Lung infections can be caused by a virus or bacteria. Illnesses like the flu can cause additional complications that cause different lower respiratory infections. AFC Urgent Care North Bergen has the tools to help diagnose lung infections, such as a chest x-ray, throat swab, or blood culture. Visit our center today to start feeling your best again.
Symptoms to look out for
General health and age can be factors on how severe symptoms are. Those with a lower immune system are likely to have it worse. For healthy adults, symptoms may be mild but persistent. Some signs to look out for include:
Cough that produces mucus
Lung infections such as pneumonia or bronchitis are more likely to produce mucus. Coughing is how the body rids itself from this mucus. This is the symptom that will likely last the longest for any lung infection.
While breathing deeply or coughing, it is normal to experience sharp or stabbing chest pain. This chest pain should never be severe or happening while you are sitting still or not moving. In this case, it is best to see a doctor immediately.
Having a fever is very common for any infection caused by a virus or bacteria. Anything above 100°F can be considered a fever. Bacterial infections are likely to cause worse symptoms, so your fever can rise to be 105°F. Body aches and chills are common, along with a fever. See your doctor if your fever is above 103°F for more than three days.
Shortness of breath
Shortness of breath can happen due to coughing or just in general. If you are having trouble breathing, visit your doctor.
It is possible for your body to feel tired as it is fighting off the infection. Fatigue is a common symptom of pneumonia. This is another one that can last for weeks after all symptoms have subsided.
With inflammation in the airways, it is possible to hear a high-pitched wheezing noise while exhaling. Rattling in the lungs is also a common sign of a lung infection. Doctors can detect this using a stethoscope.
Treatment for lung infections
Like any other bacterial illness, antibiotics can be used to fight off the infection. With a virus, allowing your body to fight off the illness is the only way to treat it. OTC medications such as ibuprofen, rest, and drinking plenty of water can all help to speed up the process. Your doctor at AFC North Bergen can help determine the right course of action for your illness.
To avoid getting a lung infection, follow the same protocols as typical diseases. With COVID-19 targeting the lungs, be sure to wear a mask when around others and maintain a 6-foot distance. Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face to stay healthy from all lung infections. Vaccines designed to fight off bacterial pneumonia can also help keep you and others safe.