Congenital Heart Disease in Teens

Adolescence can be a challenge to teenagers all over, especially those who suffer from chronic illnesses such as chronic heart disease (or CHD).  Not only they have to be concerned about your first acne, but also how their illness can affect your relationship with family and friends.  If you know of a teen who suffers from congenital heart disease, here are some vital information you need to know to under his or her condition.

CHD starts before birth

A congenital heart disease is a heart defect that is present from birth.  About eight in every 1,000 babies are born with a condition that affects their heart or blood vessels.  CHD can be traced through faulty genes that are passed down from their parents, a mother’s health during pregnancy, as well as other infections like German measles.

The body is affected by CHD in different ways

There are a variety of conditions that can be considered as a congenital heart disease.  The most common conditions include:  opening in the internal wall of the heart; narrowing of heart valves; narrowing of the main artery of the body; blocking in the pathways between the heart and lungs; and abnormal connections between the chambers and vessels of the heart.

Symptoms of CHD

Babies and young people who have CHD usually have a bluish color to their skin, which is caused by the failure to pump enough oxygen around their body.  Young people with CHD may be short of breath, even when resting, which can make them get dizzy easily.

How it is diagnosed?

About one-quarter CHD cases are diagnosed before birth, as ultrasound scans can pick up if babies have an irregular heart beat.  Most cases, meanwhile, are diagnosed after birth, usually once a heart murmur is heard before the baby reaches one.  Several tests are also being taken to determine the extent of the child’s heart condition.

How it is treated?

Congenital heart disease is usually treated by heart surgery, although there are some cases when the condition cause no problems at all and make a full recovery before they are adults.