Heart problems that don’t have noticeable symptoms are often referred to as "silent" or asymptomatic heart conditions.
These conditions may go unnoticed because they don’t typically present with signs and symptoms associated with heart problems, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or palpitations.
However, they can still pose serious health risks and may require specialty care. That’s why integrative cardiologist Yogesh Paliwal, MD, and his team at Indus Cardiology provide cardiology consultations and preventive care strategies focused on your heart health.
Check this information from Indus Cardiology about silent heart problems that require a doctor’s attention.
1. Hypertension (high blood pressure)
High blood pressure, often called the "silent killer," can damage blood vessels and organs without causing noticeable symptoms.
Regular blood pressure monitoring is essential to detect and manage hypertension, as it can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular complications.
2. High cholesterol
Cholesterol can accumulate in arteries and form plaques, restricting blood flow to the heart and other organs. However, high cholesterol usually doesn’t cause symptoms until blockages in the arteries are severe.
Regular cholesterol screenings are essential to detect and manage this risk factor for heart disease.
Arrhythmias are abnormal heart rhythms that can cause the heart to beat too fast, too slow, or irregularly. Arrhythmias may not produce symptoms or just a brief sensation that your heart has skipped a beat (palpitations).
Most arrhythmias are intermittent or mild. However, severe arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation can lead to fainting, dizziness, or shortness of breath and require urgent medical intervention.
Otherwise, Dr. Paliwal recommends scheduling a visit if you’ve noticed an increase or concerning change in palpitations.
4. Heart valve disease
Heart valve disease occurs when valves that regulate blood flow in the heart don’t function properly. Some forms of heart valve disease may not cause noticeable symptoms, especially in the early stages.
Common risk factors for heart valve disease include:
- Age, more common over age 65
- Elevated cholesterol
- Family history of valve disease
Regular cardiac evaluations, including echocardiograms, can help detect heart valve disease and prevent complications if you’re at risk of heart valve disease.
5. Congenital heart defects
Congenital heart defects are present at birth and can affect the heart’s structure and function. Some congenital heart defects are easily recognized, often during pregnancy or shortly after birth.
However, other defects may not cause symptoms until adulthood. Regular medical checkups and imaging tests can help detect congenital heart defects that require treatment.
6. Heart failure
Although heart failure does eventually cause symptoms, many people attribute its early warning signs to other conditions.
For instance, increasing fatigue, shortness of breath, and swelling in the feet and legs are common signs of heart failure. However, these symptoms may also indicate physical deconditioning, increased stress, or sleep disturbance.
It's important to note that heart problems that don’t have symptoms can still have serious health consequences if left untreated, including heart attack, stroke, and other life-threatening illnesses.
How are silent heart problems diagnosed?
At Indus Cardiology, Dr. Paliwal offers cardiac consultations and preventive screenings to identify early or asymptomatic cardiovascular disease.
Based on your risk factors, your evaluation may include stress testing, lab tests, and other studies, such as an echocardiogram, to assess your heart function.
Dr. Paliwal then works with you to develop an effective treatment strategy or preventive action plan that minimizes future cardiovascular risks and protects your overall health.
Even without symptoms, you may require medication or other therapies for such issues as hypertension or elevated cholesterol.
Protect your heart health. Schedule a visit with Dr. Paliwal at Indus Cardiology in Pomona, Montclair, or West Covina, California.