Risks of severe aortic stenosis
Severe aortic stenosis is life-threatening because it prevents blood from flowing easily throughout your body. This means your body does not get the proper amount of oxygen it needs. Your heart may need to work harder to pump blood throughout your body, and often, it can’t do so effectively. When that happens, some people may notice uncomfortable symptoms like shortness of breath and fatigue as the heart becomes weaker.
Here are some of the top reasons severe aortic stenosis can be a serious risk to your health:
Patients with severe aortic stenosis may find it hard to carry out normal activities, like walking to collect the post or climbing the stairs.
By the time it is found in many patients, the disease has progressed to an advanced stage. This is why doctors call it severe aortic stenosis. The aortic valve has a severe build-up of calcium and it struggles to open and close.
When this happens, your risk of heart failure increases significantly. The outlook for severe aortic stenosis is poor if left untreated.
Get help early for severe aortic stenosis
If you have been told you have severe aortic stenosis and have symptoms, it is important to remember that medication cannot stop or cure the disease, it can only treat the symptoms. Valve replacement is the only effective treatment option.1
That may be hard to hear if you’ve recently been diagnosed and you are going through a range of emotions. You may feel nervous or in disbelief. You may feel hesitant. Or you may want to wait to see how things go. But if you have been told you have severe aortic stenosis and start to experience symptoms, it is important to talk to your doctor about your treatment options as soon as possible.
Ross J Jr, Braunwald E. Aortic stenosis. Circulation 1968;38:61–7
Baumgartner H, Falk V, Bax JJ et al. 2017 ESC/EACTS Guidelines for the management of valvular heart disease: The Task Force for the Management of Valvular Heart Disease of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (EACTS). Eur Heart J. 2017; 38:2739–91.
Badran, AA, Vohra, HA, Livesey, SA. Unoperated severe aortic stenosis: decision making in an adult UK-based population. Ann R Coll Surg Engl 2012; 94: 416–421