Difference between acute and chronic
acute vs chronic:
In terms of disease, these two terms acute and chronic are used profusely. One sees these terms used over and over again in many contexts as well and they are almost never used synonymously. Thus, this article seeks to explore the difference between these two terms and the instances where they are used.
What is acute?
Acute, in a general sense is defined as being extremely severe and intense and usually having a rapid onset and yet, follows a short, severe course. For example, one can say
The acute pain that he felt by the jab of the knife on his back slowly faded away as he drifted off to unconsciousness.
The term acute is used in many occasions such as referring to sicknesses, pains, etc. and yet, acute sicknesses are known to heal themselves relatively quickly as they are usually short lived. One is often seen referring to acute pains which go away with time such as stabbing a toe.
Acute can also indicate a sharp point and also being sensitive to detail as in being penetrative in perception or insight. For example, one can say
She was acute in perception and discovered that the jewel was missing straight away.
Acute could also mean something of extreme importance and yet short lived and to the point as well. one can say
The lesson was acute. It was over withing fifteen minutes.
What is chronic?
The term chronic refers to something that persists over a long period of time and occurs over and over again as well. The term chronic is often used in the medical field when certain diseases and conditions are referred to as being chronic diseases that last a long time and occur over and over again regardless of the treatments. One can say
My grandfather suffered from a chronic illness and had to be hospitalized every so often.
Chronic can be used to describe a problem that is long lasting. For example, one can suffer chronic financial problems. It can also refer to a specific pattern, which can often be related with a certain behavioral pattern as well. For example, one can be a chronic liar or a chronic cheat.
What is the difference between chronic and acute?
Acute, by definition refers to something intense and severe. And yet, it is short lived and is not likely to occur again. And yet, the term chronic can refer to something that is long lived and is prone to occur over and over again. Both terms are often used in medical vocabulary referring to certain sicknesses as chronic and acute. One can refer to chronic leukemia and acute leukemia for example. Chronic leukemia is a condition which lasts for a long time and is likely to occur over and over again regardless of the treatments whereas acute leukemia is severe and yet long lasting. It is not likely to occur again.
In terms of diseases, acute conditions often heal themselves rather quickly. The pain is severe and yet it is short lived. But in chronic conditions, it is not likely that it can be cured easily. Often these conditions have no cure. They can only be controlled as a result.