What is Chest infections?
A chest infection is an infection related to the lungs. It mainly affects the lower parts of the respiratory tract. Your lower airways include your trachea, bronchi, and lungs. Mainly two common infections that affect the airways are bronchitis and pneumonia. It can impact the patient ranging from mild to severe.
What are the causes of a chest infection?
Lung infections are mainly caused by bacteria and viruses. Also, the type of infection is taken into consideration. The micro-organism causing bronchitis is a virus whereas in most cases of pneumonia, bacteria play a major role.
All the diseases caused by lung infection are airborne. It is easily spread through the air. If the air you breathe is having droplets of the bacteria, you are prone to be infected by it.
Also, the infection can spread if we come in contact with food or water which is contaminated by that bacteria or virus.
Increased risk for chest infection if you-
- Are old
- Are pregnant
- Baby or young child
- Have chronic health conditions like asthma or Diabetes
- Suffering from HIV
- Recipient of organ transplant
- I have a weak immune system
What are the symptoms of a chest infection?
- Wet cough
- Coughing green or yellow mucus
- Breath with whistling sound in the chest
- Discomfort in the chest area
- Feeling tired and drowsy
- Difficulty in breathing
When to seek help from a health care provider(doctor)?
In some cases, mild acute bronchitis will eventually go without any need to go to the doctor.
You should consult a doctor for chest infection if you are-
- 65+ age-old
- A child under five years and have symptoms of chest infection
- Having a weak immune system
- Have a cough that is still present beyond 3 weeks
- Feeling dizzy and unconscious most of the time
For diagnosing your condition, the doctor will perform some physical examination in which the doctor will listen to your heart and lung rate when you breathe.
The doctor may also take an x-ray to determine the exact locations and severity of your infection
They may also take your blood samples. If they find bacteria are causing chest infection it will help them decide which antibiotic to use.
How to treat a chest infection?
If the cause of the chest infection is due to bacteria, it will be treated with antibiotics. A severe bacterial chest infection may need to be treated with IV antibiotics in the hospital.
The cause of the chest infection is due to a virus. It can’t be effectively treated by antibiotics. In place of that, the treatment will be focused on easing your symptoms and making you feel better.
Home remedies for treating a chest infection
This given home remedies will help you filled is withdrawal symptoms of chest infection:
- Use of OTC congestions (nasal spray) to help losing mucus and make you easier to cough up.
- Take plenty of rest
- Drink a lot of fluids and keep yourself hydrated.
- Used in inhale steam vapor to help relieve coughing.
- Drink a juice made of warm water honey and lemon to help relieve your sore throat.
- Use extra pillows to keep your head and chest elevated at night.
- Avoid smoking or being in polluted places of traffic.
How long does it take to recover from chest infection?
Most symptoms of the chest infections go away within 7 to 10 days except cough, which can last for 2-3 weeks.
The symptoms are getting worse it’s better to see a doctor or it would be risky to one’s life.
What are the possible complications of a chest infection?
- Development of lung abscess (bacterial infection in the lung tissue causing the lung tissue to die)
- Accumulation of fluid (pus etc.) in your lungs.
- Bacteria seeping into the bloodstream.
- Pleural effusion (worsening condition of pneumonia).
- Acute bronchitis
How to prevent chest infection?
Following the given ways will help you prevent chest infections:
- Keep your hands clean, particularly before and after eating and before touching your face or area near your nose.
- Eat a well balanced healthy diet this will help you stronger your immune system and fight the external germs causing chest infections.
- Get vaccinated.
- Avoid smoking and second-hand person smoke
- Avoid drinking alcohol if you drink as it affects adversely on your lungs.
- If you are ill, properly wash your hands and when you sneeze cover your mouth to avoid other persons get ill. Also, dispose of your used tissues properly.
Chest infections are mainly caused by bacteria and viruses bacteria.
It is easily spread through the air. The chest infection is caused due to bacteria it can be easily treated by using antibiotics. Most symptoms of the chest infection resolve within 7 to 10 days.
If your condition of chest infection is getting worse it is better to consult a doctor as it could possibly cause complications in a chest infection.
F.A.Q’sA) How to know you have a chest infection?
The main symptoms of chest infections are persistent cough, coughing yellow mucus and frequent breathlessness.
B) What is the best antibiotic for a chest infection?
Amoxicillin, the antibiotic prescribed for persistent cough by Doctors is the best antibiotic as it is most effective on coughing.
C) Are chest infections dangerous?
Most of the mild chest infections go away by itself without any meditation, but if the infection gets worse it can cause complications.
D) What are the four stages of pneumonia?
The four stages of pneumonia include consolidation, red hepatitis, grey Hepatitis, and resolution.
E) Can Bronchitis turn into pneumonia?
Branches can lead to pneumonia if you don’t seek proper medical treatment.
F) Can x-ray show up pneumonia?
An x-ray will allow doctors or radiologists to look for white spots in the lungs that identify infection of pneumonia in the lungs.
G) Which is worse: bronchitis or pneumonia?
Pneumonia is a worse form of the branch it is when a branch is left untreated.
H) Can chest infections be b a danger to life?
Yes, it can be dangerous if it is not treated properly under medical treatments. A type of chest infection such as pneumonia can cause death if it is in its last stage.
I) Can chest infection cause by virus treated by antibiotics?
No, as antibiotics only work on bacterial infection.
J) What is silent pneumonia?
Silent pneumonia is a non-medical term that is caused by a specific bacterium called “mycoplasma pneumonia”.