What are Heart Murmur Symptoms?

Mary McMahon

Heart murmur symptoms are only seen with some heart murmurs and include a constellation of signs suggestive of poor circulation. Often, the heart murmur is diagnosed before symptoms emerge, since it can readily be heard on a physical examination. If symptoms change or worsen, it is a sign that the heart is working harder and it may be time to consider some treatment options. A cardiologist oversees care for a patient with a heart murmur.

A heart murmur may be diagnosed during a routine exam.
A heart murmur may be diagnosed during a routine exam.

Heart murmurs are changes in the heart sound caused by the way the blood moves through the valves of the heart. Many are harmless, and are simply natural variations in heart function. People with innocent heart murmurs, as they are known, usually do not have any symptoms and the abnormal heart sound is identified and noted during a routine examination. In other cases, a heart murmur is a sign of a problem with a valve in the heart, ranging from a congenital defect to disease, and the patient develops symptoms indicative of an impaired circulatory system.

Holes in the heart may cause a heart murmur.
Holes in the heart may cause a heart murmur.

Some common heart murmur symptoms include a bluish tinge to the skin, especially at the extremities, along with shortness of breath, fast breathing, chest pain, dizziness, fatigue, fainting, enlarged neck veins, lack of interest in food, and enlarged neck veins. These heart murmur symptoms are associated with the heart's struggle to circulate blood effectively. People with dangerous heart murmurs usually have difficulty exercising and may experience pain and discomfort when engaging in strenuous or stressful activities.

In patients with an innocent heart murmur identified during an examination, a doctor may recommend some testing to learn more about the heart's function and to confirm that the patient is healthy. The patient may also be advised about heart murmur symptoms so that he or she is aware of the warning signs of a developing problem. Patients who have a heart murmur and symptoms will also need testing to find out why the heart is having trouble pumping blood normally, and treatment options such as medications and surgery can be considered.

While it can be frightening to receive a diagnosis of a heart murmur, it is important to be aware that many people live healthy, active lives with murmurs and are sometimes entirely unaware of them. A cardiologist can be consulted to learn more about a specific murmur and to provide advice and recommendations to help the patient stay healthy. Patients may also find it helpful to talk to other people with murmurs to learn more about living with a heart murmur and coping with heart murmur symptoms.

Some people experience heart murmur as a result of heart valve disease.
Some people experience heart murmur as a result of heart valve disease.

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Discussion Comments


My name is Reagan and I'm 18. I just found out I have a heart murmur. I guess I never really paid attention to the bluish tint at my ankles that appeared here recently, and I guess I thought the fatigue and everything were just me not getting enough sleep. I was just worried because of the chest pains, since they were waking me up at night.

I can't wait until I get the Echocardiogram and plain exercise stress test done, so I can find out whether the heart murmur is innocent or needs treated/fixed.


@orangey03 – You should definitely see a doctor. You might have an underlying condition that is causing your murmur, like anemia or high blood pressure. In either case, you could take medicine and change your diet a little and recover completely.

Even if some other defect is causing your heart murmur, you need to know about it. There are surgeries that could fix the problem and a variety of medications that could help.

My mother went through a battery of tests to determine the source of her heart murmur. It wound up being something that could be treated with pills, and now all her symptoms are gone.


I hope I don't have a heart murmur. I stay dizzy and fatigued most of the time, and it is hard for me to catch my breath after even a little amount of exercise.

I haven't been to a doctor in years, because I haven't gotten sick enough to warrant a visit. I haven't had any blue extremities or big neck veins, and I still have my appetite, so maybe it isn't a heart murmur that is causing my symptoms.

If I do find out that I have one, is there any medicine that can do any good? I would hate to know that I had a condition that couldn't be controlled.


@lighth0se33 – I guess every dog heart murmur is different. I had a puppy with one, but it went away over time. When I took her in for her 3-year checkup, the vet said that she could hear no murmur.

My friend got a dog from the same litter with a more severe heart murmur. She had to put her dog on blood pressure medication to control it.

When the dog got old, her gums would turn blue at times, and she would have trouble breathing. The symptoms eventually got so bad that the dog couldn't remain conscious for very long at all.


My puppy was diagnosed with heart murmur, but she didn't have any of the normal dog heart murmur symptoms until much later in life. The vet told me that it was slight enough that she might get by without any trouble for a long time.

When she was about ten, she started hacking a lot, and she seemed to be trying to clear her throat. Whenever she would run and play and really exert herself, she would faint afterward.

Worried, I took her back to the vet. He had me put her on a special diet that would help her heart, and he said that I should try to keep her from playing too much.

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