What exactly Is A Chest Infection? - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation
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What exactly Is A Chest Infection?

glenninindy
glenninindy

What exactly is a chest infection and how do I know for sure if I have one? I read here that some Folks do not even know that they even have one and get lung damage. Whenever I am exposed too cool and damp weather, I get short of breath, but nothing else happens. Could that also be a chest infection?

10 Replies
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I actually asked my respiratory consultant and he said that a chest infection which is broad term and encompasses many things. You can have something like bronchitis which may not show any abnormalities on a x-ray to a pneumonia which can be so bad, you’re critically ill. Plus, there’s viral infections, bacterial ones and fungal ones - all needing different treatment.

For those of us who have respiratory conditions where coughing green mucus, fevers and coughing are part of the condition itself. So, it can be hard to figure out what is ‘normal’ for us and what needs additional treatment due to infection.

Hope this is somewhat helpful.

I really do not even know why I was diagnosed with copd. I was a heavy smoker for years and told my doc that I was short of breath. I have been short of breath for 40 years on and off due to having panic attacks. The doctor gave me an inhaler, and said nothing else seems wrong. He listened to my chest and said, "good." Then I went in the ER for an emergency Gall Bladder removal and was given continuous oxygen for ten days in the hospital because there were biliary complications and I needed a stent inserted. I came home to an oxygen concentrator and nebulizer and was told that I would need it long term. Mind you, I was NEVER given an actual copd diagnosis, nor given any other tests to determine if I had any type of lung disease! I do not cough, get fevers, etc. I only have breath shortness with oxygen saturation levels always being between 91-97. My blood pressure is good and pulse-rate is always good. I repeat, I did not get tested for copd other than a standard chest xray which I was told only showed some congestion.

Bkin
Bkin
in reply to glenninindy

shortness of breath is caused by many illness one of them being cardiac issues and panic attacks, chest infections, pneumonia, being overweight to name just a few. Suggest you chat with your doctor to determine if your shortness of breath is the result of lung damage or cardiac damage, panic attack, could well be a combination of these. Once being a heavy smoker likely has resulted in some lung damage.

You say "I really do not even know why I was diagnosed with copd. "

Then you say " I was NEVER given an actual copd diagnosis"

all in the same paragraph in reply to crashdoll

Whatever the cause of your breathing issues, I hope when your chest infection is resolved you are breathing a lot easier.

glenninindy
glenninindy
in reply to Bkin

My doctor said that nothing is wrong with my heart. I had some heart tests before they took my gallbladder out last September.

glenninindy
glenninindy
in reply to Bkin

What I meant was that they never actually told me that I had copd and never tested me further except standard chest xrays and listening to my chest with a stethoscope, yet I have an oxygen concentrator, a nebulizer, I take Montelukast at night, and I have a portable tank, plus he gave me a Brio inhaler which I stopped using, all of these things without even having a spirometer or breathing test, or cat scan on my chest.

Bkin
Bkin
in reply to glenninindy

Which country do you reside?

People are not usually prescribed oxygen and nebulizer, meds, without evidence of a need. So you could go back and ask your consultant, GP why were you prescribed these what test revealed you need to have them, you need to know the facts, can you have copy of your chest xray results and any other test results.

Explanation Chest Infection - read about it here : nhsinform.scot/illnesses-an...

Breathing affected by cool damp air and very hot temperatures and high humidity can result in a narrowing of the airways, these conditions can exacerbate symptoms but not necessarily result in a chest infection.

The latter is common with COPD emphysema.

glenninindy
glenninindy
in reply to Bkin

Thank-You. I wish I knew more about why I have always had breathing problems for decades. Doctors never tested me thoroughly enough for lung issues, nor ever told me I had copd. I even have a small portable tank. Some days are fine with no problems. Some days I feel like I am not going to breathe at all and take my nebulizer medicine and oxygen. Maybe I should join the anxiety forum here. I live by myself with no family or friends anymore to talk to. : ( I quit smoking 3 months ago. I almost never cough up any phlem, but my chest is loose sometimes when I do. I don't get it. My energy level is fine except for long walks or bike rides because I do not exercise much. I feel better when I move around more though. I will not know the truth until I have more tests. Some folks here do strenuous physical work-outs and have some form of copd also.

Bkin
Bkin
in reply to glenninindy

Its for you to discuss with your doctor, to completely understand your health issue. Ask to have the tests that confirm COPD. Ask for another Chest xray to see if your chest is now clear. Chest xrays can show lung infections but lung infections can clear up but they can also cause lung damage if treatment is delayed.

Hope you discover the answers to you questions and concerns.

If you are living in the UK you can telephone the BLF helpline on Tuesday (after bank holiday) to speak with one of the respiratory nurses, who will advise you further on what questions you may put to your doctor. Mean time you might want to check out some of the BLF's pages:

blf.org.uk/

blf.org.uk/support-for-you/...

My shortness of breath is usually an exacerbation caused by a trigger, like smoke, perfume, paraffin wax candles etc.

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