People who have congenital heart disease are born with this condition but many individuals do not show any signs of heart defects until they are adults. Some people have heart procedures performed when they are infants or children and when they reach adulthood they often start showing symptoms of heart issues.
Individuals who had heart surgery as a child can develop heart arrhythmias due to the buildup of scar tissue at the surgical site. When a person has a heart arrhythmia, their heart may beat too slow, too fast or abnormally. When adults have congenital heart disease they are at risk of developing pulmonary hypertension, endocarditis and heart failure.
Adults who have congenital heart disease will have various symptoms that are an indication they need to visit a medical professional.
These symptoms include dizzy spells, passing out, swollen ankles, irregular heartbeat, tiredness and being out of breath during physical activities. Some adults will sweat excessively and even experience chest pains when they have congenital heart disease. The heart may begin to beat very quickly and a person’s breathing pattern may also increase. Cyanosis, which causes the skin to appear blue because of bad circulation or a decrease of oxygen in the blood, may also be present.
After an examination, the physician may prescribe a medication if the heart defects are not too serious. Some drugs assist the heart as it functions and other prescriptions are needed to keep adults from getting blood clots. Many adults have heart devices, such as a pacemaker and an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, implanted in their body to aid the heart. Catheterization procedures are commonly performed to make repairs to the heart without cutting into the chest cavity. When necessary, some adults must have open heart surgery to fix the defects in the heart.