WELCOME TO THE ARTERIOVENOUS MALFORMATION (AVM) COMMUNITY: This Patient-To-Patient Community is for discussions relating to Arteriovenous Malformations, which are defects of the circulatory system that are generally believed to arise during embryonic or fetal development or soon after birth. They are comprised of snarled tangles of arteries and veins.
To prevent heart valve disease caused by rheumatic fever, see your doctor if you have signs of a strep infection. These signs include a red and painful sore throat, fever, and white spots on your tonsils.
If you do have a strep infection, be sure to take all medicines prescribed to treat it. Prompt treatment of strep infections can prevent rheumatic fever, which damages heart valves.
It's possible that exercise, diet, and medicines that lower cholesterol also might prevent aortic stenosis (thickening and stiffening of the aortic valve). Researchers continue to study this possibility.
A heart healthy eating plan, physical activity, other lifestyle measures, or medicines aimed at preventing a heart attack, high blood pressure, or heart failure also might help prevent heart valve disease.
If you've had previous heart valve disease and now have a man-made valve, you may be at higher risk for a heart infection called endocarditis. Floss and brush your teeth regularly. Gum infections and tooth decay can cause endocarditis.
Let your doctors and dentists know if you have a man-made valve or if you've had endocarditis before. They may give you antibiotics before medical or dental procedures (such as surgery or dental cleanings) that could allow bacteria to enter your bloodstream. Talk to your doctor about whether you need to take antibiotics before such procedures.
Author/Source: National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute, Division of the National Institutes of Health [NIH]
Retrieved: June 2008