Many people usually get confused by the terms acute and chronic conditions. Some end up using these medical terms interchangeably without knowing.
These medical conditions are quite different depending on the sources of references and people talking about them in real life. But these medical terms are applied in different circumstances.
So, what are the main difference between acute and chronic diseases? An acute disease is a condition that comes abruptly and lasts for a shorter period while chronic disease is a condition that persists for a longer period with lasting health effects.
This article provides chronic disease examples and acute disease examples. Take the time to read through the difference between acute disease and chronic disease in a tabular form.
Comparison Table (Acute Disease vs Chronic Disease)
It is a condition that occurs abruptly and lasts for a shorter period.
It is a disease that persists for a longer period with lasting health effects.
Misuse of medication
Unhealthy lifestyle and diet
No harmful effect
Harmful and long-lasting effects.
No relapse period
Multiple relapse period
Onset of Symptoms
Appear abruptly and worsen over a short period
Take a long time to appear.
Depend on the nature of the disease.
Shortness of breath
Several tests are available.
Diagnosis tests not available.
Administration of drug dosage
No cure. But early detection can be treated to reduce pain severity.
Depend on the nature of the disease.
Typhoid, Jaundice, Bone fracture, Burns, Heart attack, Cholera, etc.
Diabetes, Cancer, Tuberculosis, Arthritis, etc.
What Is Acute Disease?
Acute disease is a disease that shows up symptoms faster and tends to worsen rapidly. The disease usually has a short lifespan, dangerous, and can be treated with mild treatments.
Some of the acute illnesses can be difficult to treat and this can make it quite difficult for patients to survive. Patients are normally hospitalized if it is serious.
Examples of acute illnesses are pneumonia, strep throat, influenza, asthma, appendicitis, and broken bone among many others.
What Is Chronic Disease?
Chronic disease is a disease that develops gradually but tends to worsen over a given period. The disease also tends to occur again and again. It is said to be habitual.
The good news is that the initial stages of a chronic disease tend to be mild than those of acute conditions.
According to research, if you have a disease that has last for more than three years then it is termed as a chronic illness.
The gradual development of chronic illness usually damages the main body tissue slowly and this can lead to death.
According to a study, people having chronic conditions in the world are higher than those people suffering from acute conditions.
Examples of chronic illnesses are hepatitis C, Elephantitis, HIV/AIDS, diabetes mellitus, COPD, arthritis, and emphysema.
Unfortunately, chronic diseases cannot be prevented through vaccination but they can be treated through certain medications.
Main Difference between Acute and Chronic Disease
- The acute disease symptoms show up suddenly while those of chronic disease occurs gradually.
- The effect of acute illness tends to last for about a few days or weeks while of chronic illness lasts for more than three years.
- Acute condition symptoms tend to diminish faster after being subjected to treatment when compared to those of chronic conditions.
- A patient suffering from acute disease does not need hospitalization whereas those suffering from chronic illness might need hospitalization.
- Examples of chronic diseases are hepatitis C, Elephantitis, HIV/AIDS, diabetes mellitus, COPD, arthritis, and emphysema while those of acute conditions are pneumonia, strep throat, influenza, asthma, appendicitis, and broken bone.
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The lesson clearly shows acute vs chronic time frame and this what brings out the core difference. Understanding the two terms will help you before to differentiate their signs and symptoms.
From the discussion above, it is clear that chronic illness is quite severe when compared to acute illness based on its symptoms.
More Sources and References
- Acute vs Chronic Conditions. Medline Plus
- Acute and Chronic Illness. National Library of Medicine
- Chronic Condition. Wikipedia