, and closes to prevent the blood that has been pumped out to return to the heart.

However, there are times when this heart valve is not completely closed. As a result, the blood flow that should have moved to another place actually returned to the heart. This is called a leaky heart valve or regurgitation of the heart valve.

Leaking heart valves often do not cause symptoms, but sometimes symptoms can suddenly appear. Symptoms of leaky heart valves that are easily seen include chest pain, palpitations (rapid or irregular heart rhythms), shortness of breath, feeling tired and weak, unable to do normal activities, dizziness, fainting, and swelling of the legs, ankles, or stomach .

Some heart valve abnormalities include:

  • Tricuspid atresia.
  • Tricuspid regurgitation.
  • Tricuspid stenosis.
  • Pulmonary valve stenosis.
  • Regurgitation of the pulmonary valve.
  • Mitral valve prolapse.
  • Mitral valve regurgitation.
  • Mitral valve stenosis.
  • Aortic regurgitation.
  • Aortic stenosis.

Treatment of valve regurgitation depends on how severe the leak condition is, are there clear signs and symptoms, and whether the patient's condition is getting worse. The goal of treatment is to improve the function and work of the heart. As for curing valve regurgitation, it can only be done by surgery, which is by repairing or replacing a valve that has a problem.

It is important for patients with leaky heart valves to exercise regularly (discuss first with the doctor about the type and intensity of exercise that is appropriate), not smoking, and maintaining an ideal body weight. In addition, do not forget to do a routine check with the doctor.

How to ensure the diagnosis of heart valve leakage?

A doctor usually determines the diagnosis of heart valve leakage through:

  • Listen to the sound of a heartbeat through a stethoscope. In patients with heart valve leaks there is usually a murmur
  • Read the results of a cardiac ultrasound examination (echocardiogram)


Symptoms, results of physical examination, and results of echocardiogram examination can help doctors determine the severity of heart valve leak experienced by patients.

Hole in the Heart Bar

Patent foramen ovale (PFO) occurs when the hole between the left and right portals of the heart is not closed. Everyone has this hole before birth, and usually closes itself shortly after he is born. However, there are several cases in infants where the hole cannot close. Therefore, PFO is not classified as congenital heart disease.

For most sufferers, PFO does not cause problems even though blood leaks from the right porch to the left. Problems will arise when blood flow contains blood clots. In addition, PFO usually does not cause special signs or symptoms, so it is difficult to detect.

But in very rare cases, babies with PFO can show signs of a blue skin when crying or defecating. These signs usually only occur if the baby has PFO and other congenital heart disease. Whereas in adults, the signs are not specific and only diagnosed after undergoing a health check-up. But some experts suspect that PFO is associated with a risk of developing severe migraines, TIA (transient ischemic attack), or stroke. But this cannot be ascertained yet.

Most PFO patients do not need treatment. But PFO can be closed surgically or cardiac catheterization. Leaking heart disease often does not show signs or symptoms. Therefore, it is recommended that routine checkups be made to the doctor so that the disease can be detected immediately. If the disease is known earlier, treatment of heart disease can be started earlier, so the chances of treatment success will be even higher.

Healthy Living with a Leaking Heart Valve

Every person suffering from a heart valve leak will benefit positively from exercising regularly every day, for example walking. However, for those of you who suffer from severe heart valve leakage, it is recommended to consult with your doctor before starting exercise.

Do not smoke and maintain an ideal body weight is very important for people who suffer from heart valve leak. In addition, make sure you always check your health condition once a year, even if you do not experience any symptoms, to make sure your heart valve leak does not cause other health problems.



US National Library of Medicine Medline Plus (2016). Congenital Heart Defects. American Heart Association (2016). Roles of Your Four Heart Valves.

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Is a health and wellness enthusiast. In him free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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