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Categories > Heart Health > Heart diease: Other heart conditions

What’s that murmur?

When your healthcare provider listens to your heartbeat, one of the things he or she is looking for is a heart murmur, an extra or odd sound that may be due to heart valve problems or congenital heart defects (a heart defect you were born with).

Innocent or abnormal?

Murmurs are broken into two categories, innocent and abnormal. Innocent murmurs occur when blood flows faster through the heart. They’re common among kids and are generally harmless. Abnormal murmurs are more serious. They’re caused by congenital heart disease, infections and conditions that damage your heart’s structure, such as mitral valve prolapse, a problem in which a valve between your heart’s chambers doesn’t close correctly.

Monitoring your murmur

Innocent murmurs usually aren’t treated, because there’s no problem with the heart. If you have an abnormal murmur, your healthcare provider may simply want to monitor you or he or she may recommend drugs, surgery or other treatments to help heal the murmur.