A leaky valve is a heart condition in which blood is able to leak backward through the valve from which it was pumped. This condition can affect any of the heart’s four valves: tricuspid, pulmonic, mitral and aortic. In normal hearts, the blood is pumped through these valves to various parts of the body. Each valve has a flap that opens to let the blood through, and closes to keep it from coming back in. With a leaky valve, this flap doesn’t completely block all of the blood from coming back into the heart. Some people may not experience symptoms, while others may experience shortness of breath, leg swelling or fluid retention, lightheadedness, rapid heartbeat, palpitations, heart fluttering and fatigue. Common causes of a leaky valve include a bicuspid aortic valve (an abnormal number of flaps), high blood pressure or hypertension, infection and rheumatic heart disease. Treatment for a leaky valve will depend on the cause of the condition and the specific valve that is affected. Regular exercise, a healthy diet and medication are common conservative treatments for this condition, along with smoking cessation and regular monitoring. In more severe cases, surgery may be required to repair the valve and restore normal blood flow.