Causes of Chest Infection

Girl coughing, simple indication of chest infection

Chest infection is a disease which disturbs the patient’s life badly. It is an infection that affects the lungs. It can affect either in the larger airways which is known as bronchitis or in the smaller air sacs, which is known as pneumonia. Chest infection is disease that can affect the people of all ages. Small children and elderly people can be affected by this disease. Patients of other diseases and people who smoke can be easily affected by this disease.

Shortness of breath which is known as Dyspnoea, coughing with possible discharge of colored phlegm, Fever, Malaise/feeling unwell, Cyanosis (blue coloration of the skin), Stomach pain, Chest pain, Headaches and Loss of appetite are some of the symptoms of chest infection. Some of the symptoms of chest infection on a child are vomiting, diarrhea and being irritable or lethargic.

Some of the main causes of chest infection are virus, bacteria and mycoplasma. Concomitant conditions such as asthma and sinus inflammation also can cause chest infection. Most of the chest infection patients can be treated at home itself. Our immune system will probably defend the infection. Sometimes, antibiotics will help to recover from this. Painkillers like paracetamol can be used if there is pain and fever with this. In some cases, the patients, especially young children should be admitted to hospital for further treatment. Elder people who are at greater risks of serious complications should be admitted to hospitals. Anyway it’s better to consult a doctor if you feel that you are infected by chest infection.

Two types of Chest Infection

Comparison: X-Ray A showing a healthy lungs and X-Ray B showing signs of chest infection

Nowadays, many diseases are disturbing the life of the people in the world. One of those diseases is chest infection. Chest infection is a bacterial or viral infection. It infects the airways leading down into the lungs or of the lungs themselves.

Chest infections will be sometimes mild and sometimes threatening. Chesty cough that could often bring up phlegm, breathing difficulties and chest pain are some of the symptoms of chest infection.

Chest infections are of two types and they are acute bronchitis and pneumonia. Acute bronchitis is the more common and less serious type of chest infection. Pneumonia is more serious than acute bronchitis but it is a rare one.

Acute bronchitis is an infection that is short termed. It affects the lining of the air tube of the lungs. The usual cause of this infection is virus and it usually follows a cold or influenza. Smoking can easily invite this affection. Acute bronchitis usually does not require medical treatment, because the infection usually passes within seven to ten days.

Pneumonia is a type of chest infection. It causes the tiny air sacs in the lungs. The usual reason for this infection is bacteria. Sometimes, virus can also cause pneumonia. Usually, people with pneumonia that is mild can be treated at home. But severe pneumonia should receive treatment from hospital. If pneumonia affects very young children, very old people and people who have other serious diseases or poor health conditions should get hospital treatment.

Chest Infection Introduction

A chest infection can vary from something as commonplace and apparently harmless as in common cold and can be as dangerous as bronchitis and other serious diseases of the lungs and the respiratory system. There can be various causes behind chest infection and it could be a sign of completely different diseases in different cases. Therefore, it is not appropriate to use the broad term of a chest infection under any particular disease.

Mostly a chest infection is referred to a medical condition known as Mediastinitis. This is a severe condition in which the tissues in the mid-chest area are inflamed. Fibrosing Mediastinitis could be acute or chronic in nature. Acute Mediastinitis is caused by the rupture of organs in the mid-chest region called mediastinum, an area between the lungs which contains the heart, the windpipe and esophagus, due to a bacterial infection. Chronic Mediastinitis is a much more complicated condition than the latter. It involves the growth of fibrous tissues or collagen in the mid-chest area around the blood vessels and respiratory tracts. The condition is not as common as a chest infection as lower respiratory tract infections, but since Histoplasmosis is common, so is the risk for Mediastinitis.

Apart from that, chest infection could also involve the inflammation of the Upper Respiratory Tract, which includes the nose, the larynx and the sinuses. This occurs in a number of medical conditions such as common cold, laryngitis, sinusitis and pharyngitis. Lower Respiratory Tract Infection could also be referred to as chest infections and it affects the area below the vocal cord, such as the trachea and primary bronchi. These infections are usually much more serious than other types of chest infection. Bronchitis and Pneumonia are the primary forms of this infection and could potentially be lethal. Pleurisy is yet another form of Chest Infection.