Congenital heart disease is trouble with the structure of the heart that exists since birth. Congenital as a definition means “born with the defect”. This is why CHD is also referred to as a congenital heart defect. It can also change the way blood flows through your heart. Some congenital heart defects often do not cause problems, while complex defects can cause complications that are life-threatening.
Advances in diagnosis and treatment have allowed babies with congenital heart disease to survive for long lives, but sometimes the signs of congenital heart disease can not be seen until you are an adult. This is why it is important to learn About Congenital Heart Disease.
If you have congenital heart disease then you most likely will need constant care throughout your life, but you will need to work with your doctor to understand how regularly.
Types of Congenital Heart Disease
- Atrial Septal Defect
- Atrioventricular Septal Defect
- Coarctation of the Aorta
- Double-outlet Right Ventricle
- d-Transposition of the Great Arteries
- Ebstein Anomaly
- Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
- Interrupted Aortic Arch
- Pulmonary Atresia
- Single Ventricle
- Tetralogy of Fallot
- Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return
- Tricuspid Atresia
- Truncus Arteriosus
- Ventricular Septal Defect
Signs and Symptoms of Congenital Heart Disease
Signs and symptoms for CHDs will depend on the type of defect. While some defects have few symptoms or even none, others may cause babies the following symptoms:
- Blue-tinted nails or lips
- Fast or troubled breathing
- Tiredness when feeding
Treatment for CHD
Treatment for CHD will depend on the situation. Infants and children may need surgeries as well in order to repair both the heart or blood vessels. Some CHDs can be treated without surgery using cardiac catheterization. This is by using a catheter and threading it through the blood vessels into the heart. Often times doctors can take measurements and repair the problem, but other times it can not be fully repaired. Despite this, these procedures usually improve blood flow and improve how the heart works.
Causes of Congenital Heart Disease
The causes of CHDs among most babies are unknown. Some believe it is due to changes in individual genes, or chromosomes. CHD is also thought to be caused by a combination of genes or other factors. These include the mother’s diet, the mother’s health conditions, or the mother’s medication use during pregnancy. If a mother has diabetes this is known to be linked to heart defects in the baby, as well as obesity. Smoking during pregnancy is also known to be linked to heart defects.
Living with a CHD
Medical and treatments are advanced, meaning living with a CHD is possible. This is why it is important to learn about Congenital Heart Disease, because an estimated two million individuals in the United States are living with a CHD. Contact us to learn more today.