Tuberculosis is a type of bacterial infection that can pass through the air between people. When this disease starts affecting the lungs, it is defined as the pulmonary tuberculosis. It can result in difficulties such as chest pain, severe coughing, and many other symptoms. Tuberculosis (TB) bacteria mainly grow in the lungs. However, it can infect other parts of the body. For severe cases of TB, you must immediately reach out to the Lung specialty hospital for effective treatment.
Miliary TB is a higher form of the disease. It usually develops when the bacteria spread through the bloodstream to infect organs other than the lungs. There are different stages of TB. This suggests that it can occur in various stages starting from minor to major cases. Do you know what are the 3 different stages of TB? These stages are known as exposure, latent and active stages.
What are the Symptoms of TB in Lungs?
A person suffering with latent TB will have no symptoms. But, in active cases, some of the symptoms that can be noticed are, cough that lasts more than three weeks, loss of appetite and unintentional weight loss, fever, night sweats, etc. Few other symptoms of TB include pain in the chest and sweating at night.
What Causes TB in Lungs?
Pulmonary TB is a type of the disease caused by the bacterium known as the Mycobacterium tuberculosis. TB is contagious, which suggests that the bacteria can easily spread from an infected person to someone else. Thus, you may easily get TB by breathing in air droplets from the cough or sneeze of an infected person, and the resulting lung infection is termed as primary TB. It is possible that the infection may stay inactive for years and become active again.
The people who are at higher risk of active TB or reactivation of TB include older adults, infants, people with weakened immune systems due to HIV/AIDS, chemotherapy, diabetes, or medicines that weaken the immune system. And, your risk of catching TB increases if you are around people who have TB or suffering from nutrition deficiencies.
How is TB Detected in Lungs?
The medical professional will start by collecting a patient history regarding Bronchitis vs. Pneumonia conditions or TB. This would help to determine if you may have been exposed. At the time of physical examination, they will use a stethoscope to listen to your lungs. And, examine the lymph nodes in your neck for swelling. In case your doctor suspects TB, he/she may immediately order a skin or blood test.
The skin test is performed by injecting tuberculin into the skin in the arm. You will be asked to return within 48 to 72 hours to have a healthcare worker check the arm to see if a bump has developed. The healthcare worker will measure the bump and let you know if your reaction to the test is positive or negative.
If the report is positive, it would suggest that you have been infected with the TB germ. However, it does not confirm whether you have developed clinically active TB disease. It is important to note that the skin test isn’t 100% accurate. The TB blood test can help to find out how your immune system reacts to the germs that can cause TB.
Your doctor may order a chest X-ray or CT scan to look for visible signs of TB in your lungs, if the skin or blood tests indicate the need for further analysis. They may also examine your sputum for bacteria, to find out whether you have clinically active TB disease.
If you face any of the symptoms of TB in lungs, you must reach out to the doctor for diagnosis, to avoid any complications later on. Lung diseases can be really harmful, so you must take appropriate precautions for respiratory diseases.
To know more about TB, you must book an appointment with a suitable doctor.