Almost everyone experiences an infection of some sort at some point in their life. An upper respiratory infection, sinusitis, a mildly infected cut, and even an isolated boil are examples of infections. However, if an infection becomes recurrent, or patients experience multiple infections over the course of time, this could be indicative of a more serious, underlying immunodeficiency disorder, or a problem with your immune system.
It’s hard to say how many infections are too many, but in general if a patient experiences problems requiring antibiotics more than twice a year (amongst adults), has more than four ear infections in a year, has pneumonia more than twice in a given period of time, or suffers more than three incidents of bacterial sinus infections, this could indicate a problem.
In addition, those who find they need to take preventative antibiotics or note that common infections often become more severe could be facing the need for medical attention and diagnosis of an underlying immunodeficiency disorder.
When it works properly, the body has the ability to adapt to and remember infections, to keep a person from getting the same one again. Bacteria do tend to mutate, which is why people sometimes get sick again later, but in general, the body is less susceptible to infection the more it fights it. When this fails to be the case, the immune system could be compromised.
In general, treating recurring infections means addressing the underlying condition. Infections related to diabetes, for example, tend to abate when the diabetes is under control. Various forms of immunotherapy can be helpful for some patients. Those suffering from recurring infection should seek medical attention.
Dr. Blessing-Moore and Dr. Maskatia have experience treating underlying immune system disorders that cause recurrent infections in patients throughout San Mateo, Palo Alto, and the surrounding regions.