Lower respiratory infections can include diseases such as bronchitis, influenza, pneumonia, lung abscesses, or other problems. More serious lower respiratory infections can include tuberculosis or lung cancer. These types of infections were one of the leading causes of people dying of all kinds of infectious type diseases with millions of deaths occurring every year.
Symptoms of lower respiratory infections
The symptoms include the following:
- Breathing problems
- Extreme tiredness
- Persistent coughing
- Heightened fevers
- Weak feeling
- Soreness in the throat
- Runny nose
- Phelgm that shows blood or is a gray or green hue
- Eyes that are watery or itchy
- Bad headache
Symptoms of infections in babies and small children include:
- Having trouble feeding from a bottle or breast
- Wheezing or grunting (breathing problems)
- Chest pain
- Being irritable
Diagnosis of lower respiratory infections
If the doctor suspects someone has a lower respiratory infection they may take a blood test or schedule a chest X-ray to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment for lower respiratory Infections
One of the first choices for treatment of lower respiratory infections is antibiotics for five to seven days, unless it was caused by a virus, as antibiotics don’t work to cure viruses. That is why it is vital to know the exact cause of the infection. These will help to treat those that are caused by a bacterial source of infection. If a bacterial version is suspected, the two most common antibiotics used to treat lower respiratory infections are penicillin and amoxicillin.
Other treatments may be given to help relieve the symptoms like drinking lots of fluids to stay hydrated, taking pain medication such as Tylenol or ibuprofen for pain and fever, or taking over the counter medications to treat the runny nose or cough.
In some cases, there are no treatments for lower respiratory infections unless it gets severe and so the infection clears up on its own. If you believe you have this type of infection, you should go to your doctor if the symptoms of lower respiratory infections appear and then gets worse. This is especially the case when it comes to babies, small children and the elderly, as they are more susceptible to serious infections and complications.
The main thing to remember when it comes to lower respiratory infections is to take note of the seriousness of the symptoms of lower respiratory infections so that the doctor can decide on the best course of treatments for lower respiratory infections and help you to get well fast.