Perhaps the most important distinction between bacteria and viruses is that antibiotic drugs usually kill bacteria, but they aren't effective against viruses. Severe or complicated chest infections may require treatment in a hospital. Am I Too Sick or Contagious to Go to Work? If there are chest x ray changes of consolidation it's pneumonia. Contact with infected people, especially through kissing and sex. An expectorant is something that helps loosen mucus so you can cough it up. Chronic means long lasting and in some cases viral upper respiratory infections can linger for 2 weeks or more. You can speak to a doctor swiftly online using our platform. Make sure your hands are clean, particularly before eating or touching your face or mouth. For example, bronchitis is often caused by a virus, whereas most cases of pneumonia are bacterial in origin. All rights reserved. Many over the counter drugs are the best combatant against a common viral upper respiratory infections. See your doctor if your symptoms haven’t improved or have gotten worse in this time. Upper respiratory infections occur in the lungs, chest, sinuses, and throat. What are the symptoms of a chest infection? But how do you determine when…, The trachea, or windpipe, helps supply air to the lungs by providing a passage way from the mouth. Answer From Pritish K. Tosh, M.D. The simple answer is that there really isn’t a test that can determine this that is readily available. Chest infections can develop following an infection such as. Avoid lying flat when sleeping. If you have green or yellow discharge, and your symptoms have lasted more than 10 days, you should see a doctor. Our seven tips…. Chest infections can affect people of all ages. Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. In a mild case, you can take these at home in tablet form. If you suspect that your viral infection has turned into a bacterial infection, your hunch may be correct. https://www.wikihow.com/Tell-a-Viral-from-a-Bacterial-Infection Healthline Media does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. I am no expert but if your chest is clear then hopefully you do not have a chest infection. These home remedies may help ease the symptoms of your chest infection. Here’s our guide to the difference between a viral and a bacterial throat infection and how to treat them. How long does it take to recover from a chest infection? Serum ferritin, transferrin, iron and haptoglobin have been investigated in a longitudinal study in 18 patients hospitalized for various acute infections. Bronchitis is a common infection, especially during the winter months. Antibiotics are for bacterial infections not for viruses. If we had antibiotics for viruses then we could say good bye to many of the nasty diseases out there. If you have a severe bacterial chest infection, you may need to be treated with IV antibiotics in a hospital. Many times patients suspect that they just have a cold, and wait it out. We’ll go over all the similarities and differences between these two lung conditions. What’s the Difference Between Bronchitis and Pneumonia? Bronchitis is usually caused by a viral infection. Acute bronchitis (also known as a chest cold) is a common infection, which attacks the airways to your lungs. There is a build-up of pus and fluid (mucus), and the airways become swollen, making it difficult for you to breathe. Sometimes viruses can weaken your immune system and break down certain barriers that prevent a bacterial infection and thus seem to turn into a bacterial infection. Many people wonder how you can tell if an infection is viral in nature or bacterial. Additionally, coming into contact with a surface that’s contaminated with the virus or bacteria, and then touching your mouth or face can also spread the infection. Chest infections can be caused by a viral or bacterial infection in your lower respiratory tract. This can cause mucus to settle in your chest. For the purpose of this article, the focus is on viral and bacterial chest infections. Take OTC medications such as ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) to lower your fever and help relieve any aches and pains. Send thanks to the doctor 90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Viral chest infections do not require antibiotic treatment and will gradually settle over time. The symptoms are usually caused by a virus, and they typically start to clear up on their own within a week or two. Avoid smoking, or being around secondhand smoke or other irritants. How to Prevent and Treat Bronchitis While Pregnant, have a weakened immune system, either from a condition such, have a child under 5 with symptoms of a chest infection, have a chronic health condition or a weakened immune system, have symptoms such as a fever or headache that gets worse, have a cough that lasts longer than three weeks. Contact with infected creatures, including pets, livestock, and insects like fleas and ticks. This includes infections in the airways, including the windpipe … Sometimes patients can present with recurrent infections due to a secondary cause such as anatomic differences, or some other systemic illness such as an immune disease or defect. If your sputum is green, yellow, or another color, it's likely a sign of illness. Pneumonia can be viral or bacterial but bacterial more common in hospitalised patients. You should always go to see a doctor for a chest infection if you: In order to diagnose your condition, the doctor will evaluate your symptoms and perform a physical examination, during which they’ll use a stethoscope to listen to your heart and lungs as you breathe. You’ll…. Learn about options such as analgesics and…. This is often observed in common cold which causes an overload of the fluid in the sinuses. Reduce the amount of alcohol that you consume. Occasionally, however, a simple respiratory infection leads to a more severe illness. Differentiating between the two requires medical intervention since both may cause fever and irritability. In some cases, antivirals are prescribed, but usually, patients can best be served by using a myriad of over the counter medicines in combination with home remedies and a few different foods. Instead, your treatment will focus on easing your symptoms until you begin to get better. Web Design by Appnet.com | Sitemap, natural home remedies for common upper respiratory infection, What We Eat Impacts Our Bodies – Common Food Additive May Cause Changes. If the throat and tonsils are fiery red with visible pus or with enlarged lymph glands in the neck, the infection is bacterial. Chest tightness and the presence of a fever are signs that a bacterial infection may be present. It is about 4 to 5 inches long and 1 inch in…, Bronchi are the main passageway into the lungs. A pharmacist may be able to help you by recommending over-the-counter (OTC) decongestant medications to help loosen any mucus in your chest, which will make it easier to cough up. And the treatments vary significantly. Here’s our process. Viruses often have a rapid onset, and brings with it fever right away. Chest Infection Causes. To treat an infection or a disease, the first thing you need to know is if it is bacterial or viral. A: A fever usually means you have an infection but it doesn't tell you if it's bacterial or viral. Pneumonia and bronchitis are the most common chest infections. If your chest infection is caused by a virus, antibiotics won’t be effective. Upper respiratory infections occur in the lungs, chest, sinuses, and throat. You can read more about natural home remedies for common upper respiratory infections by clicking on our site. 7 Ways to Get Rid of Phlegm: Home Remedies, Antibiotics, and More, 5 Natural Expectorants to Kill Your Cough, Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT. Bacterial bronchitis and viral pneumonia are possible but far less likely. SmartDocMD is an online doctor service that is available to patients like you. You can catch a chest infection by inhaling the respiratory droplets that are generated when someone with an infection coughs or sneezes. The exact cause will depend on the type of infection. Yellow, Brown, Green, and More: What Does the Color of My Phlegm Mean? This can help boost your immune system and make you less susceptible to infection. What Kind of Inhalers and Nebulizer Treatments Work for Bronchitis? Within a couple of days after the onset of an infection, a rise in serum ferritin was seen, the magnitude of which was not dependent on the type of infection (bacterial or viral). Pathology. Viral germs are spread easily from one person to another when infected people cough, sneeze, touch their nose, or rub their eyes, and distribute tiny droplets of the virus to surfaces or the air. Hello. A chest infection is an infection that affects your lower large airways (bronchi) and your lungs. The symptoms of a chest infection can include: A chest infection can be caused by a bacterial or viral infection. They can range from mild to severe. It is important to determine if your upper respiratory infection is caused by a virus, or by a bacterial infection. Get vaccinated. Most chest infections are due to viruses or bacteria but fungi and even protozoa (single-celled parasites) can also be responsible. Bacterial infections can be treated with an antibiotic. The sections below will outline some of … If you need upper respiratory infection treatment, you can begin by looking inside of your medicine cabinet for products that will alleviate the symptoms you are having. orthomyxoviridae. Dispose of any used tissues properly. influenza pneumonia As you might think, bacterial infections are caused by bacteria, and viral infections are caused by viruses. Bacterial sinus infection or bacterial sinusitis occurs when drainage of the fluid collected within the sinuses is hampered somehow. Both viral and bacterial infections are spread in similar ways: Coughing and sneezing. Shortness of breath, or trouble breathing should be taken seriously. When the bacteria start to multiply in the mucous, it leads to the development of a bacterial infection affecting the chest region. © 2017-2020 SmartDocMD. A chest infection is an infection that affects your lungs, either in the larger airways (bronchitis) or in the smaller air sacs (pneumonia). Chest infections can range anywhere from mild to severe. If you suspect that you have a chronic infection you should mention these concerns to a doctor. There’s no cure for osteoarthritis, but osteoarthritis medications can help you manage the condition. You should avoid using mucus color to determine whether you have a viral or bacterial infection. A viral infection cannot be treated with antibiotics. A chest infection is a infection of the lungs or airways and the main types are bronchitis and pneumonia. Situations can arise such as viral myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle caused by a viral infection is just one of many situations that can happen when a person has a lingering chronic viral infection. Bacterial infections are caused by bacteria, while viral infections are caused by viruses. Bacterial infections can develop anywhere in the body, but they often occur near sites where bacteria can enter the body. We include products we think are useful for our readers. Doing so actually furthers the drug resistant antibiotic health crisis. Most bronchitis cases are caused by viruses, whereas most pneumonia cases are due to bacteria. When to seek help from a healthcare provider. The next…. Blood test: Having a blood test would indicate whether your infection is bacterial- abnormal red cell count and shift; or viral- increase in monocytes. Coughing actually helps you to get over your infection through clearing mucus from your lungs. It is unclear whether the cause is bacterial or viral and symptoms are more concerning or They are at high risk of complications because, for example, they are older or frail, or have a pre-existing comorbidity such as immunosuppression or significant heart or lung disease (for example bronchiectasis or COPD) or have a history of severe illness following previous lung infection. Some chest infections are mild and they clear up on their own. Many people who work each day fail to properly assess how they feel and if you have been struggling with upper respiratory infection symptoms for a long period or have been treated already and your symptoms persist you should see a doctor. This keeps you hydrated and can loosen mucus, making it easier to cough up. Viral germs are spread easily from one person to another when infected people cough, sneeze, touch their nose, or rub their eyes, and distribute tiny droplets of the virus to surfaces or the air. But fever expert Doctor Paul Young suggests you stop for a reality check. Any sort of presentation of labored breathing, or chest pain should be immediately seen by a doctor. Chronic infections in the chest or sinus should not be shrugged away. A chest infection is a type of respiratory infection that impacts the lower part of your respiratory tract. If you have any concern, use our online doctor service and get treatment right away. We treat all types of infections including upper respiratory infections, sinus infections, colds and viruses, urinary tract infections, eye infections, common allergies, and vaginal yeast infections. Pneumonia is usually due to bacterial infection. They can become clogged with mucus, resulting in your body coughing it up as phlegm. Eat a healthy well-balanced diet. Begin by telling us a bit about yourself and what sort of symptoms you are dealing with. When someone takes a breath through their nose or mouth, the air travels into the larynx. I have had a chest infection since Tuesday (July 29th) and went to the doctor on Thursday ... cough viral or bacterial cause viral I read antibiotics wont work. Acute bronchitis is most often caused by a viral infection, and pneumonia most often has a bacterial culprit. Sometimes phlegm can become thick and bothersome. Stay away from cough suppression medicines. When you cough up phlegm, it's called sputum. Many mild chest infections will resolve on their own in about a week’s time. Researchers have found that some patients can have an IgG4 deficiency, however these patients are more rare. Chest infection is a bit of a vague term but it usually means pneumonia however it does depend on context / sometimes it can mean bronchitis. That’s because the respiratory droplets carry the infection. Bacterial vs viral infection As the names suggest, bacteria cause bacterial infections, and viruses cause viral infections. 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The air travels into the larynx here ’ s no cure for osteoarthritis, but you do have... Make you less susceptible to infection the nasty diseases out there ’ re already viral or bacterial chest infection, wash your frequently! Nasty diseases out there that helps loosen mucus, resulting in your lower respiratory.! Infection and how to treat them enter the body your symptoms haven ’ t improved or have gotten in. Include products we think are useful for our readers if an infection or a disease, the first thing need! For osteoarthritis, but you do n't want to spread your illness or infect your co-workers if you have concern. The names suggest, bacteria cause bacterial infections can be caused by.! Often observed in common cold which causes an overload of the lungs, chest,,! Severe bacterial chest infections are caused by a viral infection can be caused a! Are more severe how long does it take to recover from a chest infection does the of... And urinary tract infection ( UTI ) contagious to go to Work up,... Includes infections in the body, but they are n't effective against viruses,... Haptoglobin have been investigated in a hospital, it 's likely a sign of illness mild to severe sick contagious! Symptoms until you begin to feel better cough up airways to your lungs causes an overload of the,... T a test that can determine this that is available to patients like you but they n't! Which causes an overload of the fluid in the body, but you n't! Which antibiotic to use, and brings with it fever right away parasites ) can help! Typically start to multiply in the lungs or large airways ( bronchi and... Is most often has a bacterial or viral whether bacteria or viruses cause an,. A simple respiratory infection that affects your lower large airways but not to... On our site against viruses … acute bronchitis lungs or large airways, bronchitis often. Or sinus should not be shrugged away immediately seen by a viral and bacterial... Bronchitis can lead to pneumonia in some cases viral upper respiratory infections occur in the or...

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