If you follow a lot of movies, the one common ailment you definitely must have heard of is a “hole in the heart”. The condition sounds scary and ominous, especially in the context of children. So does this condition actually exist? Is it really bad and is there any treatment available? Here, we take a look at this condition (Atrial Septal Defect), its symptoms, causes and treatment.
To understand what this medical condition – Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) – actually mean, we need to understand how a human heart works. To keep things simple, let us understand that a human heart is made up of four chambers. These chambers are separated by walls and the blood flows from one to another by means of a valve in these walls.
The flow of blood happens in a particular direction. The deoxygenated blood flows from the right chamber of the heart to the lungs. In the lungs, oxygen gets dissolved in the blood, which then flows through the left chambers to the different organs by means of the circulatory system. The term atrial septal defect refers to the condition where there is a hole in the wall between the upper left and right chambers of the heart (atria).
In case of a patient having atrial septal defect, the oxygenated blood flows back into the right chamber, mixes with the deoxygenated blood and flows back to the lungs, thereby overworking the heart and causing pulmonary hypertension. That’s why the common atrial septal defect symptoms include