Lung infection is a type of infection which may develop in the lower respiratory tracts due to various causes. Primary cause is viruses and bacteria accumulating and proliferating in the lung tissue. It mostly develops following an infectious disease such as flu. It causes dyspnea by leading to pulmonary inflammation and increase in mucous production. Main symptoms are high fever, phlegmy coughing, breathing noisily and chest pain. Mild infections can spontaneously heal with good care. In some cases, it may be necessary to administer antibiotics or antiviral medicines. Hospitalization may be required for further treatments in severe infections. Little children, the elderly, those with chronic diseases, and smokers with weak immune system are at higher risk.
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Lung infection is a type of microbial infection that affects alveoli or the bronchi connecting the lungs to the respiratory tract. It causes excessive sputum and inflammation, thereby making it difficult to breathe through airways. Most infections can be pulled through slightly, but some are serious and can be fatal. The most common types are acute bronchitis and pneumonia. It is mostly seen in winter.
Lung infections can affect everybody. It should be taken seriously and medications should not be quitted in the treatment process without the approval of your doctor. It can be fatal if a treatment is delayed or interrupted. (1)
It is usually caused by a bacteria or virus that accumulates in the lungs and proliferates. It is more common in winter following cold or flu. As respiratory droplets carry the infection, it can be transmitted to someone else through coughing or sneezing.
The microbes that hang in the air for a while may fall down to surfaces and anyone touching these surfaces may also touch other things and spread the microbes further. This infection can also be caused by fungi, though rare.
There is a higher risk of developing pulmonary infection in those with weak immune system and pregnant women.
There are 3 types of pulmonary infections depending on where they develop:
It can be caused by a virus or bacteria. However, viral bronchitis is more common. It is mostly caused by viruses leading to flu and cold. The bronchial tubes carrying air into the lungs get inflamed.
Fever and phlegmy cough are typical symptoms. It can also cause sore throat and nasal congestion. It can be seen in any age group. It usually heals spontaneously. (2)
It is a viral infection which develops in bronchiolitis, the smallest airways in the body. It develops more frequently in children and babies under two years old. It can heal spontaneously with good care. However, in cases such as dyspnea and feeding disorder, it may require hospitalization. (3)
It is mostly caused by bacterial infections. Sometimes, it can also develop due to viruses or fungi. As a result of the infection, alveoli are inflamed and filled with pus or fluid. As a result, it becomes difficult for oxygen to be transferred to other organs via the bloodstream.
Its symptoms are similar to those of acute bronchitis, but can suddenly exacerbate within 24-48 hours. In this case, emergency intervention is required. If left untreated, it can develop deadly complications such as pleurisy (inflammation of the pleura), lung abscess and septicemia (blood poisoning).
Fungal pneumonia is rare. It often affects people who take antibiotics frequently or have weak immune system. (4)
Mild pulmonary infections, such as acute bronchitis, can heal spontaneously with good care at home in 7-10 days. However, if it lasts longer in people with weak immune system, the severity and danger of the infection may increase and turn into pneumonia.
If you have difficulty in breathing, with high fever, or feel worse consult your doctor or go to the emergency immediately.
Doctors ask patients about their symptoms, general state of health, and medical history. Doctor can diagnose by taking patients’ temperature and listening to their lungs using a stethoscope. Sometimes tests such as chest x-ray, breath tests, and sputum or blood samples may be needed to determine the level of the progression of infection.
Main treatment for advanced pulmonary infections is medicines. Medicines that stop the development of pulmonary infection and thus inflammation based on the type of infection are: (5)
In addition, painkillers, antipyretics, antitussives and expectorants, and bronchodilators can be used to relieve symptoms while the body is fighting infection.
In more serious infections, hospitalization may be required. Main treatments administered in hospitals are:
Infection heals spontaneously in healthy people and those with strong immune system and does not mostly recur. However, some factor may lead to the recurrence of an infection. Main factors are as follows: (6)
These people should get flu vaccine every year and a pneumonia vaccine every 5 years. In particular, recurring infections may lead to pneumonia. The disease ranks first among infection-related deaths.
Herbs are used for supportive treatment. However, they should not be used without consulting a doctor as they may cause side effects in some people.
The most effective ways to prevent pulmonary infections are: