Dealing with Pericarditis

Dealing with Pericarditis

Dealing with Pericarditis

One possible source of chest pain is pericarditis, which is the irritation and swelling of the pericardium – the tissue which surrounds the heart. When the irritated layers rub against one another, they cause a pain often described as a sharp chest pain.

Depending on the severity of the case, pericarditis may simply go away on its own, but in severe cases one may require medication or, in more rare cases, surgery.

What Are the Symptoms of Pericarditis?

Pericarditis typically causes a sharp or stabbing chest pain in those who suffer from it. In some cases, you might instead feel a dull pain, a pressure-like pain, or an achy pain in your chest.

Typically, pain from pericarditis is felt behind the breastbone or on the left side of your chest. The pain may also spread, to the neck and left shoulder. It might get worse if you are lying down, taking a deep breath or coughing. The pain could also get better when you lean forward or sit up. Beyond the pain typically felt, you could also experience:

As with any heart-related condition, it is best to consult with your physician to reduce the risk of complications by getting an early diagnosis and treatment. The possible complications can include fluid building up around the heart, pressure on the heart resulting from that buildup, and a scarring and thickening of the heart lining,

What Causes Pericarditis?

It is not always easy to determine the cause of pericarditis and, even if your diagnosis is confirmed, your doctor may not find a cause. However, there are some typical causes of pericarditis to be aware of:

With causes of pericarditis being difficult to determine, it can also be difficult to actively prevent pericarditis. Generally, it is recommended to avoid people to have flu-like or viral illnesses to avoid complications, and of course to avoid others if you have such an illness. Good hygiene is a good general rule for overall health, especially to stop the spread of illness. Importantly, you should also remain up to date on all vaccinations to avoid an infection that could lead to any complications, including pericarditis.

When Should You See A Doctor About Pericarditis?

The heart is such a crucial part of our anatomy that it is always better to be safe than sorry. Any time you have a new chest pain it is advisable to seek medical attention, given the wide range of possible causes. This is especially true of pericarditis, as it shares many symptoms with other serious conditions of the heart and lungs. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

Understanding Fall Headaches

If you have started noticing an increase in your headaches as the weather gets cooler, you aren’t alone. As it happens, many people deal with headaches in the fall, more than during other parts of the year.

5 Facts About Lower Back Pain

We often ignore signs that our body needs rest, rehabilitation, or medical care. One often neglected part of the body is our lower back, which can take time and effort to take care of if it is injured.

5 Facts About Chest Pain

Chest pain can be one of the more worrying pains to experience. It’s always good to be aware of the potential worst-case scenario...

Five Apps for Chronic Pain Sufferers

You might have found that dealing with chronic pain remotely is easier than heading to a doctor. If so, you might consider looking into an app that helps you track your chronic pain symptoms which you can later share with your provider.

Four Apps for Dealing with Migraines

We’ve discussed how to prevent migraines before, but if you’re finding yourself stuck with migraines and you don’t have the resources to figure out your own triggers, you might want to experiment with a migraine app.