Lung infection: symptoms, causes and treatment
The pulmonary infection, also called low respiratory infection, can be acute when it appears in 7 days or chronic when it appears slowly. This infection can be caused by viruses, parasites, fungi or bacteria, which penetrate the airways and lodge in the lungs, generating symptoms such as fever, cough, catarrh and difficulty breathing. Its treatment is carried out with antibiotics at the hospital or at home level, depending on the person’s health status.
When there is a suspicion of an infection in the lungs, it is important to consult a neurologist, general practitioner or pediatrician, or in the most serious cases, go to a health center or emergency department to confirm the diagnosis and start the most appropriate treatment that may include the use of antibiotics, hospitalization in the hospital or rest.
The initial symptoms of pulmonary infection can be the same symptoms of a flu, common cold and even ear infections, and there may be sore throat and pain in the ear. However, if the symptoms are persistent and the symptoms are:
- Tos dry or with secretion;
- High and persistent fever;
- Loss of appetite;
- Pecho pain;
- Pain in the back;
- Difficulty breathing;
- Rapid and shallow breathing;
- Nasal secretion and congestion.
In the presence of these symptoms, it is important to consult a general physician, pediatrician or a neurologist to make the diagnosis of pulmonary infection through auscultation, blood test, chest X-ray and sputum analysis to identify which is the causative agent of it. infection.
Know what it means the color of the flames.
Pulmonary infection can be produced by fungi, viruses and bacteria that can enter the body through the inhalation of respiratory droplets from infected people that are released to be coughed, spilled or spoken
The fungi are usually suspended in the air and are usually inhaled, although on rare occasions they produce signs and symptoms, which can be fought by the organism. Similarly, when the immune system is weakened due to an illness or the use of medication, respiratory diseases caused by fungi may develop.
Pulmonary infections are mainly caused by bacteria, such as Streptococcus pneumoniae and Bordetella pertussis, and virus, being important to identify the cause so that the proper treatment can be carried out.
There are 3 main types of lung infection that can have different causes:
The pneumonia occurs when there is an inflammation of the lung parenchyma that is the wall of the lung responsible for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. The most common causes of this type of infection are bacterial Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae and Mycoplasma pneumoniae, así as virales, as en la flu.
When a pneumonia develops, the most common symptoms are fever at 38ºC, rapid breathing, coughs, pain in the pecho and green flames or with blood.
See other symptoms of pneumonia.
La bronchitis is the inflammation of the bronchi, which are the channels that receive air in the lungs. The most common cause for this type of infection is the flu virus, but it can also be produced by the infection of bacteria such as Mycoplasma pneumoniae, chlamydia pneumoniae O Bordetella pertussis.
Not all cases of bronchitis develop fever and flemas are blanquecinas or yellowish. Other symptoms include noises when breathing, constant noise and tiredness.
Learn more about the symptoms of bronchitis.
Bronchiolitis is more common in babies under 2 years old and is characterized by inflammation of the bronchioles, which are the most stretches of the respiratory apparatus that receive air from the bronchi. The main cause of this infection is viral, especially the respiratory syncytial virus.
Symptoms that can be suspected of bronchiolitis include wheezing while breathing, rapid breathing, nose opening while breathing and increased tiredness and irritability.
Learn more about the symptoms of bronchiolitis.
COVID-19 is also a type of infection that affects the lungs, being caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This illness can cause excessive tiredness, muscle pain, headache and fever, for example.
For this reason, it is important that the infection is identified so that the person remains isolated and the contagion to other people is avoided. Furthermore, in cases in which the symptoms are very intense and it is difficult to breathe, it is important that the person goes to the hospital so that the oxygen saturation is evaluated and if there is no need to place it with oxygen.
Find out more about the symptoms of COVID-19 and our online test.
The diagnosis is carried out by the general physician or the neurologist through the evaluation of the signs and symptoms that the person presents.
In addition, the doctor may request imaging tests such as a chest X-ray, as well as blood analysis and microbiological tests from the sputum or from a sample of the nasal mucosa, this allows to identify which microorganism is associated with the infection, It is possible to start the treatment with the most suitable medication.
The treatment for pulmonary infection is usually carried out with rest, hydration and in some cases it is recommended to take antibiotics for 7 to 14 days prescribed by the doctor. In addition to this, you can also indicate the intake of analgesics to relieve the malaise and antipyretics to reduce the fever. Find out with more details how the treatment is carried out.
Respiratory physiotherapy can be indicated in adults of the third age who are bedridden, as well as in individuals who are hospitalized with the objective of helping to eliminate secretions and improve respiratory capacity, improving the supply of oxygen to the whole organism.
See how respiratory physiotherapy is performed.
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