The American Heart Association suggests that many people who suffer from mitral valve prolapse don't experience any mitral valve prolapse symptoms. The mitral valve is a valve in the heart that keeps blood circulating in the same direction and prevents blood from regurgitating back into the left atrium. People who have mitral valve prolapse have a valve that doesn't completely close. This doesn't usually require medication or medical intervention, unless the back flow of blood (i.e. regurgitation) causes other symptoms. If you have mitral valve prolapse and you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should consult your doctor right away. Here are some common symptoms of mitral valve prolapse:
- Irregular heartbeat. Sometimes people who experience symptoms from mitral valve prolapse report irregular heart beat. Irregular heartbeat can also be described as a racing or a pounding heart beat. Irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia symptoms should be evaluated by your doctor whether or not you think you have mitral valve prolapse.
- Dizziness. If you are experiencing frequent dizziness or if you are feeling lightheaded, you could be experiencing mitral valve prolapse symptoms. Mitral valve prolapse can cause less oxygenated blood to be pumped throughout your body. This can cause dizziness, especially when you go from a sitting to a standing position. Some individuals actually faint.
- Difficulty breathing. People who do have mitral valve prolapse symptoms can experience shortness of breath. This can happen when you are engaging in a physical activity or you are lying down. People with mitral valve prolapse can benefit from cardiovascular exercise, but you should always talk to a heath care professional about starting exercise.
- Chest pain. Mitral valve prolapse can cause regurgitation of blood back into the atrium. This is why people might experience chest pain or tightness from mitral valve prolapse. Chest pain or tightness is always a medical concern and could also indicate more serious heart conditions. Your doctor will probably order diagnostic tests like and echocardiogram or an MRI to determine the cause of your chest pain.