If you have an increased risk of developing endocarditis, it's important to limit your exposure to any infection that could trigger it.
The same is true if you've previously been affected by endocarditis,as the condition can often reoccur in certain people.
If you're at increased risk of developing endocarditis, it's important that you practise good oral and dental hygiene.
Don't let Abscess and gum disease go untreated.
You should visit your dentist on a regular basis to ensure you maintain good oral health and to minimise the risk of bacteria entering your bloodstream through your mouth.
It's also very important to wash any cuts or grazes carefully as soon as you notice them to prevent them becoming infected.
Contact your GP for advice if you develop the symptoms of a skin infection (see below). Your GP may prescribe antibiotics as a precaution. Symptoms of a skin infection include:
A skin infection may also make you feel generally unwell, leading to symptoms such as:
You should also avoid any cosmetic procedure that involves breaking the skin, such as body piercing and tattooing.
Each time antibiotics are used, the chances that bacteria will become resistant to them are increased.
Endocarditis is a rare and potentially fatal type of heart infection. It's specifically an infection of the inner lining of the heart (the endocardium).
Common symptoms of endocarditis include a high temperature (fever), chills, loss of appetite and unexplained weight loss
If your heart valves are damaged, or if you have an artificial valve, it will be easier for bacteria to take root and trigger an infection.
To diagnose endocarditis, your GP will look closely at your medical history, paying particular attention to any problems that you may have had with your heart.
Most cases of endocarditis can be treated with a course of antibiotics though you may have to be admitted to hospital
If you have an increased risk of developing endocarditis, it is important that you limit your exposure to any infection that could trigger it.