What Makes Chest Infections So Dangerous?

February 1, 2023

What Makes Chest Infections So Dangerous?

Like any infection, chest infections can cause you to feel pretty miserable for a while. What makes them a little different, though, is their potential to become serious infections relatively quickly.

While both bronchitis and pneumonia can often be treated at home with some simple remedies and OTC medication, they could become serious situations if the infection spreads. If you are worried about your most recent chest infection or symptoms, stop by AFC Urgent Care Farragut for a visit and evaluation.

In the meantime, our team explains the difference between bronchitis and pneumonia below, so keep reading to learn more.

Where Do Chest Infections Come From?

Bronchitis is often the result of a viral infection, though a bacterial case is possible. The virus (or bacterial infection) settles into your bronchial tubes, which are in charge of transporting air in and out of your lungs. The resulting symptoms due to the irritation that the virus causes are a hacking cough with mucus.

Pneumonia can be caused by a wide variety of things. Bacteria, viruses, funguses and even inhaling something you shouldn’t have, like a piece of food, can cause pneumonia to develop. This type of infection settles into your alveoli, which help transport oxygen and carbon dioxide through your blood.

Indications That You Have Bronchitis

  • Tightness in chest
  • Hacking cough with clear or green mucus
  • Wheezing
  • Fever

Do I Need to Treat Bronchitis?

It is important to keep an eye on your symptoms, even if they are mild and able to be handled at home. If your symptoms progressively get worse or don’t go away, you are at risk of developing pneumonia.

Pneumonia is particularly dangerous because it causes fluid to build up in your alveoli sacs, which causes a severe cough and can make it hard to breathe. Trouble breathing is always considered a medical emergency! It is also important to treat your pneumonia quickly to prevent the infection from spreading elsewhere in your body and causing serious issues like bacteremia and multi-organ failure.

Signs of a Serious Lung Infection

  • High fever that lasts for days
  • Chest pain
  • Blood in your mucus
  • Fatigue and confusion

Do you have a new cough? Stop by AFC Urgent Care Farragut today.

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