Lower Respiratory Diseases
Lower respiratory diseases are a pretty spread problem. They are infections that run acutely. Some examples are acute bronchitis, capillary bronchitis (bronchiolitis), influenza, whooping cough, etc. These conditions include inflammation of the pulmonary alveoli. In many countries, they are the main factor in the morbidity and mortality among both adults and children. Nonetheless, the risk of these conditions is underestimated. Among other lung disorders, bronchitis and pneumonia are quite widely spread.
Acute bronchitis and capillary bronchitis (bronchiolitis)
Acute bronchitis is a respiratory tract infection that has a very acute onset, mainly seen in adults. Bronchiolitis starts in the lower respiratory tract. The disease develops in infants and children under 2 years old. This is also a very common reason for hospitalization of children under 1 year old.
Bronchitis always causes cough, that appears without any obvious reason. Bronchiolitis in infants causes coughing and wheezing, which can last for several weeks or even months.
In about 90% cases, the acute form of bronchitis is associated with viruses. The infection is caused by influenza virus and rhinovirus. In less than 10% cases, the disease starts as a result of certain pathogenic bacteria's activity. Bronchiolitis in infants develops when a respiratory syncytial virus enters the body.
As a rule, no drugs are needed to treat acute bronchitis. Its symptoms can be eliminated with homemade remedies, good healthy sleep and sufficient rest. It is important to drink a lot of fluid. Antibiotics do not treat viruses, so they are not prescribed as a treatment for acute bronchitis.
Treatment for bronchiolitis in infants requires non-medicated therapy and preventive measures to strengthen the immunity. In very severe cases, antiviral drugs are indicated.
Pneumonia (lungs inflammation)
Pneumonia is a dangerous disease, although many people do not pay due attention to this condition. First symptoms of pneumonia are manifested only in 3-4 weeks after infection. There are 2 types of pneumonia:
- community-acquired, or «home» pneumonia, — passed on during a contact with an infected person;
- nosocomial pneumonia, that is spread in a hospital.
People, who have pneumonia, along wth cough experience fever, high temperature, and wheezing. Moreover, the patient may feel pain in the chest, especially when coughing and breathing. Weakness, fatigue and headaches are typical for pneumonia.
Most often, pneumonia in adults develops due to bacteria, called Streptococcus pneumonia. The disease can also be caused by viruses. In children, pneumonia is caused by a respiratory syncytial virus.
If the patient suspects pneumonia, he or she should undergo X-ray, that will detect the presence of the disease. Pneumonia is treated with antibiotics. Depending on the severity of the condition, other therapies can be combined with medication.