Aortic stenosis is a condition that occurs when the aortic valve in the heart becomes narrowed and compromises blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body. It typically occurs in elderly patients due to a gradual thickening and build-up of calcium on the valve over time. However, young patients may develop aortic stenosis if born with an abnormal valve that degenerates prematurely. Patients may live with aortic stenosis for some time; however, when they start to experience symptoms, replacement of the aortic valve is generally necessary.
Patients with severe aortic stenosis may experience symptoms, such as:
- Severe shortness of breath - even at rest
- Chest pain or tightness
- Extreme fatigue
- Difficulty exercising
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat