If I have frequent infections, what that means, do I have immune problem? Do I have AIDS? What could be the causes for them?
Let me start by talking about the infections. Infections are caused by viruses which are very small organisms ( Colds are usually viruses) or bigger organisms called bacteria.
When these organisms come in our body, the body will fight them. The blood has certain cells and proteins that attack these organisms.
Normally, everyone gets exposed to these organisms. Some of us do not take them much to fight them. Sometimes we don’t even feel that fight. Some others feel this fight and develop the infections. If the infection affects the whole body, usually the body gets fever and tired because he is in a fight with these organisms.
Is there certain number of infections, if you get it, means that you have a problem? The answer is simply NO. Some infections are more serious than others. If you develop one infection in the lung or the brain, it is much more significant than having a cold. You might ask, why? Simply these organs usually get infected when the immune system is down.
Colds and sinus infections are different. They are much more common. If you have allergy, you are more susceptible to get them more than others. Children in day care also get more colds than others.
So you might ask when I get concern. In general if you get very sick with the infections, or you get more than 4-6 sinus infections/ear infections/colds per year or you get uncommon infections or had sinus surgery for the frequent sinus infections, you need to be checked to see if your immune system is ok.
Some might ask, when you say immune problem, do you mean AIDS? People usually get AIDS when they are active sexual with a partner who has the disease or through unclean needles. If you are one of them, yes AIDS is a possibility. AIDS can also be transferred by the blood transfusions.
Immune weakness (immunodeficiency) can happen without AIDS. It can happen due to certain diseases like diabetes or under nutrition, but it can also happen without other disease. We call this primary immunodeficiency. There are many diseases under this group.
If you suspect a problem, please check with your doctor who can decide if you have any of the above problems.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call Dr. Nashed at 1(410) 392-8770. We will be happy to help you and answer any questions you might have.