Infecciones respiratorias altas y bajas. Qué son y cuáles son las diferencias.
Las infecciones respiratorias pueden afectar a las vía respiratorias altas, como la nariz, la garganta, la tráquea o los bronquios; o las vías respiratorias bajas, que constituyen los pulmones. Las primeras son las más comunes y engloban enfermedades tales como el resfriado común (conocido como rinofaringitis aguda), faringoamigladitis y rinosinusitis. Las infecciones de los pulmones, denominadas neumonías, suelen ser mucho más graves, pero también menos comunes. Hay algunas diferencias también dependiendo de si la causa es vírica o bacteriana. Las infecciones víricas suelen ser las más comunes. Las infecciones bacterianas se suelen tratan con antibióticos, pero las víricas no suelen tener un tratamiento específico, por esta razón el médico tiene que ser el encargado de ver qué tratamiento se adapta mejor al paciente, ya que, como mucha gente sabe, cuando la infección es provocada por un virus, el tratamiento, lo único que puede hacer, es aliviar los síntomas y ayudar al paciente a gestionar mejor su malestar, pero ningún medicamento (a excepción de la vacuna) cura un problema vírico.
Estas enfermedades, suelen transmitirse por el aire, por lo que la mejor forma de prevenirlas es el lavado de manos frecuente, extremar la higiene y no acercarse a personas que tengan síntomas o que estén infectadas.
Upper and lower respiratory infections. What they are and their differences.
There are two types of respiratory infections: upper and lower. They are called upper respiratory infection when they affect the upper parts, such as nose, throat, trachea and bronchial tube. On the other hand, the lower respiratory infection affects organs such as lungs. The first is the most common, and it involves diseases as the common cold, pharyngotonsillitis and rhinosinusitis.
Lung infections, known as pneumonia, can be more dangerous, but they are less common. There are some differences depending on whether they are provoked by a virus or a bacterium. The latter are treated with antibiotics, whereas the other one cannot be treated with anything. For this reason, the doctor should prescribe a treatment to help the patient with the symptoms.
These diseases usually infect the person through air. Although, they can also do it by getting in contact with an infected person. This is why, cleaning your hands frequently and not getting closed to a person that already has any symptoms, prevents you from getting sick.
Pneumonia is an infection in the lungs that causes cough with pus and fever. It is normally caused by bacteria, viruses and fungi. It is one of the illnesses that can go from mild to life-threatening. It is most serious for babies and children, people older than age 65 and people with health problems.
The symptoms vary from mild to severe, depending on what caused the infection and age and they are similiter to those of the flu, but they last longer. These symptoms include: chest pain when breathing or coughing, cough, fatigue, fever, chills, vomiting and shortness of breath.
Bronchiolitis is one of the most common lung diseases in children and babies during winter. It is transmitted through air. Normally, it is caused by a virus that swells the small airways up. It starts out with symptoms similar to those of a common cold, but it is normal to cough, hear a whistling noise when the child breathes out or have some difficulties breathing.
These symptoms last several days, weeks or even a month. For the first few days, it is normal to have a stuffy nose and, in some cases, slight fever. Some children will also have an ear infection.
Tonsillitis is an inflammation of the tonsils, a tissue at the back of the throat. Most cases of tonsillitis are caused by a virus, although it can also be caused by a bacterium.
This inflammation most commonly affects children between preschool ages and mid-teenage years. Surgery to remove tonsils is usually performed only when it occurs frequently.
The most common symptoms of tonsillitis vary from swollen tonsils and sore throat to difficulty when swallowing and fever, although it is also normal to have a scratchy voice, stomach-ache, stiff neck and headache.
Bronchitis is a respiratory infection that can be acute or chronic. Acute bronchitis is caused by viruses, the same that cause colds or flu, while chronic bronchitis, a more serious condition, is due to smoking. Symptoms may include: cough, mucus, fatigue, shortness of breath, fever, chills and chest discomfort.
Furthermore, acute bronchitis shares some symptoms with cold such as body aches and headaches. These symptoms usually improve in about a week, but it is possible to have a remaining cough for several weeks. Chronic bronchitis lasts some months and can come back during the following two years