Symptoms and Treatments

  • Understanding Acute Bronchitis - Symptoms and Treatment

    Acute bronchitis is an infection that leads to inflammation and increased mucus production in the lungs. The symptoms may be similar to other respiratory illness—coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing, or chest tightness or pain are all common symptoms of acute bronchitis. [1]

    A persistent cough is the most common symptom that indicates bronchitis—the cough may or may not be productive, and if it is, the sputum (mucus or phlegm) expelled may be yellow or greenish or clear. [1] Other non-respiratory symptoms include fatigue or tiredness, and slight fever or chills. [1] It is common for acute bronchitis to onset alongside or just after having a cold, flu or other respiratory virus or infection. [2] Nasal congestion or sinusitis may also accompany or lead to developing acute bronchitis. [3] [4]

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  • What is Hypoxia?

    The word hypoxia means "low oxygen". To put in other words, hypoxia is the reduced supply or availability of oxygen to the body tissues. Hypoxia can be generalized, affecting the whole body or it can be localized, confined to one part or region of the body. What makes hypoxia so dangerous is its ability to permanently damage body organs, like the brain. That’s because cells require an uninterrupted supply of oxygen to thrive. Once they lose that, they start to wither.

    To understand hypoxia, you must know a little about how oxygen is supplied to different body parts. Our lungs are the main sites for gaseous exchange in the body. Each lung is composed of a huge number of tiny air pockets or sacs called "alveoli", which are covered with extremely small blood vessels called the capillaries. When air is inhaled into the lungs, the oxygen present in it moves through the walls of alveoli into the blood present in the capillaries and from there into the blood circulation. From here onwards, oxygen is transported to the tissues of body through the hemoglobin (a protein) in red blood cells. Once hemoglobin takes oxygen to the target tissues, oxygen detaches itself from hemoglobin and is utilized by body tissues.

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  • Symptoms & Treatments of Sarcoidosis

    Sarcoidosis of the lungs (pulmonary sarcoidosis) often causes a dry cough, mild chest pain, or shortness of breath. Sarcoidosis of the skin and other areas can cause a scaly rash, red bumps on the legs, sore eyes, or swelling and muscle pain.  Other general symptoms may also occur including fatigue, fever, weakness, and weight loss.

    Because these symptoms are common in other diseases as well, sarcoidosis can be difficult to diagnose.  To diagnose it, doctors will generally conduct a physical exam and order lab tests including pulmonary function tests (to test the lung’s abilities), and a lung X-ray.  In the X-ray, the doctor will look for enlarged lymph glands in the chest, which could indicate sarcoidosis.

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  • Symptoms of RSV

    Symptoms of RSV are similar to colds and other respiratory infections.  They may include coughing, sneezing, stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, fever, loss of appetite, wheezing, and trouble sleeping.  Very young infants may become irritable, have difficulty breathing, and show decreased activity.  Severe cases of RSV can also result in bluish skin color due to a lack of oxygen and difficulty breathing.

    Most people show symptoms of RSV within 4-6 days of being infected and will recover within 1-2 weeks.  However, people can continue to be contagious for 1-3 weeks after they have stopped manifesting symptoms.

    RSV is diagnosed through a chest X-ray and mucus sample that is analyzed for presence of the virus.  However, because the symptoms are very similar to a cold, the disease often goes undiagnosed.

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  • Symptoms & Treatment of Pulmonary Vascular Disease

    As we mentioned in the previous post, pulmonary vascular disease is not a single disease, but rather a group of disorders affecting the blood flow to or from the lungs.

    Regardless of which specific disorder is occurring, the symptoms can vary depending on the suddenness of the process, which vessels are affected, and how much of the pulmonary vascular system is affected.  For example, a sudden, large, pulmonary embolism that blocks a large artery can cause sever shortness of breath and chest pain.  On the other hand, a small pulmonary embolism that blocks only a small blood vessel may not cause any noticeable symptoms.

    Below is a brief discussion of the symptoms for some of the pulmonary vascular diseases.  This overview is not meant to be used for diagnosis.  If you or someone you know is concerned about a potential lung problem, they should see a doctor immediately for proper diagnosis.

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  • Symptoms and Treatment of Lung Cancer

    In its early stages, lung cancer is a silent disease. Most individuals are asymptomatic (without symptoms) for the first several months up to a year or two. Unfortunately, lung cancer is generally in its advanced stages when individuals begin to feel something is wrong.

    The symptoms include shortness of breath or wheezing, chest pain that doesn’t go away, a persistent cough, frequent lung infections, loss of appetite and weight loss. Someone with lung cancer may get bronchitis regularly, or pneumonia, as the lungs are rendered defenseless by the malignant tumor.

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  • Symptoms and Treatment of Influenza

    The flu- we’ve all had it. But is it really what people think it is? Much of the time, when people think they have the flu, they are actually suffering from food poisoning of some sort. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are not typical symptoms of the flu.

    In fact, the usual symptoms include a sudden fever, coughing, head and muscle aches, joint pain, nasal congestion, and a sore throat. Still, these symptoms can be mistaken for a cold virus, as well. The only way to know if it is indeed the flu is to see the doctor within 2 to 3 days of the start of the illness.

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  • Symptoms and Treatment of Hypersensitivity Pneumonitus

    Hypersensitivity pneumonitus is a unique lung disease occurring in people who have sensitivities or allergies to particular irritants or allergens. Anything from fungus to animal dander can be the culprit. It is caused by someone’s lungs being triggered by an irritant, and worsened when the individual continues to be exposed to the irritant over time.

    Hypersensitivity pneumonitus, in its acute phase, can show up as much as 4-6 hours after the exposure to the dust, making the source harder to identify at times. Chills, fatigue, a non-productive cough, tightness in the chest, fever, and shortness of breath are all common symptoms.

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  • Symptoms and Treatment for Human Metapneumovirus (hMPV)

    Human Metapneumovirus is a virus that manifests as a cold or flu virus. How serious the illness is depends upon which area of the respiratory system it attacks.

    For most people who contract hMPV, the symptoms are cold-like, such as fever, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and a cough. Like other cold viruses, it will pass after just a few days and the patient can get on with life as planned.

    However, in some individuals, the disease of hMPV manifests itself as a flu virus, concentrating on the lower respiratory system and causing flu-like symptoms. These symptoms include a more serious fever, trouble breathing, unusually rapid breathing, wheezing, diarrhea, a severe cough, and/or vomiting.

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  • Symptoms and Treatment of Histoplasmosis

    Histoplasmosis is a lung infection that occurs from exposure to the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum. Many individuals who contract the illness pass through it without any symptoms.

    The acute version of Histoplasmosis is relatively mild, with simple flu-like symptoms. Fever can occur, along with chest pains, an unproductive cough, and just not feeling well in general.

    A more serious case of Histoplasmosis includes symptoms like skin lesions, shortness of breath, and coughing up blood. Also common are excessive sweating, headache, mouth sores, and stiffness in the neck.

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