Originally Posted by Dark Stranger
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.