What makes the heart valves open and close?

The heart is one of the most important organs in your body. It beats non-stop, pumping oxygenated blood throughout your system. However, have you ever wondered what makes the heart valves open and close? If not, then I’ll tell you. But if you already know it all – well fine! Move along! In this article, I’m going to break down some interesting mechanics that happen within the human heart itself!

Anatomy of a Valved Heart

Before we dive into how valves work inside our hearts, let’s first get familiarized with them.

What Are Heart Valves?

Heart valves are tiny structures found inside every person’s heart consisting of four main cavities known as chambers—two atria (upper) and two ventricles (lower).

The mitral valve and tricuspid valve separate both upper atriums from their corresponding lower ventricles. Whilst pulmonary gem or right semilunar valve leads to Artery Lungs & Aortic semilunar Valve leading to Aorta from left Ventricle.

This might sound like a lot of science gibberish but bear with me- We’ll try to keep things light here.

How do These Valves Open & Close?

Now comes the juicy part that makes these tiny fellas vital for keeping us alive: opening and closing properly!

How Do Semi-Lunar Heart Valves Work?

When blood surges out of either chamber of the pumping crooning machine(the heart), through its respective vessel(artery)-the largest artery being AORTA- our utmost priority is that such rushed bloody fluid doesn’t flow backward into any chambers again – there lies danger! So imagine 2 gates on either side(pulmonary artery/Ascending aorta), powerfully shut by great pressure until forced open by ascending blood traveling through them providing appropriate force amidst their proper timed opening and closing!

How Do Atrioventricular Valves Work?

So unlike Semilunar valves, there are two atrioventricular valves (mitral & tricuspid). They sit between the upper chambers (atria) and lower ventricles. Now think of these doors as a one-way entry-only that your heart’s blood can go through without backtracking! When it’s time to fill up the lower ventricles with oxygenated blood from the top just released by its leaving atria- they’re opened simultaneously for precise intervals ending shortly once filled – To be robust enough against any possible regurgitation.

sounds logical right? Well here comes some weird science—

When all is still, and no change is happening in said locations described above—both bicupid and tricuspid valves —Are Wide Open sans obstructions!!
But when contraction starts to push out-blood-the pressure difference between 4 diferrent chambers begins unravelling(underlinesafety).
So now what happens next?

Relaxation Phase

At last our hard-working “blood-pumper” finally pauses and saves a little time(relax), giving each chamber its own moment of relaxation letting citizens walk freely around their respected cities they jointly govern!

Beating Again!!

As soon as it gets relaxed, another stiff third party arrives on scene(totally uninvited), declaring war in binary codes- Accelerate-Decelerate-Accelerate-Decelerate – ‘till you’re able to hear this music
beeep beeep beep beee
because Phrases until we really understand it sounds like Science Fiction. It’s codenamed ‘Natural Pacemaker’ because well—it occurs naturally. Making use of signals we tell machines to use today!
This natural pacemaker ignites electric charges evenly across both respective upper atrial muscles at around 100 bpm!(give brain cells something to calculate)

Now, these electrical signals trigger muscle-cell contractions(the pace may not be as hectic as DJ Mix Mash 2023) from top(atria) to bottom(ventricles)—noting the heart perfectly coordinated nature.

Why Valves Matter

Valves in your circulatory system are among the hundreds of thousands of organs, vessels and cells that make you—well- You!

If they don’t work correctly; diseases such as Heart Valve disease occur – this creates blockages leading to heart failures. So- it’s prime importance our tiny little gates function incredibly efficiently with precision!

The best way we can ensure healthy valves is by good nutritional choices coupled with frequent exercise (sitting all day will never negate!). These two practices alone along with adequate sleep are enough–don’t get into smoking or substance abuse for optimal health benefits functioning! Your heart would always thank you for it. The beats sound sweet indeed.

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