How to treat a lung infection and possible complications

The treatment for pulmonary infection varies according to the microorganism responsible for the infection, and the use of antivirals may be indicated, in case the infection is due to viruses, or antimicrobials if it is related to bacteria or fungi. It is important that in addition to the use of the medicine indicated by the doctor, the person remains at rest, has a healthy diet and drinks plenty of fluids to speed recovery.

For the treatment to be more effective, it is important that the diagnosis is made as soon as the first symptoms appear, as this is more likely to eliminate the causative agent of the infection and decrease the risk of complications. However, as most cases of infection are caused by bacteria, most of the times the doctor indicates the use of antibiotics even before the results of the exams, only from the assessment of the signs and symptoms presented by the person.

How is the treatment

Treatment for pulmonary infection is done according to the infectious agent, and the use of:

  • Antibiotics, in the case of infection by bacteria, such as Amoxicillin, Clarithromycin, Levofloxacin, Ceftriaxone or Azithromycin;
  • Antifungals, in the case of fungal infection, such as Itraconazole or Fluconazole, in addition to in some cases antibiotics may also be recommended;
  • Antivirals, in the case of infection by Oseltamivir, Zanamivir or Ribavirin virus according to the virus responsible for the infection and severity of the symptoms presented by the person.

Although the doctor often indicates the beginning of treatment with antibiotics, it is important that the use of drugs is reassessed after the results of the tests, such as blood count, x-ray or sputum test, so that the treatment is as appropriate as possible and avoid unnecessary use of medicines.

Treatment at the hospital is usually only necessary in the case of a very advanced infection in which the drugs need to be administered directly into the vein for a faster effect. These cases are more frequent in the elderly or children, as they have a more fragile immune system.

How to speed up recovery

The remedies for lung infection are very important to help in healing, however, there are some precautions that help to strengthen the body and accelerate recovery, such as:

  • Drink 2 liters of water a day, to keep your body well hydrated and help eliminate pulmonary secretions;
  • Avoid leaving home during treatment, to avoid transmission;
  • Do not use cough medicinewithout a doctor’s recommendation, as they prevent the discharge of secretions;
  • Dripping drops of saline into the nostrilsto help eliminate secretions and facilitate breathing;
  • Sleep with a high pillowto facilitate sleep and facilitate breathing.

It is also advisable to wear a mask and not cough or sneeze around other people, especially in the case of an infection caused by a virus, to prevent the transmission of the disease. Food can also help a lot in recovery, so see the tips from our nutritionist to know what to eat during treatment:

These precautions are even more important in cases of pulmonary virus infection, as there are no antivirals for all these types of microorganisms, it is necessary to help strengthen the immune system so that it is able to eliminate them faster. See more natural options to strengthen the immune system .

Possible complications

When pulmonary infection is not properly treated, the infectious agent can further compromise the respiratory system, and the infection may progress to stroke, abscess and respiratory failure, for example. In addition, in some cases the microorganism can reach the bloodstream and spread to other parts of the body, characterizing widespread infection and increasing the risk of death.

Therefore, it is important that as soon as the first symptoms of pulmonary infection appear, such as dry or secreted cough, chest pain, difficulty breathing and high and persistent fever, for example, the person goes to a health center or emergency room. help to be evaluated by the general practitioner or pulmonologist and thus be possible to avoid complications. Learn to identify the symptoms of lung infection.

Signs of improvement and worsening

The signs of improvement usually appear up to 3 days after starting treatment and include relief and reduction of symptoms, such as fever, cough and decreased amount of secretions.

The signs of worsening, on the other hand, usually appear when the treatment is not being effective or when it does not start quickly, and include increased fever, difficulty breathing and coughing up phlegm with blood, for example, in addition to also increasing the risk of complications, especially in people who have the immune system and the respiratory system most compromised.


by Abdullah Sam
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