Congenital Heart Defects (CHDs) is one of the most common birth anomalies in newborns. As per an estimate, every year, nearly 200,000 children are born with congenital heart disease in India. However, not all CHD are life-threatening, and with timely diagnosis and care, parents can ensure a healthy and normal life for their children.
Congenital heart diseases are primarily classified into two types i.e., Cyanotic and Acyanotic CHD. In Cyanotic CHD, the heart starts circulating oxygen-deficient blood to other parts of the body. Lower than normal oxygen levels in the blood turn the skin bluish or purplish. Contrary to this, Acyanotic CHD blocks blood flow from the left side to the right side of the heart. In the worst of cases, acyanotic CHD can damage atrial or ventricular walls, heart valves, or large blood vessels.
CHD symptoms may appear soon after birth or during the later stages of childhood. Though not all cases are life-threatening, CHD can lead to major complications in the heart walls, valves, and blood vessels during later stages of life. With timely diagnosis and effective lifestyle changes, children with CHD can easily lead a healthy normal life. Early diagnosis plays a crucial role in timely CHD treatment and care. In this blog, we share some common symptoms of congenital heart defects in infants, children, and adults.
Congenital Heart Disease Symptoms
They are no particular symptoms for heart-related problems from birth. In fact, at times, individuals find out about their heart-related anomalies much later during adulthood. Heart care specialists suggest that shortness of breath or fatigue during physical activity without any specific reason can be signs of congenital heart diseases. Usually, doctors suggest diagnosis like chest X-ray or ECG to confirm CHD. Other than sudden fatigue and breathlessness, few other symptoms can indicate heart anomalies in newborns and children. These include:
● Trouble in breathing.
● Loss of appetite or difficulty in feeding.
● The bluish or pale gray color of lips, skin, fingers, and toes.
● Lower than normal weight during birth or infancy.
● Complaints of chest pain.
● Slower or delayed growth.
In any of the above cases, parents must proactively consult a doctor as early diagnosis of CHD is essential for ensuring fewer complications in the long term. Further, for adults who are carrying congenital heart diseases, the following symptoms necessitate an immediate visit to the doctor.
● Sudden abnormal heartbeats coupled difficulty in breathing.
● Feeling dizzy or unsteady without any good reason.
● Swelling of body tissue or organs (edema).
A Few Words For Parents
It is normal to be disheartened to find out that your child has congenital heart disease, but as a parent, you should know that proper care and a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce CHD related complications. In critical cases, surgery has proved effective in ensuring a healthy and normal heartbeat for children with CHD. Medipulse has conducted several pediatric cardiac surgeries and intervention procedures with near 100% success rate. The department is led by highly renowned and reputed pediatric cardiologist Dr. Himanshu, along with other team of experts. Together with their expertise, they have helped children and adults with CHD live a happy and healthy life.