Also known as: Chest sounds - murmurs, Heart sounds - abnormal, Murmur - innocent, Innocent murmur, Systolic heart murmur or Diastolic heart murmur -- A heart murmur is a blowing, whooshing, or rasping sound heard during a heartbeat. The sound is caused by turbulent (rough) blood flow through the heart valves or near the heart.
Murmurs can happen for many reasons, such as:
- When a valve does not close tightly and blood leaks backward (regurgitation)
- When blood flows through a narrowed or stiff heart valve (stenosis)
Detecting and Diagnosing Heart Murmurs
Even though most heart murmurs are harmless, those that aren't can be a sign of serious heart problems to come. While many defects can be treated successfully during childhood, adults often need additional consultations, procedures or medications later in life.
Many heart murmurs are harmless. These types of murmurs are called innocent murmurs. They will not cause any symptoms or problems. Innocent murmurs DO NOT need treatment.
However, other heart murmurs may indicate an abnormality in the heart.
- Have other family members had murmurs or other abnormal heart sounds?
- Do you have a family history of heart problems?
- Do you have chest pain, fainting, shortness of breath, or other breathing problems?
- Have you had swelling, weight gain, or bulging veins in the neck?
- Does your skin have a bluish color?
If you answered "yes" to any of the questions above, it might be time to check with a qualified cardiologist at Scripps Health.
Are you experiencing symptoms of a heart murmur? Call us today so we can help you find the right doctor near you: 858-703-5591