General Practice 2022

Infecç&pulmonary activity: what é, causes, types and treatment

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Infecç&pulmonary activity: what é, causes, types and treatment
Infecç&pulmonary activity: what é, causes, types and treatment
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Lung infection, also called lower respiratory infection, happens when some type of fungus, virus or bacteria manages to multiply in the lungs, causing inflammation and leading to the appearance of some symptoms such as fever, cough, phlegm and difficulty breathing. breathe, for example. Depending on the affected lung site and symptoms, lung infection can be divided into several types, the most common of which are pneumonia, bronchitis and bronchiolitis.

Whenever there is a suspicion of an infection in the lungs, it is very important to consult a pulmonologist, general practitioner, pediatrician or go to a he alth center or emergency room, to confirm the diagnosis and start the most appropriate treatment, which may include the use of antibiotics, hospital stay or just rest.Check out the most common signs of a lung infection.

Causes of lung infection

Pulmonary infection can be caused by fungi, viruses and bacteria that can enter the body through the inhalation of respiratory droplets that are released during coughing, sneezing or talking by people who are infected by these microorganisms.

Fungi are naturally found suspended in the air and are normally aspirated into the body, however they rarely lead to the appearance of signs and symptoms and the development of disease, as they can be easily fought by the body itself. However, when the immune system is weakened due to illness or medication use, respiratory diseases caused by fungi may develop.

Lung infections are more common due to bacteria, such as Streptococcus pneumoniae and Bordetella pertussis, and some types of viruses, and it is important to identify the cause so that appropriate treatment can be carried out.

Main types of lung infection

There are 3 main types of lung infection, which can have different causes:

1. Pneumonia

Pneumonia occurs when there is inflammation of the lung parenchyma, which is the lung wall responsible for exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide. The most common causes of this type of infection are Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae and Mycoplasma pneumoniae bacteria, as well as viruses such as influenza.

When pneumonia develops, the most classic symptoms are fever above 38ÂșC, rapid breathing, cough, chest pain and greenish or bloody phlegm. Learn more about pneumonia and how to treat it.

2. Bronchitis

Bronchitis is inflammation of the bronchi, which are the channels that receive air in the lungs. The most common cause of this type of infection is the flu virus, but it can also be caused by infection with bacteria such as Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydia pneumoniae or Bordetella pertussis.

In bronchitis, fever is not always present and the phlegm is whitish or yellowish. Other symptoms include noises when breathing, constant coughing, and tiredness. See other symptoms of bronchitis.

3. Bronchiolitis

Bronchiolitis is more common in babies under 2 years of age, characterized by inflammation of the bronchioles, which are the narrowest channels of the respiratory system and which receive air from the bronchi. The main cause of this infection is viruses, especially respiratory syncytial virus.

Symptoms that may lead to suspicion of bronchiolitis include wheezing when breathing, rapid breathing, opening of the nose when breathing, and increased irritability and tiredness. Check out how to identify and treat bronchiolitis.

4. COVID-19

COVID-19 is also a type of infection that affects the lungs, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which can cause excessive tiredness, muscle pain, headache and fever, for example.It is important that the infection is identified so that the person remains in isolation and prevents transmission to other people.

In addition, in cases where the symptoms are very intense and there is difficulty breathing, it is important that the person is taken to the hospital to have their oxygen saturation evaluated and the need to use oxygen. Learn more about the symptoms of COVID-19 and take our online test.

How to confirm the diagnosis

To confirm the diagnosis of pulmonary infection, it is recommended to consult a pulmonologist for a physical exam, in addition to complementary exams, such as blood and chest X-ray, for example.

After the diagnosis, treatment begins, but it is important to identify the agent causing the infection to adopt the best treatment approach, and this can be achieved with microbiological analysis of the sputum.

How the treatment is done

Treatment for pulmonary infection is done with drugs that act directly against the causative agent, such as antibiotics, antifungals or antivirals, for example. You can also use pain and fever medication.

To complement the treatment, the doctor may also recommend respiratory physiotherapy, performed with breathing exercises and small devices that allow the elimination of secretions from the lungs, bringing relief from symptoms. In addition, he althy eating and good hydration are also important in the recovery period and during treatment of lung infection.

In more severe cases, where there is no improvement after starting treatment, or when the person has an autoimmune disease that makes the immune system more fragile, hospitalization may be necessary.

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