TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) Exercising can leave you a bit winded, but for Mary Kathrine Myers it was that shortness of breath that helped her discover a much bigger problem.
In 2011, was diagnosed with a bicuspid aortic valve, an aortic valve that has only two leaflets, rather than three.
“I thought the shortness of breath is just normal because nobody can breathe at that altitude,” Myers said.
It was during a physical at Scott & White Medical Center in Temple, doctors recommended she undergo surgery.
Bicuspid aortic valve stops the blood flow from the heart to the body, if left untreated, it can cause sudden death.
“If someone says ‘Hey I’m having these symptoms, I’m having short of breath, is it allergies or is it a problem with my heart?’ but generally the heart has to work harder when you do more. So if you are getting symptoms when you are trying to do activities those are the type of things we worry about,” Scott & White cardiologist Jeffrey Michael said.
While some people who have it don't show symptoms Michael says there are some signs, including the one that caught Mary by surprise.
Michaels advises the public to get a regular checkups to identify any potential heart problems.