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The Differences Between Acute and Chronic Disease

Here at Rios Healthcare Associates in Houston, TX, Drs. Tomas Rios and Nicolin Neal are able to expertly treat both acute and chronic diseases. Unsure of the difference between these two categories? Read on to learn more.

More about Illnesses

As people age, they become more susceptible to different health conditions, such as the flu, arthritis, and heart failure. This is because our bodies, organs, and immune systems become increasingly weaker over time, causing more frequent bouts of illness.

Conditions are categorized as chronic or acute—but what is the difference?

  • Acute illnesses usually develop suddenly and don't last long, a few days or weeks.
  • Chronic conditions develop over time and may worsen over time, which takes months to years.

What are the causes of each?

  • Acute conditions are caused by a virus or infection, an injury resulting from some sort of accident, or the misuse of drugs/medications. These conditions are severe and sudden in onset, but don't last very long.
  • Chronic conditions are a result of social, emotional, environmental, and genetic factors, as well as unhealthy behaviors like poor nutrition, inadequate physical activity, or smoking. As people age, they become more susceptible to chronic conditions.

What are the symptoms and treatment options?

  • Acute diseases require urgent or short-term care and become better once treated. Some acute illness go away with time and people soon recover.
  • Chronic conditions develop over time and cannot be cured, only controlled or managed. You can work with your Houston physicians to create a health care plan.

Examples of Acute and Chronic Conditions

Acute conditions

  • Broken bones
  • Bronchitis
  • Burns
  • Common cold and flu
  • Heart attacks
  • Respiratory infection

Chronic conditions

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Depression
  • Diabetes and heart disease
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure and high cholesterol
  • Stroke

Concerned? Give Us a Call

If you'd like to contact Drs. Tomas Rios or Nicolin Neal for a consultation, then don't hesitate to call Rios Healthcare Associates, PLLC today by dialing (832) 323-9230.