Most cases of mitral stenosis can be prevented by preventing rheumatic fever:
- Treat strep throat infections promptly to avoid rheumatic fever, which can cause scarring of the heart valve; always finish all of the antibiotics prescribed, even if you feel better before taking all of the doses.
In addition, there are several things you can do to try to avoid some of the complications of mitral stenosis:
- Get regular medical care, including checkups and periodic electrocardiograms.
- Take antibiotics before any dental cleaning, dental work, or other invasive procedures. This will help prevent infection of the heart valve.
- If your valve problem was caused by rheumatic fever, talk to your doctor about antibiotic treatment to prevent future episodes of rheumatic fever.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and drugs (like decongestants) that speed up your heart rate; these will only worsen your symptoms.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Follow your doctor’s recommendations for exercise.
- Ask your doctor about cutting back on salt; this may help decrease the pressure in your heart and improve your symptoms.
- Monitor your blood pressure, and inform your healthcare provider if you seem to be developing high blood pressure , which can worsen your symptoms.