Mitral Valve Prolapse

What is Mitral Valve Prolapse?

When individuals have this condition the mitral valve flaps in the heart fail to close correctly. As the heart pumps blood, the flaps protrude up into the atrium and this can cause a tiny quantity of blood to escape out of the valve in the reverse direction.

There is no known cause for Mitral Valve Prolapse, but it is believed that it is inherited for some individuals who have Marfan’s syndrome. Another cause is attributed to dysautonomia, which is a nervous system disorder. A large number of individuals who have mitral valve prolapse have also been diagnosed with dysautonomia.

What are the Symptoms of Mitral Valve Prolapse?

People who have mitral valve prolapse usually never experience any symptoms and this condition rarely causes any serious health issues.

Symptoms include

Chest pains may occur in some individuals but this symptom is not the sign of a heart attack. People who are having stress in their life are more prone to having some kinds of symptoms when they have mitral valve prolapse. These symptoms include heart palpitations, dizzy spells, feeling short of breath, tiredness and lack of energy. If blood begins to leak from the malfunctioning valve in the opposite direction, individuals may have additional symptoms. These include severe headaches, coughing and feelings of anxiousness.

How is Mitral Valve Prolapse Treated?

Mitral valve prolapse normally does not require any special treatment, unless other problems arise from this condition.

Treatments include

To ensure that no issues develop, individuals should get plenty of exercise, refrain from consuming caffeinated foods and drinks, and practice relaxation activities that will reduce stress.

People who have numerous episodes of heart palpitations may be prescribed beta blockers, which slow down the heart rate. Individuals who are diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse should schedule a visit with a cardiologist every couple of years. If the symptoms get worse or new symptoms appear, individuals should visit their physician for an echocardiography test.

Last Reviewed:
October 07, 2016
Last Updated:
August 31, 2017