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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Aortic stenosis is a condition that makes your aortic valve become narrow and stiff. The narrow, stiff valve causes your heart to work harder to pump blood into the aorta.
Call 911 or have someone else call if:
- You have any of the following signs of a heart attack:
- Squeezing, pressure, or pain in your chest that lasts longer than 5 minutes or returns
- Discomfort or pain in your back, neck, jaw, stomach, or arm
- Trouble breathing
- Nausea or vomiting
- Lightheadedness or a sudden cold sweat, especially with chest pain or trouble breathing
- You have any of the following signs of a stroke:
- Numbness or drooping on one side of your face
- Weakness in an arm or leg
- Confusion or difficulty speaking
- Dizziness, a severe headache, or vision loss
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have chest pain when you move around. It goes away when you are still.
- You have increasing shortness of breath.
- You faint.
Contact your cardiologist or healthcare provider if:
- The veins in your neck look swollen or are bulging.
- You have increased swelling in your legs or ankles.
- Your heart beats faster than usual.
- You feel your heart flutter often.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Manage your symptoms:
- Limit activities. Your healthcare provider may have you limit strenuous activity. Strenuous activity will make your heart work too hard. Ask your healthcare provider what activities are safe for you to do.
- Take your medicines as directed. You may need medicines to lower your blood pressure. You may also need medicine to help your heart's rhythm. Your healthcare provider will prescribe the medicine that is right for you.
Prevent aortic stenosis:
- Manage other health conditions. High blood pressure and high cholesterol levels increase your risk for aortic stenosis. Ask your healthcare providers for more information on managing these conditions.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can increase your risk for high blood pressure and coronary artery disease. These conditions can make your symptoms worse. Ask your healthcare provider how much you should weigh. Ask him or her to help you create a weight loss plan if you are overweight.
- Eat heart healthy foods. Eat whole grains, fruits, and vegetables every day. Limit salt and high-fat foods. Ask your healthcare provider for more information on a heart healthy diet.
- Get treatment for strep throat. If strep throat is not treated, it can cause rheumatic fever.
- Take care of your teeth and gums. Gingivitis, a gum disease, increases your risk for aortic stenosis. See your dental provider regularly to treat problems early.
Follow up with your healthcare provider or cardiologist as directed:
You may need to return for more tests to check your heart. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.