5 Common Infections And How To Deal With Them

When the body is infiltrated by a foreign microorganism that disrupts a person’s health, this is called an infection. These can be uncomfortable, painful and reoccurring. There are many types of pathogens and ways that the body can be harmed by these organisms. Viruses, bacteria, and fungus all have the capability to disrupt the body’s balance, use its resources, and reproduce themselves to create new colonies. The result for us is a painful and uncomfortable infection.

1. Dermatophyte

Dermatophytes are a type of fungus that feeds on keratin. This means it is often seen growing on the skin, the hair, and even the nails. It can be picked up from direct contact from humans, animals or through contaminated personal items. Once the infection is established, the fungi will invade the outer layers of the skin. This typically creates visible areas of painful inflammation, blistering, redness and irritation.

If you believe you have this type of infection, it is important to get examined to determine what type of fungus you are dealing with. There are several varieties of dermatophytes, including ringworm, “jock itch” and athlete’s foot. Each may require a unique course of action and different methods of treatment. Treatment usually includes a topical application or taking an anti-fungal medication orally.

2. Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is a very common infection of the eye’s outer lining, called the conjunctiva. A virus or a bacteria enters the eye, resulting in an infection that causes inflammation and irritation. It is easy to transfer it to others and may be caused by a number of different pathogens, chemical sensitivities or allergens. The appearance and symptoms are very distinct causing discharge, tearing, itching, and discoloration of the eye.

If the infection is bacterial, a doctor might prescribe an antibiotic either to be taken orally or in the form of eye drops. Allergen or chemical irritants may be able to be washed out with saline, although severe allergic reactions may require steroidal treatment. Unfortunately, viral conjunctivitis will often have to simply run its course as it is unresponsive to many treatments. To reduce your chance of contracting it, be sure to wash your hands regularly, never share eye products or make-up, rinse your contacts well after each use, and resist rubbing your eyes.

3. Gingivitis

When the gums become inflamed and swollen, it is called Gingivitis. This is often a result of accumulated plaque and bacteria that have built up on the teeth. It is a form of periodontal disease that is typically considered non-destructive but can cause uncomfortable symptoms and bad breath. However, if it is left untreated, it can become a more severe problem and develop into periodontitis.

Certain types of infections of the mouth can also cause this. They can be bacterial, a virus, or a fungus. For example, thrush is known to contribute to the development of gingivitis. The immune system will be triggered and begin to cause inflammation in the gums.

You can receive a diagnosis from an oral hygienist or a dentist. They may examine your gums for inflammation, check your teeth for plaque build up, take measurements, and order x-rays. Early treatment is often very effective and may include an antiseptic mouthwash, tartar and plaque removal, and increasing the regularity of brushing and flossing. They may recommend using an electric toothbrush or prescribe antibiotics.

4. Candidiasis

Candida infections are caused by an overgrowth of yeast, which naturally lives throughout the body. There are several varieties of candida which can particularly cause issues in the human body. An infection may also simply occur due to imbalances that can occur after a die-off of good bacteria. For this reason, Dr. Todd Watts from Microbe Formulas warns against the use of antibiotics in the article 8 Signs You Have A Candida Infection, explaining that antibiotics kill the good bacteria in your gut that would keep Candida from multiplying.

Candidiasis may also occur when the immune system is depressed and the fungus can proliferate without interference. It can infiltrate nearly any area of the body, causing systematic and chronic health problems. Treatment may include the prescription of antifungal medication, changes in lifestyle or diet, boosting the immune system, taking natural remedies such as oregano or tea tree oil, and taking probiotics to help replenish the gut flora.

5. Otitis Media

Otitis Media is commonly referred to as a middle ear infection. The middle ear is the space between the eardrum and the inner ear. This space can become infected by a bacteria or virus often causing inflammation, pain, and fluid build up. The pathogen may enter the middle ear through the eustachian tubes, which run from behind the nasal passages into the middle ear. The passage normally regulates air pressure and drains fluids from the middle ear.

This type of infection is especially common in children, often causing them to cry more often, have difficulties sleeping, develop a fever or headache, lose their appetite or a temporarily decrease their hearing. As an adult, you may notice ear pain, drainage, and loss of hearing if you have developed one.

It is recommended to see a doctor in the case of persistent ear pain or if you have discharge leaking from the ear canal. Although it is common for these types of infections to be able to resolve on their own, treatment may be available to help recovery and manage resulting pain. By taking precautions to combat and reduce the frequency of developing colds and respiratory infections, they may be able to be prevented.

There are many types of infections that can occur throughout the body, each of which has the potential to progress into more serious complications. Make sure to consult a doctor so that they can offer you a course of treatment. Never hesitate to address any symptoms you may have, as early treatment often results in an easy and fast resolution of the symptoms. By taking steps to boost your immune system around flu season, watching your diet and stress levels, and washing your hands regularly, you can reduce the likelihood of developing infections.