February 7th-14th, Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week promotes awareness and education about congenital heart defects (CHD). According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 70,000 infants overall the world are born with a congenital heart defect. It is the most common types of birth defect. Currently, there are more than 2.4 million children and adults living with congenital heart defects. It is important for parents of children with a heart defect and adults living with a heart defect to consult with a heart doctor (cardiologist) regularly.
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Few congenital heart defects cause no signs or symptoms. some signs or symptoms occur later in life. A congenital heart defect may be gentle (such as a small hole in the heart) to intense (such as missing or poorly formed parts of the heart). Some heart defects can be diagnosed with Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week using a special type of ultrasound called a fetal echocardiogram. However, some might be detected during newborn screening using pulse oximetry, and others might be discovered during childhood or adulthood by clinical exam or when the person becomes symptomatic.
What is Congenital Heart Disease?
A congenital heart defect is a problem of the heart. It is present at birth. It can involve the walls of the heart, the valves of the heart, and the arteries and veins near the heart. They distort the normal flow of blood through the heart. The blood flow can slowly, go in the wrong direction or to the wrong place, or be blocked completely.
Problems which effects:
1. Heart walls
2. Heart valves
3. Blood vessels
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are currently 1 million adults and 1 million children living with congenital heart defects. The treatments and follow-up care for defects have improved over the past few years, so nearly all children with heart defects survive into adulthood.
What are the Types of Congenital Heart Disease?
There are mainly 3 types of congenital disease:
1. In Heart Valve DefectsÂ
The valves inside the heart that direct blood flow may close up or leak. It interferes with the heartâ€™s ability to pump blood correctly.
2. In Heart Wall Defects
The natural walls which exist between the left and right sides and the upper and lower chambers of the heart it may not develop correctly, which affect blood to back up into the heart or to build up in places. where it doesnâ€™t belong. It puts pressure on the heart to work harder, which may result in high blood pressure.
3. In Blood Vessel Defects
The arteries and veins that carry blood to the heart and back out to the body may not function correctly. It reduces or blocks blood flow, leading to various health complications.
What are the Symptoms of Congenital Heart Disease?
In a few cases, the symptoms of a congenital heart defect may not appear until shortly after birth. Newborns with heart defects may experience such as:
- Bluish lips, skin, and fingers
- Feeding difficulties
- Low birth weight
- Delayed growth
In some cases, the symptoms of a congenital heart defect may not appear until many years after birth. Once symptoms do develop, such as:
- Abnormal heart rhythms
- Trouble breathing
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What Causes Congenital Heart Defect?
Congenital heart disease appears as a result of an early developmental problem in the heartâ€™s structure. It typically interferes with the normal flow of blood through the heart, which may affect breathing.
- The heart defect may run in families.
- Taking certain drugs during pregnancy puts a child at a higher risk for a heart defect.
- Intake of alcohol or illegal drugs during pregnancy can increase a childâ€™s risk of having a heart defect.
- Mothers who have a viral infection during the first trimester of pregnancy are more likely to give birth to a child with a heart defect.
- Increased blood sugar levels, such as appears with diabetes, may affect childhood development.
How to Prevent Congenital Heart Disease?
There are a few ways to prevent congenital heart disease:
- If youâ€™re planning on becoming pregnant, so consult your doctor about any prescription or over-the-counter medications youâ€™re taking.
- If you have diabetes, make sure your blood sugar levels are under control before becoming pregnant. It is also important to work with your doctor to manage the disease during pregnancy.
- If you werenâ€™t vaccinated against rubella or German measles, avoid exposure to the disease affected person and speak with your doctor about prevention options.
- If you have a family history of congenital heart defects, ask your doctor about genetic screening. Few genes may contribute to abnormal heart development.
- Avoid drinking alcohol and using illegal drugs during pregnancy. Because it’s harmful to your health and the baby as well.
As we have discussed congenital heart disease, it is a birth heart disease, It’s symptoms, causes, and preventions. The best way to cure yourself is to take proper medications and proper diet. If you feel any of the above symptoms so consult a doctor as soon as possible. Take it seriously because it affects your heart, health and your baby as well.
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