What Causes Enlarged Heart?
Generally, people are at a higher risk for an enlarged heart, or cardiomegaly, if they have certain risk factors. Some risk factors contributing to enlarged heart causes include a family history of enlarged heart, high blood pressure, and coronary artery disease. In addition, individuals who are born with certain cardiac anomalies, such as structural defects, are at a greater risk as well. It is important to note that the absence of risk factors does not guarantee that a person will not develop cardiomegaly. In contrast, the presence of risk factors does not necessarily mean that the individual will develop this condition either.
Usually, enlarged heart symptoms include shortness of breath, breathing difficulties, and dizziness. In addition, coughing, swelling, and abnormal heart rhythm can also be symptomatic of an enlarged heart. Although there are many reasons for enlarged heart causes, patients should realize that cardiomegaly is not a disease, but a symptom or sign of another medical condition. Although symptoms such as fainting, severe shortness of breath, and chest pain can indicate a heart attack and are a medical emergency, most symptoms of an enlarged heart can be managed quite effectively if detected early.
Infrequently, enlarged heart causes are idiopathic.
Often, treatment for an enlarged heart include medications such as diuretics, which reduce the amount of water and sodium in the body. This allows for the lowering of arterial pressure in the body, which can prevent further damage of the heart tissue. In addition, beta blocker medication, which lower blood pressure and improve cardiac function are also effective, as is digoxin, which helps improve pumping function. Sometimes, pacemakers and valvular surgery are needed to restore cardiac function, and in extreme cases heart transplantation may be necessary when other treatments have proven to be ineffective.