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What is the Treatment for Chest Infection?

Empower yourself with this comprehensive guide for managing and preventing chest infections for optimal respiratory health.

  • 23 Jan 2024
  • 3 min read
  • 26 views

Chest infection refers to the infection and inflammation of the lungs and upper respiratory tract. Depending upon the cause and extent of infection, the condition can be mild or severe. Chest infection can be due to bacterial or viral infection.  In the lungs and airway, the pathogen grows resulting in inflammation, and mucous formation. This leads to constant cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, muscle pain, etc.  The chest infection passes from one person to another and can cause mass infections. To control this condition and avoid the spread, it is important to take action on time.    

Treatment of Chest Infection

If the infection is due to a virus, then it usually goes by itself depending upon the immunity of the patient. But if it is caused due to bacteria, then the doctor will provide antibiotics along with other medicines to relieve symptoms.

The following are the chest infection treatment options: 

  • Antibiotics and medicines – In case of bacterial chest infection antibiotics are recommended for severe symptoms like pneumonia. Common antibiotics used are amoxicillin (a type of penicillin), clarithromycin, doxycycline, etc. Other than antibiotics some medicines like analgesics, antipyretics, and cough medicines are recommended to ease the symptoms. These medicines are recommended in both bacterial and viral chest infection cases. In the case of viral chest infections like acute bronchitis, no specific antibiotic is recommended.
  • Home remedies – In case of mild chest infection, some herbal medicines are recommended and they work very well. Some common home remedies are warm water gargle, hot lemon-ginger tea, ginger, and honey cough drops, etc.  Drinking warm water helps to loosen the mucous accumulated. 
  • Restraining from physical activity – Depending upon the severity of infection the patient is recommended to take rest and avoid heavy physical activity. 

Chest infection can be prevented in the following ways:

  • Awareness – Being aware of the seasonal flu and other infections circulating in the surrounding area is important. Depending upon the type of viral strain causing the flu, flu shots are given. This gives protection from the circulating strain and helps us avoid severe infection.
  • Avoid catching and circulating infection – The following ways are used to prevent chest infection circulation:
  • Regular hand washing
  • Wearing a mask if an infection is suspected in the surroundings 
  • Cover mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing 

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Conclusion

Milder forms of chest infections may not need any specific treatment and will resolve on its own. If an individual develops breathlessness, bloody mucous, has a persistent cough for 3 weeks, or if a chest infection occurs in pregnant women, then immediate medical intervention is recommended. The infection spreads easily, so, it is extremely important to avoid the circulation of infectious agents. A severe chest infection can cause a significant financial burden due to expensive medicines and tests. However, having a good health insurance policy helps secure us financially.

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