It refers to a sudden onset, in reference to a disease.
Acute illness often also involves a short-term, rapidly progressing illness that requires urgent care.
Acute conditions are severe and sudden onset. This could describe anything from a broken bone to an asthma attack .
A chronic condition, on the other hand, is a long-standing syndrome, such as osteoporosis or asthma. Keep in mind that osteoporosis, a chronic condition, can cause a bone to break, an acute condition.
An acute asthma attack occurs in the midst of chronic asthma disease.
Acute conditions, such as a first asthma attack, can lead to a chronic syndrome if left untreated.
Also, the word “acute or” acute “is a measure of the time scale of a disease and is in contrast to” subacute “and” chronic. ”
“Subacute” or “subacute” indicates a longer duration or less rapid change. The “chronic” or “chronic” indicates indefinite duration or practically no change.
The time scale depends on the particular disease. For example, an acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) can last for a week, while an acute sore throat can last only a day or two.
The difference between acute and chronic conditions
- The term “acute” means an illness that lasts less than six months.
- The “chronic” means that it lasts for a long period of time. In medicine, a disease can be considered chronic if it has lasted six months or more.
Acute vs. Chronic Conditions
Most diseases are classified as acute or chronic. This label helps determine the type of treatment needed, how long the treatment can be expected to last, and whether it is appropriate.
The general definition of an acute illness is one that is expected to be brief. Typically, the acute disease label means that a problem is expected to resolve in less than six months.
For a chronic disease, six months or more is considered the standard time for treatment to occur.
A newly diagnosed disease can be labeled chronic if there is no expectation of improvement or cure.
Arthritis, for example, is a chronic condition that usually doesn’t go away after diagnosis, but can only be treated to minimize the damage and pain that occurs as the condition worsens.
Acute disease can become chronic and chronic disease can become acute
An acute injury can become chronic, and vice versa. It is far more desirable for a chronic disease to be re-labeled as an acute problem, rather than the other way around.
For example, a broken leg is considered an acute problem, but if the bone is badly broken or does not heal well, the pain associated with the fracture can become a lifelong chronic problem.
Type 2 diabetes is considered a long-term chronic diagnosis with a lifelong treatment expectancy.
You could imagine that a patient who is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, but who follows the advice of the healthcare provider and loses more than a hundred pounds, begins to eat a very healthy diet and exercises for an hour a day.
Several months later, the patient is told that he no longer has type 2 diabetes and that he no longer needs treatment for the condition. This diagnosis was expected to be chronic, but it turned into an acute condition.
Also, both acute and chronic illnesses can be cured with treatments that include drugs and surgery.
For a patient with chronic hip pain, a hip replacement can cure the problem, and after the acute pain from the surgery is gone and the recovery is complete, the patient will feel fine.
What are the symptoms of an acute illness?
Some examples include the influenza virus and the common cold.
Acute illnesses can include these common symptoms:
- Throat pain.
- Runny nose.
Through a physical exam and identification of your symptoms, your doctor can provide an individualized diagnosis and treatment plan to care for your acute illness.
Serious acute illnesses
Many acute illnesses can be self-limiting and go away on their own, or they can be treated with a simple course of antibiotics or other prescription medications.
However, there are some acute illnesses that appear suddenly and produce life-threatening symptoms.
- Heart attack.
- Asthma attack.
- Pneumonia .
- Organ failure.
- Acute bronchitis.
These more serious acute illnesses require urgent medical attention. If you suspect that you may have a serious acute illness, it is important that you call 911 or go to the local emergency room.
By seeking treatment for your acute illness as soon as possible, you decrease the chance of additional complications or other long-term health problems.