October 6, 2022

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A Simple Guide to Congenital Heart Disease

Congenital heart disease or defect is a heart issue that originates from birth and affects the heart valves, heart walls, and blood vessels. There are different types of congenital heart defects requiring CHD treatment. Some of these conditions are simple ones that don’t have symptoms to complicated ones with terrible symptoms.

There are over a million adults and a million children in America suffering from congenital heart defects. Proper follow-up and treatments for defects have drastically improved over the past few years, making it possible for most children to survive. 

What are the types of CHD?

Although there are different types of congenital heart defects out there, they can be categorized into the following:

  • In the case of heart wall defects, the natural walls that exist between the right and left sides and the lower and upper chambers of the heart may not correctly develop, thereby making the blood back up into the heart. This defect, therefore, puts a lot of pressure on the heart to do more work which can result in high blood pressure.
  • In the case of blood vessel defects, the veins and arteries which carry blood to and from the heart may not function correctly. This may cause blockage or reduction of blood flow, leading to terrible health issues.
  • The valves within the heart that direct the blood flow may leak or close because of heart valve defects. This, in turn, affects the heart’s ability to pump blood correctly.

Symptoms of congenital heart disease

Congenital heart defects are usually detected during a pregnancy ultrasound. If a doctor sees an abnormal heartbeat, they may choose to investigate the issue by simply carrying out some tests. The tests may include a chest X-ray, an echocardiogram, and an MRI scan. If they diagnose, ensure that the right experts are there during delivery. In some instances, the signs of congenital heart defects may not show until after the child is born. Usually, newborns with congenital heart defects will experience breathlessness, bluish lips, toes, and fingers, chest pain, delayed growth, and low birth weight.

In other instances, the signs of a congenital heart defect may not become evident until a few years after being born. Once these symptoms show up, they may include swelling, dizziness, trouble breathing, abnormal heart rhythms, and fatigue. 

Summary

Congenital heart disease is a serious issue that, if left untreated, may be fatal. A person suffering from this issue may try out any CHD treatment depending on the counsel of their health expert.