Illnesses, diseases or conditions are classified as acute or chronic.
Acute illnesses or conditions begin quickly and last only a short time. People with an acute condition can expect to return to normal health. Examples are colds, the flu or broken bones just to name a few.
Chronic diseases (or long term conditions):
- Last a long time, they may last your whole lifetime;
- Have many causes but they often share some common risk factors;
- Usually begin slowly and develop gradually over time;
- Can occur at any age, although they become more common in later life;
- Can impact quality of life and limit daily activities; and,
- Require ongoing actions on a long-term basis to manage the disease, with involvement from individuals, health care providers, and the community.
Examples of chronic diseases:
- Lung disease
- Heart disease
- Hepatitis B and C
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD)
- Parkinson’s disease