The lung is the vital part of the respiratory system. It is the one responsible on the person’s breathing. As a person breathes, air goes down the throat and into the windpipe. The windpipe of the lungs is consist of smaller passages known as the bronchial tubes. However, when there is a problem in your lungs caused by infection, the breathing is affected. Most people think that breathing problems are caused by aging and increased in weight. However, many are unaware that it could be caused by lung infections. Knowing the definition of lung infections and its symptoms may prevent complications like septic shock or any fatal complications.
What is Lung Infection?
The lung infection is also known as a chest infection. It is a general term that causes inflammation in the lungs. Various lung diseases are caused by infection. Bacteria and viruses can cause the lung infection. The lung infection is considered one of the leading cause of death worldwide. Infection in the lungs can affect the airways, alveoli, pleura and chest walls. Anyone can have lung infection regardless of the age. The chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD is a chronic lung infection, and it blocked the airflow from the lungs. A person with COPD may also happen to have lung infection at the same time. The lung infection can cause damage to the lung tissue. Most people think that shortness of breath is a normal part of aging. However, it can be symptoms of severe lung infection. The respiratory system can easily be affected by infections if the immune system is weak. The infection of the lung occurs when the lung defense mechanisms are gradually deteriorated, and they can easily catch infectious diseases. The chronic lung infections can cause fluid in the person’s lungs.
What are the Lung Infections?
The most common lung infection is called pneumonia. Pneumonia is the infection of the airways of the lungs. The disease will cause to develop pus and fluid in the air sacs. Another lung infection is bronchitis. It can acute or chronic that causes inflammation in the bronchial tubes. It is the airways that transport the air to your lungs. Bronchitis causes a cough that has thickened mucus. Many lung infections affect the other parts of the lungs.
- Asthma. A chronic inflammatory disease narrowed the airways. There is an inflammation in the airways caused by an infection that results in trouble in breathing.
- Bronchiolitis. It is often confused by bronchitis. Bronchiolitis is also an inflammation of the lungs that affects the bronchioles
- Emphysema. A progressive lung disease that causes dyspnea is caused by the over-inflation of the air sacs of the lungs.
- Tuberculosis. It is caused by infection because of bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It infects the lungs that cause an untreated cough.
- Influenza(FLU). It is a severe respiratory illness that can quickly spread to a person. The influenza virus causes it.
- Cystic fibrosis (CF). It is a progressive lung disease that causes persistent lung infection. It also affects the pancreas and other organs of the body.
The blood works and sputum culture can help your doctor diagnose the type of lung infections you have. All of the persistent lung infections are characterized by periods intermittent periods of exacerbation.
Symptoms of Lung Infection
The lung is responsible for gas exchange. Thus, it is one of the important organs of the body. Pathogens usually cause infection. The leading causes of lung infection are bacteria, virus, and mycoplasma. Once the person has a disease, it activates the various types of inflammatory cells. The infection affects the lungs airway, blood vessels, alveoli.
- Difficulty breathing
- A productive cough with colored phlegm
- Chest pain
- Coughing with blood
- Stomach pain
The lung is affected when you often feel difficulty breathing. It could be dyspnea or shortness of breath and tachypnea or rapid breathing. The chest pain that they experience is becoming sharp on the one side of their lungs. The chest pain triggers when they breathe in deeply. Often time changes in mucus are noticeable. The person with lung infection may notice the thickness and the color of the mucus that often produce a smelly odor. The chronic lung infections may also show symptoms such as intermittent fever, cough consist of blood and swollen lymph nodes. Most of the lung infections can be improved in a few weeks. However, some lung infections are already severe and may no longer be treated by antibiotics and antiviral drugs.
The symptoms of a lung infection may occur depending on the age. Knowing the symptoms may help the person to prevent further damage to the lung caused by infection. When the symptoms are showing, do not hesitate to consult a general practitioner and avoid self-medicate. Although some of the lung infections are treatable, it is necessary to get doctor’s advice for the proper treatment.