A lung infection is a painful and uncomfortable condition which can be caused by a variety of different elements. The most common of these are pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma and tuberculosis. These health concerns can arise from the presence of such microorganisms as bacteria, fungi, or viruses which are present in the lungs. Such an infection can worsen and grow into more severe problems if left untreated. This article will outline some of the most common symptoms of a lung action that is caused by particular microorganisms. You will also find some helpful tips to treat the infection before it grows more serious.
What Is Lung Infection?
The more common name for lung infection is a lower respiratory tract infection. This is also what is referred to as pneumonia. A person who is affected by such an infection is likely to feel very weak and quite unwell. It can be a trigger for other health problems. A lung infection can be classified as either chronic or acute. When a diagnosis is made, it is usually of either bronchitis or pneumonia. Bronchitis is most commonly caused by a viral infection, although it can arise from the presence of bacteria. On the other hand, pneumonia can occur from various different factors such as from the environment or a nosocomial infection. This particular lung infection tends to affect people who have a weakened immune system like children, pregnant women or the elderly.
Main Symptoms of Lung Infection
Symptoms of Viral Lung Infection
Some of the more common, yet non-severe symptoms of a viral lung infection are cough, sore throat, mild fever, and runny nose. An earache can be experienced in some rare instances. Other symptoms reported by patients include difficulty breathing, wheezing and dehydration. In severe cases, the person with this condition may display blue lips.
Symptoms of Bacterial Lung Infection
A bacterial lung infection is usually the result of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The most commonly observed symptom of a bacterial lung infection is inflammation. This is as a result of the release of histamine by infected cells, which causes swelling in addition to the production of mucus and increased blood flow. Skin irritation is also likely with MRSA related lung infections. The patient’s skin may appear red, dry and feel itchy. If pus-filled, pimple-like bumps appear, these tend to be quite contagious, passing on from one person to another through skin contact. Other symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, aches and pains, tiredness, and urinary tract infections in more severe instances.
Symptoms of Candida Lung Infection
A lung infection by Candida can result in a condition similar to pneumonia and the flu. Common symptoms of this infection are mild fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, cold, muscular pain, fatigue, headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, cough and the production of extra mucus.
A person suffering from a viral or bacterial lung infection may experience more severe fever, great difficulty breathing, a significant change in the color and texture of mucus, and pain or tightness in the chest which feels worse when you cough or breathe deeply.
When to See a Doctor
If you’re suffering from a lung infection, you should see your doctor if any of the symptoms are worsened, such as if you’re finding it hard to breathe, there is a fever of over 102 F (39 C), and a persistent cough with or without pus.
Other clear warning signs that it’s time to seek medical attention include:
If a child showing these symptoms is less than two years old
If you are above 65 years
If you have other health conditions or a compromised immune system
You are currently undergoing chemotherapy or are on medication that affects your immune system.
Precautions for Lung Infection
A lung problem can be contagious and quite serious. If possible, you should try to avoid anyone who is suffering from this type of infection. If you must be in close proximity then you should be sure to take certain precautions. Wash hands as often as possible with soap and water. Have hand sanitizer that is quickly and easily accessible in case you can’t wash right away. Try to get medical attention as soon as possible or if non-prescribed medication are having no effect.
Medical Treatments for Lung Infection
Antibiotics. Bacterial pneumonia is treated with antibiotics. Tests will have to be done first to determine the type of bacteria with which you are infected so that the most appropriate antibiotic can be chosen. Antibiotics usually begin clearing up symptoms within three days. If symptoms continue to persist you should check back with your doctor for a reassessment.
Antiviral medications. Viral pneumonia and other such lung infections are treated with antiviral medications. These usually begin to clear up symptoms within one and three weeks.
Fever reducers. Fever reducers target the fever that is usually associated with lung infections. The most commonly used are aspirin and ibuprofen, among several others.
Cough medicine. The coughs associated with a lung infection can be eased with a cough medicine. This can allow you to get some rest. Coughing is useful for removing fluid from your lungs. Therefore, you should try not to completely suppress coughing.
Hospitalization. Hospitalization will become necessary if you are 65 or older, if you are experiencing confusion, if the nausea and vomiting stops antibiotics from working effectively, if there is drop in your blood pressure, if you experience rapid breathing, if you need help to breathe properly and if your body temperature is lower than normal.
How to Prevent Lung Infection
Life Style and Habit Changes
Use a humidifiers. A humidifier can help your body to combat the infection better. The warmed mist that it produces can effectively loosen mucus.
Take a warm bath. Soaking in a warm bath can help to improve your breathing, especially if you add a few drops of eucalyptus oil.
Use a hot compress. A hot compress can help to get rid of thick mucus by loosening it. This will help you to feel less congested.
Smoke less. Try to stay away from this habit at least until you get well. Smoking makes the buildup of mucus worse. Stopping will help you to get better sooner.
Get rest. Get enough rest can give your body the energy it needs to recover.
Take deep breaths. Deep breathing exercises are very helpful in improving blood flow, preventing infection in the lungs and for relaxing the whole body.
Stay away from strenuous activities. Try not to do any heavy lifting which could put extra stress on your chest and lungs.
Helpful Foods and Drinks
Have warm water. Drinking warm water will help to lessen the buildup of mucus and soothing the back of the throat. The same results can be obtained from drinking clear broths and herbal teas.
Eat garlic. Garlic is popular for being a natural antibiotic. It is best taken in by crushing a clove and swallowing with some water.
Try cloves and ginger mixture. The combination of cloves and ginger is useful in fighting a lung infection if eaten regularly.
Eat broccoli. Broccoli is good to eat for its richness in Vitamin C, which can help to fight the harmful bacteria which is causing the lung problem.
Drink green tea. Polyphenols contained in green tea is effective in reducing any swelling in the lungs which will make breathing easier and healing, much quicker.