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Breathing difficulty due to lung infection - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Average Posted in: Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2408 Questions
User :   Hi there. Sorry to bother you but I am a bit confused about the symptoms I appear to have and want to know your advice as to whether I should contact my GP / Family doctor.

I am a 21 year old male with discomfort pretty localised to what feels like my right lung base. This discomfort has been present for 2 days and is gradually (but slowly) increasing in discomfort. Today I have developed a dry cough and dyspnoea (rate ~18, short breaths). There is dullness to percussion over the lower right lung and breath sounds are almost absent.
My PMH consists of intermittent costochondritis and chronic cough. Not currently taking any regular medication or OTC medication. I do not smoke and drink 5-6 units of alcohol a week. I do not take recreational drugs and have no allergies.
I am currently a student and share a flat with another student. The student who I share with has been diagnosed with TB last year while I lived with her also, however the GP believed it was not active. I have no significant FH of chest or heart problems.
My confusion comes from the fact that I don't seem to have a fever or nausea therefore can I leave this to resolve itself?
Many thanks.
Doctor :   Hi
Doctor :   Let me read.
Doctor :   Do you have history of any other medical illness?
User :   No
Doctor :   Can you describe the nature of the pain?
User :   It feels like a cramping pain when I breathe in too deeply and I seem to have an expiratory wheeze
Doctor :   Do you have history of loss of appetite or loss or weight?
User :   None of these.
Doctor :   Ok.
Doctor :   Let me explain.
Doctor :   From the brief history given the chances of you being infected with TB is unlikely.
Doctor :   However, you may be having an acute infection of the lung, which probably may be viral.
Doctor :   Since the symptoms have been acute, I would suggest you to consult your doctor for evaluation.
User :   Do you think that it would be fair to request a CXR?
Doctor :   You would also need antibiotic medications.
Doctor :   For diagnosis, a chest X ray would be needed.
Doctor :   Are you there?
User :   Yes, sorry
Doctor :   Have you followed what I have suggested.
User :   Yes. I was just a bit confused due to the nature of the discomfort and the dyspnoea but no fever.
Doctor :   It probably looks like a mild and non severe infection.
Doctor :   Hence do not panic.
Doctor :   It can be treated easily.
Doctor :   Do you have any other query that I can assist you with?
User :   No, that should be great thanks. I was just concerned that the dullness to percussion and reduced breath sounds might indicate a more severe infection but without fever I guess this is unlikely?
Doctor :   Please fill the feedback form too.
Doctor :   Yes. \
Doctor :   You have got it right now.
Doctor :   Thanks for consulting me. Bye for now. Please refer your friends to our service.
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