October 2, 2023

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Issues That Echocardiograms Detect

Echocardiogram | Heart Care | Intermountain Healthcare

Heart disease is quickly becoming the leading cause of death in America. According to the CDC, one person dies every 34 seconds from it. To make things worse, you can have heart problems without realizing it. Fortunately, you can check for such issues by undergoing an echocardiogram Upper East Side.

The test uses sound waves to produce images of your heart. These photos help identify the exact heart problem and remedy the issue. What heart issues can echocardiograms detect, exactly? Without further ado, here they are below.

Heart Defects

Heart defects have to do with the unusual formation of the heart and major blood vessels. They normally begin right from birth. Thankfully, children with heart defects can still live long lives with the right medical care and treatment. Since the heart has an abnormal shape, it interferes with how blood flows through it and to the rest of the body. Symptoms of heart defects include sleepiness, tiredness, blue-tinted nails and lips, and difficulty breathing.

Doctors correct the issue through surgery. If they are so serious, the surgeon may perform more than one surgery. On the other hand, doctors use cardiac catheterization for cases when surgery is not necessary. 

Change in Heart Size

There are varying reasons why you may have an enlarged heart. It can be due to thyroid disorders, anemia, hypertension, or cardiomyopathy (diseases affecting the heart muscle). The symptoms brought about by a large heart include fainting, chest pain, shortness of breath, and discomfort around the arms, neck, and stomach.

Surgeons employ various methods to remedy the heart. If the problem is due to heart valve disease or blockage in the coronary arteries, they will use surgery. Another method they can use is giving you a pacemaker, which is a device that sends out electrical impulses that help a slow-beating heart to beat at normal intervals.

Valve Problems

Doctors check to see whether the valves open or close properly. If they do not, blood will not flow to the rest of the organs. People with valve problems experience abdominal swelling, swelling on the feet, chest pain, fatigue, and shortness of breath. If you do not address these issues soon enough, you will receive complications such as stroke, heart failure, and clots, which can all lead to death.

Doctors can treat this condition by tightening valves with an artificial ring. Also, they can replace the affected valve with a mechanical one.

Pumping Weakness

A heart that does not pump blood to the rest of the body signals heart failure. As a result, blood flows back to the heart and can fill up the lungs, causing shortness of breath. Other symptoms you will get include persistent coughs, abdominal swelling, fatigue, weight gain, chest pain, and nausea.

The remedy for heart failure is medications that contain Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. They lower blood pressure and decrease strain on the heart.

Damage to Heart Muscles

Damaged muscles interfere with electrical signals that control the heart. A sign that they have been ruined is the presence of plaque buildup in the walls. Its symptoms include angina, pain, and lightheadedness.

People with damaged heart muscles can treat that by using certain medications or surgery.


Following the high risk of contracting heart disease, it makes sense to go for an echocardiogram. It is an effective test that detects any heart issues. Besides being able to detect various problems, it is safe since it does not use radiation and is non-invasive. These two reasons should be enough to start caring for your heart. The heart is not like your limb. Remember, if you lose an arm, you can still live normally. However, you cannot say the same when your heart stops working.