Congenital heart problems are those that are concerned with the heart’s structure but that have been present since birth. Congenital as defined means that you are born with it. CHD Medical care has gotten better than ever, with congenital heart disease being easier to cure. CHD is essentially the cause of congenital heart defects. They can change the way blood flows through your heart, and may not even cause any problems. Some defects can cause life-threatening complications.
What is a Congenital Heart Defect?
Congenital heart defects (CHD), are also known as congenital heart anomalies. These are defects in the structure of the heart or great vessels that are present at birth.
Types of Congenital Heart Disease
There are many different types of congenital heart defects, but in general, they are typically divided into three main categories:
- Heart valve defects: These valves inside the heart direct blood flow. They sometimes close up or leak and this affects the heart’s ability to pump blood correctly.
- Heart wall defects: When the natural walls that exist between the left and right sides do not develop correctly, the upper and lower chambers of the heart can cause blood to back up. This goes into the heart and may build up in places where it doesn’t belong. This puts more pressure on the heart, which requires it to work harder. Often this leads to high blood pressure.
- Blood vessel defects: The arteries and veins in your body carry blood to the heart and back out to the body. If these do not work properly, they can reduce or block blood flow. This leads to different health complications.
Advances in Diagnosis
There have been major advances in both diagnosis and treatment that allow babies to survive with congenital heart disease. It even allows them to live long lives. Sometimes, the signs of congenital heart disease are not even seen until you’re an adult. You will most likely need care throughout your life if you suffer from CHD, but it is still livable.
Signs and Symptoms of CHD
Signs and symptoms of CHD and severe defects in newborns include:
- Rapid breathing
- Bluish tint to the skin, lips, and fingernails (known as Cyanosis)
- Poor blood circulation
There are many types of congenital heart defects, and most cause no symptoms. They are typically not diagnosed until many years later, and some do not even need treatment. Despite this, there are various forms of treatment. These might include different medications, catheter procedures, and even surgery, or heart transplants. The treatment that each individual needs will depend on the type of defect, as well as its severity, and the overall health of the person who is suffering from the condition.