Have you ever wondered what your doctor is actually listening for when he or she uses a stethoscope to check your heart? Listening closely to your heart can give your doctor a wealth of information—for example, how hard or frequently it is beating and how your heart valves sound when they open and close.
The normal heartbeat is said to make a “lubb-dupp” sound as your heart valves close. But sometimes doctors can hear an extra sound. This unusual swishing or whooshing sound is called a heart murmur. More often than not, heart murmurs are harmless and don’t require any treatment. In fact, many people don’t even know they have a heart murmur unless their doctor tells them.
However, some heart murmurs can be a sign of a heart problem, usually due to damage to the valves that help direct the flow of blood within and out of the heart. There are a number of tests to help identify the exact cause of a heart murmur.
Even if your heart murmur is considered normal, make sure to take care of your heart. Use this condition center to learn more about heart murmur, create a list of questions to ask your health care provider, and much more.