Aortic Stenosis > Symptoms

Symptoms of Aortic Stenosis

Many symptoms of aortic stenosis may be confused with ageing, however, a significant decline in activity level over a short period of time should be a concern for referring physicians.

What are the Symptoms of Aortic Stenosis?

Heart valve disease symptoms can present as mild to severe.

It is important to remember that not all patients with severe aortic stenosis suffer obvious symptoms, however on more in-depth questioning, it is often found that the patient’s activity levels have declined over time without them realising.

It’s estimated that up to 32% of patients may be symptomatic when asked.

Some symptoms and red flags of Aortic Stenosis may include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest Pain
  • Fatigue (low energy)
  • Light-headedness,
  • Dizziness and or fainting
  • Difficulty while exercising
  • Swollen ankles and feet
  • Rapid or irregular heart beat1

Many live with the debilitating symptoms of severe aortic stenosis, impacting their quality of life, adding considerable costs to the healthcare system2.


Main Causes of Aortic Stenosis

Calcium Build-up

In most elderly adults, aortic stenosis is caused by a build-up of calcium on the valve leaflets. Over time, this causes the leaflets to become stiff, reducing their ability to fully open and close.

Birth Defects

A normal aortic valve contains three leaflets. But sometimes people are born with an aortic valve that has one, two, or four leaflets. When defects are present, the aortic valve may leak, and this can cause valve problems.

Rheumatic Fever

Sometimes strep throat can lead to rheumatic fever which can cause scar tissue to form within the heart. When this happens, the aortic valve may not be able to open and close as it normally should.3


Learn More About The Treatment Options For Aortic Stenosis For Australians

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  1. Mayo Clinic Staff
  2. Nishimura R, Otto C, Bonow R, et al. 2014 AHA/ACC Guideline for the Management of Patients with Valvular Heart Disease. J AM Coll Cardiol. 2014;63(22):57-185.
  3. Cleveland Clinic