Heart Murmurs

Pediatrician Specialty Practices

A Private Pediatric Practice & Pediatric Cardiologist located in Federal Way, WA

Detecting heart murmurs and knowing if they’re cause for concern can prevent serious medical complications. At Pediatrician Specialty Practices in Federal Way and Puyallup, Washington, Nauman Ahmad, MD, FAAP, and his expert team can diagnose and treat the cause of heart murmurs when necessary. If you or your child is at risk of heart murmurs or has been diagnosed with a heart problem, call Pediatrician Specialty Practices or book an appointment online today.

Heart Murmurs Q & A

What are heart murmurs?

A heart murmur is a whooshing or swishing sound caused by turbulent blood within or near the heart. Dr. Ahmad can detect heart murmurs using a stethoscope during a routine physical exam. Murmurs might be present at birth or develop later in life. They may be harmless or the sign of a heart defect.

What are the symptoms of a heart problem?

Innocent heart murmurs usually don’t produce any signs or symptoms. However, the cause of abnormal heart murmurs might lead to:

  • Shortness of breath
  • A chronic cough
  • Bluish skin
  • Enlarged liver
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Swelling
  • Enlarged neck veins
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Chest pain
  • Heavy sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased blood oxygen
  • Chest pain
  • Cold hands and feet

In infants, heart murmurs can cause poor appetite or failure to grow. If you notice any of these symptoms, call the Pediatrician Specialty Practices team for an evaluation.

Which heart conditions can cause heart murmurs?

Some of the many heart conditions associated with heart murmurs in children include:

  • Atrial septal defects (ASD): hole between the upper two heart chambers
  • Ventricular septal defects (VSD): hole between the bottom two heart chambers
  • Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF): four heart defects that cause decreased blood oxygen
  • Double outlet right ventricle: aorta attaches to the right ventricle
  • Transposition of great arteries: pulmonary artery and aorta positions get switched
  • Anomalous pulmonary venous return: pulmonary veins flow into the right atrium
  • Tricuspid atresia: tricuspid valve doesn’t form
  • Hypoplastic left heart: left side of the heart is smaller than normal

Detecting heart defects early and seeking treatment when necessary is the best way to avoid serious medical problems.

How does my provider diagnose heart murmurs?

To diagnose the cause of heart murmurs and determine the most appropriate course of action, Dr. Ahmad and his team review your child’s medical history and ask about their symptoms. He completes a physical examination and listens to your child’s heartbeat using a stethoscope. 

Dr. Ahmad also uses ultrasound waves during an echocardiogram to view detailed images of the heart’s structure and function. He may recommend chest X-rays or an electrocardiogram (EKG) to record electrical impulses within the heart and look for heart rhythm irregularities.

What are common treatments for heart murmurs?

Not all congenital heart defects or other causes of heart murmurs require treatment. For those that do, Dr. Ahmad might recommend your child take medication, undergo a surgical procedure, or receive a heart transplant.

At the first sign of a heart murmur or congenital heart defect, see the Pediatrician Specialty Practices team for an evaluation. Call either office today or schedule an appointment online.