Respiratory Medicine, Paediatric Respiratory

Lung Infection or Chest Infection

Introduction to Lung Infection or Chest Infection

In a lung infection, pus and fluid (mucus) accumulates in the lungs airways which become swollen causing difficulty in breathing.

Written by Doctify Team 27/04/2020

What is a Chest Infection?

In a lung infection, pus and fluid (mucus) accumulates in the lungs airways which become swollen causing difficulty in breathing. Infection may be in the smaller air sacs in lungs which causes pneumonia or in the larger airways causing bronchitis. This infection can occur at any age but affects young children and the elderly the most. It also affects people who are ill or are smokers more. Most cases are mild but some can be life-threatening.

What causes a Chest Infection?

Lung infection can be due to an infection by bacteria, virus or fungus. It mostly spreads through the coughing or sneezing of an infected person. The coughing or sneezing spreads tiny bacteria carrying droplets into the year which are inhaled by others. The infection can also spread by touching an area carrying the bacteria.

What are the symptoms of a Chest Infection?

The symptoms depend on age, cause and severity of the infection and any other existing medical problems. Symptoms include: difficulty breathing, coughing with phlegm, fever, stomach pain, chest pain, headaches.

How is a Chest Infection treated?

Most chest infections get cured within a few weeks. People with bronchitis can mostly be treated at home and recover fully. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics for pneumonia. During home recovery the following are some things that can help with symptoms: getting rest, drinking lots of fluids, treating pain with painkillers, stopping smoking.

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