Know the basics
What is lung abscess?
Lung abscess is an infection of the lungs. The disease causes swelling of pus, necrotic lung tissue and the formation of cavities containing necrotic debris or translated by microbial infection. The formation of multiple abscesses can lead to pneumonia or lung necrosis.
How common is lung abscess?
The disease can appear at any age. However, people over 60 are at higher risk for lung abscess. You may limit the ability disease by reducing the risk factors. Please consult your doctor for more information.
Know the symptoms
What are the symptoms of lung abscess?
The symptoms of lung abscess usually develop within a few weeks to several months, include fever, chills, sweating, coughing and saliva odor unpleasant. Patients often suffer fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite and weight loss. Occasionally probably bloody saliva and chest pain get worse by coughing or deep breathing. Patients can have rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, wheezing and pleural effusion.
There may be other symptoms and signs are not mentioned. If you have any questions about these signs, please consult your doctor.
When should I see my doctor?
If you have signs and symptoms mentioned above or have any questions or concerns, please consult your doctor. Status and condition can vary in many people. Always discuss with your doctor to be appointed diagnostic methods, treatment and the best treatment for you.
Know the causes
What causes lung abscess?
Inhalation of foreign bodies is a major cause of lung abscess formation. The foreign body is usually food, drink, vomit or secretions from the mouth to be inhalation. Swelling, pneumonia and abscess formation may occur in 7-14 days. Stroke, epilepsy, drug abuse, alcoholism and dental disease, emphysema, lung cancer and esophageal disorders can cause foreign body inhalation.
Bacteria causing lung abscess are usually anaerobic (without oxygen to grow) and derived from the mouth. The other microorganisms such as parasites and fungi can also cause lung infections and cause abscesses.
Know the risk factors
What increases my risk for lung abscess?
These factors may increase the risk of lung abscess include:
- Drug abuse;
- Have other conditions such as stroke, epilepsy, and periodontal disease, emphysema, lung cancer and esophageal disorders.
Understand the diagnosis & treatment
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.
How is lung abscess diagnosed?
First, the doctor will remove the microorganisms causing lung abscess. Then the doctor will treat the disease leads to abscess as epilepsy, alcoholism, poor oral hygiene or stroke.
Most patients require intravenous fluids and oral use of antibiotics for 4-6 weeks. 95% of patients are cured, but the treatment depends on the cause.
How is lung abscess treated?
Your doctor will diagnose based on symptoms and chest X-rays. Your doctor may require chest tomography to examine the abscess. Blood and saliva test could help identify the bacteria or microorganisms that cause abscesses. Your doctor may require bronchoscopy to exclude the possibility of lung cancer if there are material signs obstruct airways.
Lifestyle changes & home remedies
What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage lung abscess?
The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with lung abscess:
- Take all antibiotics prescription.
- Call your doctor if you have epilepsy, pain when swallowing, food getting stuck when you swallow or fever lasting more than 7 days after starting antibiotics.
- Call your doctor if you have problems with alcohol or drugs.
- Tell your doctor if you have symptoms such as chest pain recurrence, fever or coughing up blood or have problems with drugs (rash, diarrhea, swollen tongue, wheezing or shortness of breath).
If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017
Ferri, Fred. Ferri’s Netter Patient Advisor. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders / Elsevier, 2012. Download version