If you have a very bad case of bronchitis, your doctor may prescribe an inhaler or nebulizer treatment to help open up your lungs. 20(3):185-94. Nasal polyps. Aspiration: Aspiration (breathing contents from the mouth/esophagus/stomach into the lungs) is a relatively common cause of repeated infections. 2010. chest pain or tightness. Imaging tests may be done depending on the location of the recurrent infections. What are possible complications from a chest infection? During normal breathing, the bands of muscle that surround the airways are relaxed, and air moves freely. Your lower respiratory tract includes your windpipe, bronchi, and lungs. Asthma. I use symbicort, montelukast and ventolin to control my asthma, and doxycycline for chest infections (because I am allergic to penecillin and erythromycin). Some of these include: There are many potential causes of recurrent respiratory infections in adults. Michael Menna, DO, is a board-certified, active attending emergency medicine physician at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, New York. Here’s our process. doi:10.1093/pch/18.9.459. Bradley SH, Abraham S, Callister ME, et al. A pharmacist may be able to help you by recommending over-the-counter (OTC) decongestant medications to help loosen any mucus in your chest, which will make it easier to cough up. Do you have a history of any autoimmune diseases, including autoimmune thyroiditis? It is likely that your own immune system will deal with the infection, as most chest infections are caused by a virus. This keeps you hydrated and can loosen mucus, making it easier to cough up. Recurrent infections may signal immunodeficiencies, Sensitivity of chest X-ray for detecting lung cancer in people presenting with symptoms: a systematic review, Important differences in the diagnostic spectrum of primary immunodeficiency in adults versus children, Recurrent pneumonia: a review with focus on clinical epidemiology and modifiable risk factors in elderly patients, Beyond bronchitis: a review of the congenital and acquired abnormalities of the bronchus, Recurrent and sustained viral infections in primary immunodeficiencies, Pharyngitis (a sore throat, such as strep throat), Stress incontinence: Respiratory symptoms from sneezing to coughing can lead to "accidents," especially in women who have had children, Financial complications due to the combination of lost work time and increased medical bills, Increased exposure to infectious organisms, such as living or working in a crowded environment or working in a daycare or school with young children, Allergies to dust, pollen, molds, and more, Lung diseases (such as bronchiectasis due to repeated respiratory infections in childhood), Infections, such as HIV, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and cytomegalovirus (CMV), Medications, such as chemotherapy, chronic corticosteroid therapy, and immunosuppressive drugs, Cancers, especially blood-related cancers such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. I keep getting chest infections, having had 4 since October 2012. In: StatPearls. Due to the importance of confirming or ruling out an underlying cause, we will look at each of these more closely. Updated 12/10/19. Ruffner MA, Sullivan KE, Henrickson SE. Journal of Thoracic Disease. Cleveland Clinic. Paediatr Child Health. discomfort in your chest. Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. That said, there are a few in particular are more commonly discovered in adults who are experiencing repeated respiratory infections. Recurrent and sustained viral infections in primary immunodeficiencies. We reviewed Nuleaf Naturals, a full-spectrum CBD brand founded in 2014. 180:111-119. doi:10.1016/j.clim.2017.05.008. Take OTC medications such as ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) to lower your fever and help relieve any aches and pains. You can catch a chest infection by inhaling the respiratory droplets that are generated when someone with an infection coughs or sneezes. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. A chest infection that’s caused by bacteria will need to be treated with a course of antibiotics. Marini T, Hobbs SK, Chaturvedi A, Kaproth-Joslin K. Beyond bronchitis: a review of the congenital and acquired abnormalities of the bronchus. National Organization for Rare Diseases. If your chest infection is caused by a virus, antibiotics won’t be effective. 8(11):3452–3456. The exact cause will depend on the type of infection. The symptoms of a chest infection can include: A chest infection can be caused by a bacterial or viral infection. The main symptom is a cough, which may bring up yellow-grey mucus (phlegm).Bronchitis may also cause a sore throat and wheezing. From a big-picture standpoint, these infections represent an imbalance between exposure to microorganisms (high microbial load) and the ability of the immune system to eliminate them. Roughly 25% of people with CVID also have an autoimmune condition. Once your immune system has successfully battled it, most people are less susceptible to recurring infections caused by that germ. Have you experienced any weight loss without trying? Less air causes a person to feel short of breath, and the air moving out through the tightened airways causes a whistling sound known as wheezing. 2015. Risk factors for repeated infections may include: When recurrent respiratory infections occur outside of obvious risk factors, the potential causes can be broken down into three main categories: Anatomic/structural abnormalities are most common with primary immunodeficiency disorders being least, yet immunodeficiency as a cause is underrecognized and underdiagnosed. Avoid lying flat when sleeping. Regardless of the underlying cause, frequent respiratory infections can disrupt your life and potentially lead to complications if not addressed. What Do You Need to Know About Rib Cage Pain? Make sure your hands are clean, particularly before eating or touching your face or mouth. If your gut tells you that something is amiss, it's important to talk to your doctor regardless of how frequently you are having infections. Hemoptysis: evaluation and management. Learn about the brand and some of its best products. doi:10.21037.jtd.2016.11.32. The space behind the eardrum (the middle ear) is affected by this infection. Harrison's Principles Of Internal Medicine, 20th Edition (Complete Guide). Recurrent respiratory infections are common in adults, but may sometimes be a sign of an underlying medical condition. Anatomic or structural problems in the airways are the most common cause of otherwise unexplained recurrent respiratory infections in adults, and includes a wide range of conditions that may be congenital (present from birth) or acquired. 8:665. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2017.00665, Recurrent Respiratory Infections in Adults, Ⓒ 2020 About, Inc. 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