If you have TB, you will need to know how tuberculosis treatment works. Tuberculosis is a contagious airborne infection of the lungs and other parts of the body. However, it mostly affects the respiratory system. It's easily spread by coughing or sneezing. Most people with active TB symptoms usually mistake it for the cold or flu virus. Without the right treatment, tuberculosis can be devastating to others around you. Here is how you can get treatment.
To treat tuberculosis, you will need:
- TB test for you and others
- Chest x-ray
- Get the TB test. This test introduces the live bacteria into your body. If you have an infection, your skin will swell around the test site. This is characterized by a red and swollen area in the shape of a circle. Positive reactions require immediate attention. When you test positive for tuberculosis, everyone who has come into contact with you should also get tested. Not everyone you came into contact with will have the infection. But is it safer to be tested than risk spreading the condition to other people.
- Get a chest x-ray. Once a positive reaction is discovered, your doctor will order a chest x-ray. Chest x-rays are needed to examine the activity of the TB germ. People with positive TB results will need further testing to determine the extent of the infection in the lungs. If the tuberculosis is not active, it will not be contagious to others. However, TB requires treatment in order to kill the bacteria before it becomes active. If treatment isn't started, the condition can become serious. An infection can lead to tuberculosis disease, which requires stronger treatment options.
- Get medication for treatment. Your next step in dealing with a TB infection is medication. Your physician will prescribe Isoniazid or other types of medication to kill the bacterial infection. You need to take the medication for six to nine months. Don't stop taking your medicine, even if you feel better. Any stops in treatment can make your infection develop into the disease. The actual disease is stronger and more debilitating than the infection.
Tuberculosis infections can be cleared up in less than a year with the right medication. You should tell your doctor if you are experiencing fever, decreased appetite or yellowing of the skin while taking your medication.