|Updated: 11/05/2012 9:17 am
||Published: 11/05/2012 9:16 am
Each Sunday we survey doctors at St. Vincent health clinics to find out "what's going around" so you'll know what to be on the lookout for. And this week urinary tract infections seem to be popular.
Urinary tract infections are usually caused by germs that get into the urethra, the tube that carries urine from your body.
Women get more UTIs than men, probably because women have shorter urethras, which make it easier for germs to move into the bladder.
Symptoms include pain or a burning sensation when you urinate, an urgent need to urinate and the feeling that you have a full bladder, but can only urinate a small amount. It can even cause fever, nausea, and vomiting.
See your doctor immediately if you think you have one.
Doctors are also seeing an increased number of patients with pneumonia.
Pneumonia can be caused by bacteria and viruses that live in your nose, sinuses or mouth that spread to your lungs.
Symptoms include coughing, fever, chills, difficulty breathing, headache and a lack of appetite
Very serious cases may need to be treated in the hospital, like if there is blood in the mucus you cough up.
You can also use a warm mist humidifier and drink plenty of fluids at home.
Lastly, doctors are seeing a lot of patients with asthma.
Asthma is caused by inflammation in the airways.
It can be triggered by exercise, pet hair and dander, dust, changes in weather, stress, or having a cold
If you have it you may be coughing -- have difficulty breathing -- or you might be wheezing.
You need to see a doctor if you have chest pain or tightness or extreme difficulty breathing.