Due to congenital heart defects, there may be a change in the normal blood flow through the heart. These defects are of many types which can range from simple defects with no occurrence of symptoms to complex defects with the occurrence of severe symptoms that can be life threatening. The most common type of birth defects are the congenital heart defects. These defects occur in 8 out of every 1,000 newborns. Simple defects doesn’t require treatment or can be easily fixed. But a proper congenital heart disease diagnosis is needed for some infants with complex defects along with special medical care.
Congenital Heart Disease Diagnosis
Doctors are able to diagnose some defects before the birth of the baby. While others can be detected in infants, kids or adults. In order to check your health, the doctor first listens to your heartbeat. If there is an unusual sound, then the doctor may prescribe more tests like the following:
- Echocardiogram – It is a type of ultrasound that takes images of your heart. Different types of ECG are available, so check with your doctor on what you can expect.
- Electrocardiogram – helps to measure the electrical activity of the heart.
- Chest X-ray – helps to reveal signs of heart failure.
- MRI – This scan helps the doctors to have look at the structure of the heart.
- Cardiac catheterization – In this procedure, the doctor will send a thin and flexible tube to reach your heart through a blood vessel in your arm or leg. The doctor will put a dye through the catheter and then with the help of X-ray videos will be able to view inside of your heart.
Congenital Heart Disease Treatment
Some simple defects require no treatment while some complex defects may require medications or surgery or any other procedure. In case you have a congenital heart disease, you will have to consult a cardiologist regularly. People with congenital heart defects will experience endocarditis, a condition in which there is inflammation of the inner layer of the heart particularly in cases where surgery was done to repair or replace the heart.
In order to protect yourself, you can do the following:
- Inform your doctor and dentist about your congenital heart disease
- Visit your dentist regularly and take proper care of your teeth and gums to avoid infections.
- Consult your doctor immediately if you have any symptoms of an infection like fever, sore throat or body aches.
- It is best to take antibiotics before any medical work that can cause bleeding like most surgeries or dental work. But, do check with your doctor first on the type and amount of antibiotics you should take.