If the flu is not treated, there are a number of complications that can arise. Many people wonder whether or not it is necessary to go see their doctor when they have the flu. This is understandable since there aren’t really any cures for the flu. You might also be thinking that, most of the time, you can handle the symptoms of the flu by taking over the counter medications. If you are wondering if there is really any need to go see doctor, the answer is yes. Because of the things that can happen if you don’t treat the flu, there are definitely reasons to see a doctor when you have the flu.
One of the things that can happen if the flu isn’t treated is that you can develop lung complications such as acute bronchitis. Acute bronchitis is the inflammation or swelling of the bronchioles, which are the branches of your windpipe that will carry oxygen from your windpipe into your lungs. The symptoms of acute bronchitis include things like a persistent dry cough, discomfort in the chest, fatigue, shortness of breath, headache and an overall feeling of just being sick. If you develop acute bronchitis, you may experience these symptoms for as long as eight weeks.
If the flu isn’t treated, there are other lung complications that can arise. Pneumonia is one of them. Pneumonia most simply is an infection in your lungs. Pneumonia includes symptoms like fever, vomiting, weakness, chest pains, cough, chills and even shortness of breath. Most of the time, pneumonia will pass, however, in some cases, pneumonia may cause permanent lung damage.
Congestive heart failure can also occur if influenza is not treated. You may be experiencing congestive heart failure if you have swelling of your legs, pain in your chest, extreme fatigue, or shortness of breath. Congestive heart failure, very obviously, can ultimately lead to death.
Something else that can happen if influenza isn’t treated is that you can develop a secondary bacterial infection. The secondary bacterial infection very often can be even worse than the original flu itself. You may develop an infection in the lungs that can cause long term or permanent damage, or you may develop infection in another part of the body such as the stomach or sinuses.
Ultimately, the best thing to do if you develop flu symptoms is to see your doctor. Seeing your doctor will help you to avoid some of these complications that can occur if the flu is left untreated.