Other ailments such as COPD can have similar symptoms to lung infections, especially when you’re in the midst of a flare up.
So how do you spot a lung infection to ensure you get yourself or a loved one the proper medical care?
Let’s start with the basics.
1. What Is a Lung Infection?
During a lung infection – also known as a chest infection – bacteria, viruses, and (less commonly) fungi build up and grow in a person’s lungs. Lung infections worsen your ability to breath and, if serious enough, can be fatal.
Lung infections affect all ages but are especially prevalent in children and elderly adults. Common types of lung infections are pneumonia, bronchitis, and influenza.
2. How Lung Infections Spread
You can contract a lung infection via coughing, sneezing, touch or even breathing. In fact, even those who don’t clearly exhibit symptoms can spread the illness.
Be sure to regularly wash your hands and practice good hygiene to limit potential infections.
3. Signs & Symptoms
Symptoms of a lung infection are very similar to those of COPD.
Signs and symptoms of a lung infection will often include:
- Fever symptoms, including sweating, shivering, and chills
- Increased shortness of breath
- Increased and thicker levels of mucus
- Chest or stomach pains
- Chronic coughing, sometimes with brown or green-colored phlegm
- General aches and pains
- Loss of appetite
- A child may vomit, have diarrhea and be irritable or lethargic
If you experience any of the above signs and symptoms, you should contact your doctor right away.
4. COPD Flare-Up Vs. Lung Infection
While it can be difficult to tell the two apart, it is important that you know the difference between a COPD flare-up and a lung infection.
COPD flare-ups share similar symptoms such as shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing and more. However, a COPD flare-up is an irritation caused by “triggers” such as weather, pollution, or smoke. These flare-ups do not mean that you have a lung infection, however, you should still seek medical assistance.
If you or a loved one believe you have a lung infection based upon the signs and symptoms listed above, please seek medical assistance. The earlier you receive attention, the better off you’ll be.
Have additional questions regarding lung health? Contact us today.
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