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Old 11-07-2008, 12:45 PM   #1
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Can untreated respiratory infections cause damage?

This crossed my mind some time ago and I'm jut wondering about it, as I continue on my quest to try and figure out why I can't breathe.

More often than not, I am coughing. Sometimes the cough is "productive", and sometimes it is not. I have been this way since I was about 8 and had bronchitis. In short, I seem to be very prone to respiratory issues...but due to not being near my regular doctor most of the time and having little money, I do not go rushing to the doctor for a bottle of pills for every one of these infections. By the time I can actually see my doctor, the infection almost always has gone away.

I'm wondering if maybe my lungs have sustained damage from my non-treatment. I've already had bronchitis, asthma, embolisms and heart problems ruled out (it could still be anxiety or hypertension, though).

 
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Old 11-07-2008, 01:13 PM   #2
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Re: Can untreated respiratory infections cause damage?

Respiratory problems are not always infections. Many times it is due to allergy to something in the air. Other times it could be irritation, a cold, etc, but not an actual infection.

Have you tried in the early stage of upper respiratory problems taking an anahistimine? or irrigated with saline solution? This sometimes will prevent an infection by nipping things in the bud.

Have you tried Breathe Right Strips at night to help keep nasal passages open?

Have you tried Mucinex when conjested to help thin mucous?

Do you wash your hands on regular basis? Do you keep your hands off your face?

The above will go a long ways in helping to prevent or control respiratory problems.

If you actually have bronchitis, you should see a doctor, it could go into bronichal pneumonia.

 
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Old 11-07-2008, 02:30 PM   #3
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Re: Can untreated respiratory infections cause damage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Stranger View Post
I have been this way since I was about 8 and had bronchitis. In short, I seem to be very prone to respiratory issues...but due to not being near my regular doctor most of the time and having little money, I do not go rushing to the doctor for a bottle of pills for every one of these infections.
That sounds a lot like how it's been for me, too. I've had sinus and respiratory problems since a bad bronchial infection at age 8.
Following years through childhood and up until I had my own insurance most infections I was left to suffer through - though one turned into pneumonia at age 17 and my father actually had to get me medical treatment for that.

Now whenever I have a cold/flu that starts to turn into an infection I get myself to the doctor. If you can manage to pay for the doctor visit you may be able to get on a store/pharmacy plan and pay less for certain medications. Common antibiotics included. Check into pharmacies near you. Walmart, for example, has a $4 for prescription plan (not sure of where you live).

As for the damage that can be caused. Flu and other respiratory viruses cause inflammation in the lungs and/or bronchi. This inflammation is what paves the way for infection to set in and is what can cause damage. So, it could lead to some lasting damage - much like untreated asthma can. The only way to find out what is going on is to see a doctor, maybe even a specialist - this won't be cheap, but if there's something wrong with your lungs it needs to be treated to prevent you from getting worse.

 
Old 11-07-2008, 11:11 PM   #4
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Re: Can untreated respiratory infections cause damage?

Misty800,

I have not tried Breathe Right strips, but I did try Mucinex. Of course, my doctor at the time was a moron and put me on Mucinex and a cough suppressant at the same time. How she thought it would benefit me to make my cough more productive and then suppress it eludes me.

Also, I do not wash my hands on a regular basis. Gross as this may sound, I don't always wash my hands after using the bathroom, nor do I use hand sanitizer. And I don't keep my hands off my face - I'm always playing with my eyelashes, picking dead skin off or scratching at a zit, and I regularly coat my face in baby powder to reduce the amount of oil I feel.

I don't have bronchitis right now...I had chronic bronchitis when I was 8 (I had it for about two years), and I believe I had it last winter. The most recent bout I never got treated and it went away on its own before I could see a doctor.

aether4,

Do you know what kinds of tests reveal lung damage? I have had an X-ray and a CAT scan of my chest in the last year (what the difference is, I have no idea). I have also done a methacholine challenge. There was no sign of lung issues from any of these. Would a pulmonologist do a different test than an X-ray?

 
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