Atrial Septal Defect (ASD): Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and Health
Atrial septal defect (ASD) is a type of congenital heart defect in which a hole in the wall between the two upper chambers of the heart (atria) exists. ASD can be present at birth and range in severity, from mild to severe. It’s estimated that a one in every 1,000 children is born with an ASD.
The cause of ASD is not known, but some factors may be linked to a higher risk of developing it. These include: family history of heart defects, genetic conditions such as Down syndrome, or exposure to certain drugs, alcohol, or other substances during pregnancy.
Symptoms of ASD vary and may include: shortness of breath, fatigue, or rapid breathing. They can also include: a heart murmur (noisy sound heard with a stethoscope) due to blood going from the left atrium of the heart to the right, rapid or irregular heart rate, and difficulty gaining weight.
Treatment for ASD depends on the severity and type of the defect. If it’s mild, no treatment may be necessary. In more serious cases, a catheterization procedure can be used to close the hole. Surgery may also be necessary to repair the defect.
People with ASD are at risk for stroke, heart failure, and other cardiac complications. An annual checkup with a cardiologist is important in order to monitor and manage health risks. Living with ASD also means taking precautions to prevent infections, such as the flu and other respiratory viruses.
Keywords: Atrial Septal Defect, ASD, Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Health Risks, Flu, Respiratory Viruses.