Can Bacterial Infection Cause Chest Tightness?
An individual, especially children can get a respiratory tract infection by touching the nose, eyes, and other body outlets with contaminated hands or being near to an individual affected by a respiratory tract infection. Since most of the respiratory tract infections are viral, hence it makes them highly contagious and even touching an infected individual may cause the infection to spread. In majority of the cases, the symptoms of a viral respiratory infection start to fade away within a matter of a week. Usually a respiratory tract infection causes chest tightness along with cough and a runny nose, and congestion in the chest.
The viral infection may go away in the affected individual but the congestion in the chest that it causes leads to the production of mucous which provides a breeding ground for bacterial infections. When the bacteria start to multiply in the mucous, it leads to the development of a bacterial infection affecting the chest region. This may cause chest tightness along with productive cough, fever, wheezing, and in severe cases difficulty breathing.
As stated, bacterial infections are caused due to mucous that forms as a result of chest congestion leading to chest tightness. Some of the conditions that may occur as a side effect of a bacterial infection and cause chest tightness are:
Bacterial Bronchitis: This condition usually follows after a bout of cold. A bacterial bronchitis causes inflammation of the bronchioles which terminate into the bronchial tree. This inflammation results in the affected individual complaining of chest tightness along with experiencing fever which may go up to 103-104 degrees Fahrenheit and may last for quite some time. The affected individual may also have cough productive of greenish mucous confirming a bacterial infection.
Some of the other symptoms of a bacterial bronchitis are difficulty breathing and wheezing, especially in cold temperatures. The best way to diagnose a bacterial bronchitis is by taking a sputum or mucous culture to identify the type of bacteria and the best way to treat the infection. Broad spectrum antibiotics are most preferred form of treatment for a bacterial bronchitis causing chest tightness.
Bacterial Pneumonia: Bacterial Pneumonia is a potentially serious form of pneumonia as this interferes with the ability of the lungs to exchange carbon dioxide with oxygen. This may cause reduced supply of oxygen to the body resulting in a variety of serious complications. There may also be accumulation of fluid within the lungs and chances of the infection spreading to other parts of the body which may be even more serious.
The primary presenting feature of a bacterial pneumonia is chest pressure and tightness especially after following a bout of cold. Additionally, the individual may experience severe bouts of productive cough, alternating chills and sweats, and difficulty breathing. There may be high grade fever as well in some cases of bacterial pneumonia.
Bacterial pneumonia is a condition which needs emergent evaluation and treatment and thus it is advised that if an individual is suspected of having a bacterial pneumonia to go to the nearest healthcare provider to get checked up and treated.
The frontline treatment for bacterial pneumonia is a prolonged course of antibiotics. In order to prevent viral pneumonia from becoming a bacterial infection, the physician may prescribe preventive antibiotics so as to prevent bacterial pneumonia causing chest tightness.
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