What is Bronchitis?
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the lining of your bronchial tubes, which carry air to and from your lungs. People who have bronchitis often cough up thickened mucus, which can be discolored. The disorder affects about 5% of the population annually. Bronchitis may be either acute or chronic.
Often developing from a cold or other respiratory infection, acute bronchitis is very common. Chronic bronchitis, a more serious condition, is a constant irritation or inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes, often due to smoking.
Is It a Cold or a Sinus Infection?
A cold can make you miserable, with symptoms like runny nose, congestion, sneezing, coughing, etc. How do you know that what you think may be a cold might be something else, like a sinus infection? This summary, based on an article from The Cleveland Clinic, may help discern the difference.
Knowing the Difference Between Cold and Influenza Symptoms
The common cold and influenza are both respiratory illnesses that are caused by viruses. A person has around a 20% chance of getting influenza, but is likely to contract a cold 2-3 times, in an average year. Because these two illnesses have similar symptoms, it is important to understand what makes them different.
Best Course of Action For Sore Throats
A recent article in the Annals of Emergency Medicine concludes that children should not be treated with antibiotics if a rapid antigen detection test for strep comes back negative.
When and Why Are Tetanus Shots Needed?
Tetanus is a bacterial infection that causes muscle spasms, attacking the central nervous system, and can lead to death by suffocation, if not treated. Also known as “lockjaw”, this occurs when a person gets a cut or wound, and tetanus bacteria, which are common in soil, dust and manure, infect the area.
Tetanus symptoms usually show up about a week after initial infection. The most common symptom is a stiff jaw, which may become locked (hence: lockjaw.) Other conditions include:
- muscle stiffness spreading to the neck, arms and legs
- trouble swallowing
Different types of plants release pollen at different times of the year creating lots of allergies. In the spring, trees are the main pollinators; in summer, grasses are more active in their pollen release; and in the fall, ragweed causes most of the misery for allergy-sufferers. Many people still describe the fall season as “hay fever” time, though hay isn’t the cause of the problems.
Many children and young adults experience ear infections. These ear infections, known as “otitis media”, involve painful inflammation and build-up of fluid behind the eardrum. Symptoms can last 3-7 days.
The Center for Disease Control states the best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated every year. The CDC recommends all people six months and older get a flu shot, and the optimal time to get your flu shot is during the month of September or October.