What Causes A Heart Infection?

Residing deep in the chest wrapped in a protective layer of tissues, heart stays away from infections. But viruses and bacteria present in blood may invade the heart by causing inflammation or other heart infections. These problems are not for long term, still infection and inflammation is a risk.

What Causes A Heart Infection?

What Causes A Heart Infection?

Heart infections are not so common that is the reason most of the people are not aware about it. But it is very important to spread the talk about it as the consequences are quite serious. It’s also important to recognize the symptoms and take steps to control the risk.

In earlier times the term endocarditis –means inflammation in the innermost lining of the heart’s chamber was the greatest risk as far as infections through germs, bacteria or viruses are concerned. It manly occur in people older than 60. Presently the infection is so high that people with any age may suffer with this condition. Other two risky conditions are pericarditis and myocarditis.

Endocarditis. Also known as inflammation in the inner lining of the heart’s chamber. It is the infection caused by bacteria in the endocardium, infection in the heart valves. Entry of germs, bacteria or fungi from other parts of the body to the heart’s blood streams and reaches the infected area of the heart. It is life threatening if not treated well on time. It can be caused by daily activity like brushing. During brushing people may get bleeding gums, these bleeding gums consist of germs that may enter blood streams through mouth; Mouth is the medium for germ to reach other parts of body and then to heart. The bacteria can also enter the blood streams through break in skin, which can happen during surgical or dental activities or by intravenous drug use. Endocarditis often affects people by underlying or by birth heart problems. The treatment of endocarditis requires high dose of intravenous antibiotics for two to six weeks. During treatment a person is hospitalized for first week to keep the progressive track of treatment. If treatment does not show any progress then patient needs to undergo replacement surgery of infected heart valve, especially if some complication occurs.

Pericarditis. it is the inflammation of protective sack around the heart called pericardium. Entry of virus, bacteria, chest injury, chemotherapy or radiation cancer therapy or a medication reaction is the possible causes of pericarditis. It may also cause due to the complication during bypass surgery or pacemaker insertion. But most of the times the reason is not found. Pericarditis is sometimes mistaken consider as pleurisy, that is inflammation of membrane around the lungs and lines of rib cage. Sharp pain in the center or left side of the chest indicates the pericarditis suffering. This pain take sever face during deep breathe or lie down. It does not go away with rest but somewhat get relaxed if leaned forward. Pericarditis is a short term suffering; it may vanish from body by its own within few weeks but may reoccur. The painkillers like ibuprofen or aspirin can help you quell the pain temporary. Doctors prescribe colchicine named drug for easing inflammation and treat pericarditis.

Myocarditis. It is very rare. It is the inflammation in the muscular layer of the heart. Myocarditis often begins with the infection caused through nose, lungs or stomach. The virus name coxsackie, lives in digestive tract is main cause for myocarditis. The symptoms for myocarditis are initial flu, which may lead to fatigue, weight gain, breathlessness or swelling in the feet. Some cases which are very normal and mild does not need any treatment or special care, these cases get resolved by its own. Serious cases might require medication, medication used to treat heart failure, such as cardiovascular drugs.

Heart is the most important part of the human body, it pumps blood throughout the body by circulatory system, it supply oxygen and nutrient to the tissues and removes carbon dioxide and other waste from the blood. So it is needed to take special care of heart and consult doctor if there is any symptom that leads to heart infection.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:March 26, 2019

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