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The chest cavity contains the lungs, the primary organs that filter air and supply oxygen to the blood. Inflammation in the chest cavity is due to an inflammation of the lungs or the bronchial tubes. This condition is related to bronchitis, allergic reactions and pneumonia. Inflammation in the chest cavity is typically treatable, but in rare cases chest inflammation can be life-threatening for older people and for very young children, according to MayoClinic.com 2. Chest pain could be the sign of another condition and should be evaluated by a physician.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Bronchitis is a viral or bacterial infection in the airways of the lungs called the bronchial tubes. Most cases of bronchitis begin as a cold in the sinuses that spreads into the lungs. The infection causes inflammation in the bronchial tubes, leading to swelling and an over-production of mucus. Symptoms of bronchitis are wheezing, difficulty breathing, fever, body chills, coughing and chest discomfort. Only a doctor can accurately diagnose bronchitis. Bacterial bronchitis is treated with prescribed antibiotics and rest, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Viral bronchitis is treated with rest and over-the-counter medication to alleviate symptoms. Use cough suppressants, expectorants and fever reducers to treat symptoms.
- Bronchitis is a viral or bacterial infection in the airways of the lungs called the bronchial tubes.
- Most cases of bronchitis begin as a cold in the sinuses that spreads into the lungs.
Lung Inflammation Treatment
Not all allergies can chest inflammation, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America 1. People who suffer from allergic asthma are more prone to develop inflammation in the chest cavity. Allergic asthma is inflammation in the lungs due to exposure to airborne allergens. An allergen is any substance that the immune system has a hypersensitivity to that most people do not. The most common airborne allergens causing allergic asthma are dust, pollen, pet dander and mold spores 1. Someone with allergic asthma will experience shortness of breathe, chest pain and wheezing 1. Treatment for allergic asthma is avoiding allergens, using antihistamine and corticosteroid inhalers 1. Allergy shot therapy is used to treat allergic asthma 1.
Pneumonia is defined by MayoClinic.com as an infection in the lungs that causes inflammation 2. Pneumonia is typically without concern for most healthy adults, but could become a life-threatening condition in young children or the elderly. Many of the symptoms for pneumonia are similar to bronchitis and needs to be examined by a medical doctor. Pneumonia may cause shaking, extreme chills, fever, chest pain and muscle pain. Bacterial pneumonia is treated with antibiotics and will begin to improve symptoms within 48 hours. Viral pneumonia is typically treated with rest and increased fluid intake.
- Pneumonia is defined by MayoClinic.com as an infection in the lungs that causes inflammation 2.
- Many of the symptoms for pneumonia are similar to bronchitis and needs to be examined by a medical doctor.
Lung Inflammation Treatment
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Breathing & Lung Problems
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How to Recover From Pneumonia
Bronchitis and Back Pain
- Asthma and Allergy Foundation: Allergic Asthma
- MayoClinic.com: Pneumonia
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Bronchitis.
- Kinkade S, Long NA. Acute bronchitis. Am Fam Physician. 2016;94(7):560-565.
- BMJ Best Practice. Acute bronchitis. Updated April 7, 2020.
- Kudo M, Ishigatsubo Y, Aoki I. Pathology of asthma. Front Microbiol. 2013;4:263. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2013.00263
- Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Allergens and allergic asthma. Updated September 2015.
- Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Medicines can trigger asthma. Updated August 2018.
- Rosenberg SR, Kalhan R. Chronic bronchitis in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Magnifying why smoking Cessation still matters most. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2016;13(7):999–1000. doi:10.1513/AnnalsATS.201605-360ED
- Gentry S, Gentry B. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: diagnosis and management. Am Fam Physician. 2017;95(7):433-441.
- Bonnie F, Marianna S, Suzanne L. Patient information series. Pulmonary function tests. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2014;189(10):P17-8. doi:10.1164/rccm.18910P17
- Rogliani P, Ora J, Puxeddu E, Cazzola M. Airflow obstruction: is it asthma or is it COPD?. Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2016;11:3007-3013. doi:10.2147/COPD.S54927
- Albert RH. Diagnosis and treatment of acute bronchitis. Am Fam Physician. 2010;82(11):1345-50.
- Gatheral TL, Rushton A, Evans DJ, et al. Personalised asthma action plans for adults with asthma. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017;4(4):CD011859. Published 2017 Apr 10. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD011859.pub2
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Expert Panel Report 3 (EPR3): Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma.
Diane Marks started her writing career in 2010 and has been in health care administration for more than 30 years. She holds a registered nurse license from Citizens General Hospital School of Nursing, a Bachelor of Arts in health care education from California University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Science in health administration from the University of Pittsburgh.