Health Watch: What heart sounds tell us

Published: Dec. 30, 2020 at 6:19 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) -In this week’s edition of Health Watch, Mayo Clinic reporter, Vivien Williams, talks with cardiologist Dr. Kyle Klarich about the significance of our heart sounds. Mayo Clinic cardiologist Dr. Kyle Klarich says heart sounds give doctors clues about your heart health. “The normal heart just makes two sounds. Lub and dub. The most important thing doctors are listening for is, are you in rhythm? And the second most important thing is, are you having any kind of sounds that are abnormal,” said Klarich.

Mainly, doctors listen for heart murmurs. “A murmur is simply a sound that we hear like a whoosh. So it’s, sh, sh,” Klarich said. Murmurs happen when blood becomes turbulent as it moves through vessels, or it moves through a leaky or stiff valve. “A lot of patients will say that when they hear they have a murmur they’re afraid that that’s something wrong with their heart. And a lot of murmurs are not worrisome,” said Klarich.

But if your doctor hears a particularly loud murmur that’s accompanied by symptoms such as shortness of breath, he or she may do further tests such as an echocardiogram to help determine treatment you might need.

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