Madison Avenue Cardiovascular
Mark L. Meyer, MD, FACP, FACC
Board Certified Physician located in Midtown Manhattan, New York, NY
Heart murmurs can occur for a number of reasons, some relatively benign and some more serious. At Madison Avenue Cardiovascular, renowned cardiologist Mark Meyer, MD, FACP, FACC, helps patients throughout Midtown Manhattan and beyond, get the care they need to diagnose and manage heart murmurs for better overall health. Call the New York City office or request an appointment online today.
Heart Murmur Q & A
What causes heart murmurs?
A heart murmur is an irregular sound that occurs during a normal heartbeat. Heart murmurs sound like a soft swishing noise that occurs alongside the normal “lub-dub” sounds of a healthy heartbeat. The swish is the sound of the irregular movement of blood in the heart. Murmurs can be caused by different factors, including:
- High blood pressure
- Thyroid disease
- Congenital defects
- Heart valve stenosis (thickening or narrowing of the valve)
- Prolapse, which occurs when one of the heart's valves doesn't close properly
- Heart valve regurgitation, which occurs when blood flows backward through a valve
How do you identify or diagnose a heart murmur?
Heart murmurs can be detected with a routine checkup using a stethoscope to listen to the way the heart is beating. Additional testing may be prescribed to provide additional information, including chest x-rays, electrocardiograms to monitor the heart's electrical activity or, and most importantly echocardiograms, which use ultrasound to observe the way the heart is functioning.
A Holter monitor may also be ordered to keep track of the heart's electrical activity over a longer period, typically a day or so. Blood tests also may be prescribed to check for underlying diseases that may be causing the murmur.
How are heart murmurs treated?
Many types of murmurs do not require treatment, and sometimes, a murmur can disappear on its own. When murmurs are caused by underlying medical problems like anemia or thyroid disease, the murmur will often subside once those conditions are treated.
Murmurs that are caused by heart valve problems and murmurs that can increase the risk of clot formation or heart problems need special treatment, which can include medication or surgery to correct valve problems. Many types of valve surgeries can be performed using minimally-invasive techniques that are associated with fewer risks compared to traditional types of surgery.
If you feel that your heartbeat is irregular or have experienced chest pain, or have been told that you have a heart murmur, make an appointment with Dr. Meyer at Madison Avenue Cardiovascular today.