Chest Infection Symptoms, Causes & Treatment Definitive Guide

Chest Infection Symptoms, Causes & Treatment Definitive Guide

However, it is generally advised for a child to go to school if they only have a minor cough and mild chest infection. The typical antibiotic prescribed for a chest infection is amoxicillin (a type of penicillin). If you are allergic to amoxicillin, alternatives can be used like clarithromycin or doxycycline.

  • The tests can identify exactly which germ has caused the infection, which can help with treatment.
  • Your doctor may advise you to take drugs called bisphosphonates, or calcium and vitamin D supplements, along with the steroids to help prevent this.
  • In summary, bronchitis is a lower respiratory tract viral infection that causes inflammation, phlegmy cough and difficulty breathing.
  • These are more severe and tend to require treatment with antibiotics.

An example would be a combination of rifampicin, an antibiotic which has been used for a long time, plus isoniazide. If the bacteria prove resistant to one of the drugs in the combination, your antibiotic course will usually be extended by a few months. There are also rarer instances of ‘extensively drug resistant tuberculosis’ (XDR-TB).

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The decision will depend on how long you’ve taken them for, what dose you’re on, and where on your body you’re having surgery. Steroids can affect the eyes, for example by making glaucoma worse or causing cataracts. They can also cause a problem with your eyes known as serous chorioretinopathy (see-russ core-ee-oh-ret-in-op-ath-ee), which happens when fluid collects in part of the eye. If you notice any changes in your eyesight, such as your vision becoming blurry, be sure to let your doctor know as soon as possible.

The two main types of chest infections are bronchitis, which is usually caused by a virus, and pneumonia, which is most often the result of a bacterial infection. Bronchitis is an infection in the bronchial tubes, the two main airways that lead into your lungs. Pneumonia is an infection in the lungs themselves, and it can actually develop as a complication of bronchitis as well as after other infections such as the flu. The term chest infection is used to describe an infection in the lungs or air passages.

Frequently used treatments

You will be given the lowest possible dose for the shortest possible time, to reduce the risk of side effects. Your dose will probably be reduced gradually as your symptoms improve, or your doctor might suggest a weaker medication. Introduction
This leaflet aims to give Information to parents and carers of children who have a chest infection (Pneumonia) (‘Pneumonia’ means chest infection in Latin). Don’t have immunisations with live vaccines while you’re having treatment and for up to 12 months afterwards.

Stopping smoking while you have bronchitis can also be the perfect opportunity to quit altogether. Decreased lung capacity can indicate an underlying health problem. If a GP thinks you might have an underlying condition, they may also suggest that you have a lung function test.

But you may need to have a chest X-ray to confirm that you have it. Treatment for pneumonia depends on what type of pneumonia you have and how severe it is. If there’s a flu outbreak in your local area and you’re at risk of serious infection, your GP may also prescribe antiviral medication.

Some people may experience shortness of breath or wheezing, due to inflamed airways. The main airways branch off on either side of your windpipe (trachea). They lead to smaller and smaller airways inside your lungs, known as bronchioles. Find out about financial help you may be able to get from the government if you’re dealing with long-term ill health.

Dr Maheinthan Yogeswaran qualified as a doctor from Aberdeen Medical School in 2007. He subsequently trained as a GP and now works as a GP for Medicspot alongside an NHS practice in Essex. He has a wide spectrum of experience; notably in palliative care.

Most chest infections are relatively mild, but they can sometimes cause more serious symptoms that may require treatment in hospital. You can also take steps to prevent your child from catching https://commacksportsfitness.com the viruses and bacteria that cause chest infections. These infections can affect different parts of the respiratory system and are most contagious when they are in the upper airways.