Respiratory diseases are the major reason people see a doctor, particularly during the winter, and even here in Florida. Many of them are contagious.
Common Respiratory Diseases
Respiratory diseases can be acute — meaning they come on suddenly and make you feel really sick — or chronic, meaning they constantly recur.
Most respiratory diseases are caused by viruses that spread from one person to another. (That’s one reason why we offer vaccines against flu and pneumonia). Antibiotics won’t help viruses, but bed rest and the right kind of medication can.
Here is the respiratory illness list of the common diseases we see and treat most often:
Asthma is a common respiratory disease triggered by allergies or pollution that inflame the airways. Asthma “attack” usually starts with violent coughing and leads to shortness of breath or wheezing. Asthma often begins in childhood.
Bronchitis usually follows a bad viral head cold. It inflames the lining of the airways and causes a loud, barking cough that brings up mucus. Patients have a mild fever, chills; and fatigue from the severe coughing.
Flu, or influenza, is caused by a seasonal virus that strikes during the winter months but can infect a person at any time. Mild flu can feel like a cold, while more serious flu brings headaches and muscle aches, fever, a very sore throat, and chills.
Pneumonia is a lung infection that can develop after a long, untreated bout of bronchitis or severe flu. It’s also caused by bacteria and sometimes a fungus, like mold. Older people are at greater risk for pneumonia.
Treatment for Respiratory Diseases
Respiratory diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi are treated with different medications. Antibiotics are not always useful. We as medical center urgent care prescribe medications to ease symptoms, including inhalers for asthma and cough suppressants for bronchitis.
High fevers in pneumonia are treated with aspirin or NSAIDs like ibuprofen. Bed rest and getting lots of fluids are very important as well.
For more information, reach out to Broadway Health.