What Is The Outlook For Pneumonia
People who are otherwise healthy often recover quickly when given prompt and proper care. However, pneumonia is a serious condition and can be life-threatening if left untreated and especially for those individuals at increased risk for pneumonia.
Even patients who have been successfully treated and have fully recovered may face long-term health issues. Children who have recovered from pneumonia have an increased risk of chronic lung diseases. Adults may experience:
- General decline in quality of life for months or years
When To See A Doctor
You should see your GP if:
- you feel very unwell or your symptoms are severe
- your symptoms are not improving
- you feel confused, disorientated or drowsy
- you have chest pain or difficulty breathing
- you cough up blood or blood-stained phlegm
- your skin or lips develop a blue tinge
- you’re pregnant
- you’re very overweight and have difficulty breathing
- you think a child under five has a chest infection
- you have a weakened immune system
- you have a long-term health condition
- you have a cough that has lasted more than 3 weeks
Your GP should be able to diagnose you based on your symptoms and by listening to your chest using a stethoscope .
What Are The Complications Of Pneumonia
Anyone can experience complications from pneumonia. However, people in high-risk groups are more likely to develop complications, including:
- Breathing difficulties: Pneumonia can make breathing difficult. Pneumonia plus an existing lung disorder can make breathing even more difficult. Breathing difficulties may require a hospital stay to receive oxygen therapy or breathing and healing assistance with the use of a breathing machine .
- Fluid buildup in the lungs : Pneumonia can cause a buildup in the fluid between the membranes that line the lungs and the inside of the chest cavity. It is a serious condition that makes breathing difficult. Pleural effusion can be treated by draining excess fluid with a catheter, chest tube or by surgery.
- Bacteria in the bloodstream : The bacteria that cause pneumonia can leave your lungs and enter your bloodstream, spreading the infection to other organs. This condition is treated with antibiotics.
- Lung abscess. A lung abscess is a pus-filled cavity in the lung that is caused by a bacterial infection. It can be treated by draining the pus with a long needle or removing it by surgery.
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What Health Complications Can Pneumonia Lead To
If you have flu-like symptoms that persist or worsen despite treatment, talk to your doctor.
Your doctor can monitor your lungs while you inhale, listening for crackling sounds that are audible only with a stethoscope.
In order to confirm the diagnosis and identify the specific germ causing the illness, you may get a chest X-ray as well as a blood test, depending on your medical history and physical exam, if your doctor suspects that you have pneumonia.
If left untreated, pneumonia can become severe.
People with severe pneumonia experience higher fevers along with GI symptoms, such as vomiting and diarrhea, as well as:
- Difficulty breathing
When To Worry When To Relax
Cardiologists are generally most worried when someone complains of chest pain during exertion, as well as feeling lightheaded. Assuming that someone is not profoundly anemic, there could be concern that a significant portion of the heart was not getting enough blood flow. Another thing that would be worrying is if the chest pain is coming on with less and less activity, or at rest which could signal a coronary artery blockage that’s progressing.
As for when you might not need to be concerned, chest pain can be caused by a muscle strain, costochondritis , esophageal spasms, acid reflux, or bronchitis. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you’re worried about your chest pain, see a healthcare provider or call 9-1-1.
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What Is The Pneumonia Vaccine
The pneumonia vaccine is an injection that prevents you from contracting pneumococcal disease. There are two pneumococcal vaccines licensed by the Food and Drug Administration for use in the United States:
The Center for Disease Control recommends the PCV13 vaccine for:
- All children younger than 2 years old
- People 2 years or older with certain medical conditions
The CDC recommends PPSV23 for:
- All adults 65 years or older
- People 2 through 64 years old with certain medical conditions
- Smokers 19 through 64 years old
Bacteremia And Septic Shock
If bacteria caused your pneumonia, they could get into your blood, especially if you didn’t see a doctor for treatment. It’s a problem called bacteremia.
When your blood pressure is too low, your heart may not be able to pump enough blood to your organs, and they can stop working. Get medical help right away if you notice symptoms like:
Your doctor will likely treat your lung abscesses with antibiotics. They may do a procedure that uses a needle to remove the pus.
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How Long Does It Take To Recover From Pneumonia
“Pneumonia is a serious illness that can take quite a toll on a person’s lungs and body. It can take anywhere from a week to several months to fully recover from it,” says Dr. Rayman Lee, pulmonologist at Houston Methodist.
The length of time it takes for you to recover from pneumonia is influenced by:
- Your age
- The severity of your illness
- Whether you have other health conditions
- The type of pneumonia
If you’re generally healthy and have only a mild case of pneumonia, your symptoms should begin to improve one to two days after starting treatment.
“Most people with mild pneumonia are able to return to their everyday activities in a week, although fatigue and cough can linger for an entire month,” says Dr. Lee.
Recovery timelines become more murky for people who have severe pneumonia.
“For more serious cases that require hospitalization, we’re not only focused on clearing the infection, we’re also focused on preventing or treating complications that can develop including difficulty breathing, fluid buildup in the lungs, sepsis, acute respiratory distress syndrome and lung abscesses,” warns Dr. Lee.
Pneumonia and its complications can wreak havoc on a person’s lungs and body. And, it can take anywhere from one to six months for a person to recover and regain strength after being hospitalized for pneumonia.
The Effects Of Pneumonia On The Body
Pneumonia is an infection in one or both lungs. Bacteria and viruses are the most common causes of pneumonia. Fungi can induce pneumonia, too. The infection causes inflammation in the air sacs of the lungs. This results in a buildup of fluid that makes it hard to breathe. Pneumonia can be a medical emergency, especially among high-risk groups like people over 65 and children 5 or younger.
Pneumonia typically affects the lungs, but complications can lead to problems in other areas of the body, too. These can be very serious and even deadly. Your risk, treatment, and recovery time depend on what caused the infection, your age, and any additional health issues you had before getting pneumonia.
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Back Pain From Pneumonia
Back pain is a common symptom of pneumonia. In the last 15 years, I have personally treated thousands of patients hospitalized with pneumonia. Many of them had back pain. I am writing this article based on my personal experience as well as a review of relevant medical journals.
In this article, I will describe:
Signs Of Pneumonia Vaccine Side Effects
As with any vaccination, there are potential side effects of the pneumonia vaccination. Common side effects include:
Injection site soreness
Less than 1% of people who receive a pneumonia vaccine develop a fever. If your temperature is above 100.4 F , you have a fever.
Irritability is a feeling of agitation. When you’re feeling irritable, you’re more likely to become frustrated or upset. In children, this may present as fussiness.
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Caring For Your Symptoms At Home
Many chest infections aren’t serious and get better within a few days or weeks. You won’t usually need to see your GP, unless your symptoms suggest you have a more serious infection .
While you recover at home, you can improve your symptoms by:
- getting plenty of rest
- drinking lots of fluid to prevent dehydration and to loosen the mucus in your lungs, making it easier to cough up
- treating headaches, fever and aches and pains with painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen
- drinking a warm drink of honey and lemon to relieve a sore throat caused by persistent coughing
- raising your head up with extra pillows while you’re sleeping to make breathing easier
- using an air humidifier or inhaling steam from a bowl of hot water to ease your cough
- stopping smoking
Avoid cough medicines, as there’s little evidence they work, and coughing actually helps you clear the infection more quickly by getting rid of the phlegm from your lungs.
Antibiotics aren’t recommended for many chest infections, because they only work if the infection is caused by bacteria, rather than a virus.
Your GP will usually only prescribe antibiotics if they think you have pneumonia, or you’re at risk of complications such as fluid building up around the lungs .
If there’s a flu outbreak in your local area and you’re at risk of serious infection, your GP may also prescribe antiviral medication.
How To Deal With It
You should seek medical attention when you have symptoms of pneumonia. Your doctor will determine the best treatment approach to help cure the infection while preventing complications. You may have to stay home during treatment if you have community-acquired pneumonia. The best treatment for you depends upon the severity and type of your pneumonia. Your age and overall health will also play a role. Some of the most common treatment options include the following:
- Antibiotics: Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics if you have bacterial pneumonia. Keep in mind that it usually takes some time to correctly identify the type of bacteria.
- Cough medicine: Your doctor may prescribe some cough medicine to control your cough and prevent chest pain. Keep in mind that your doctor will not try to eliminate your cough completely because it actually helps loosen and remove mucus and fluid from your lungs. Therefore, it is usually a good idea to use the lowest dose of a cough suppressant to manage your symptoms.
- Pain relievers: Your doctor may also give you pain relievers to help control body aches and reduce fever as well. The most common drugs are ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen.
In some cases, hospitalization is necessary. You may need it if:
- You are 65 or older.
- You have confusion.
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Pneumonia And Rib Pain
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When Would I Need To Be Hospitalized For Pneumonia
If your case of pneumonia is more severe, you may need tostay in the hospital for treatment. Hospital treatments may include:
- Fluids, antibiotics and other medicines given through an IV
- Breathing treatments and exercises to help loosen mucus
People most likely to be hospitalized are those who are most frail and/or at increased risk, including:
- Babies and young children
- People with weakened immune systems
- People with health conditions that affect the heart and lungs
It may take six to eight weeks to return to a normal level of functioning and well-being if youve been hospitalized with pneumonia.
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Viral Vs Bacterial Pneumonia
Different causes will produce different symptoms of pneumonia. Viral pneumonia usually causes milder symptoms, such as a dry cough and light chest congestion. Bacterial pneumonia is known to cause more severe symptoms, such as chest pain, difficult breathing, a high or persistent fever, and greenish or yellowish phlegm. When pneumonia develops as a complication of flu, it is more likely to be bacterial rather than viral pneumonia.
Symptom Time Frame
You should seek medical care if your symptoms last longer than three to five days, especially if they are severe. Diagnostic tests can be performed in a doctors office to determine whether you have flu or pneumonia, and which type of pneumonia you may have. Test results will determine the most effective course of treatment.
When you think you have the flu or pneumonia, or if you simply wish to get a flu vaccination, never hesitate to make an appointment with a family practitioner, contact ARcare at 550-4719. We have been providing accessible medical and dental care in Arkansas since 1986, and our staff is on call 24 hours a day.
How Long Will It Take To Recover From Pneumonia
Once you start treatment, you should experience improvement in your pneumonia symptoms pretty quickly, within 48 hours or so. But full recovery will take time. In general, you will probably feel better before you really are better studies show people with pneumonia usually report improvement in their symptoms even before chest X-rays show positive changes. Remember to keep resting and take things slow while you are recovering. On average, it takes one to two weeks to get over viral pneumonia and 10 days to three weeks for bacterial. If you are older or have a chronic condition, recovery may take even longer. Even after the infection clears up, your cough may linger, and you may continue to feel tired for around a month.
Pneumonia can be scary and even life-threatening, but you can take comfort in this: Doctors have amassed a huge amount of knowledge about this illness and are learning more all the time. Once diagnosed, you have a very good chance of making a full recovery. Be patient, rest, and follow your doctors instructions to give yourself the best shot at feeling well again soon.
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Can Covid Make Your Back Ache
Back Pain and COVID-19 People who have COVID-19 may experience muscle pain and body aches due to the bodys inflammatory response, which can be felt in the upper and lower back, says Sagar Parikh, M.D., an interventional pain medicine specialist and Director of the Center for Sports and Spine Medicine at JFK Johnson.
Choosing The Right Antibiotic
Dozens of antibiotics are available for treating pneumonia, but selecting the best drug is sometimes difficult. People with pneumonia need an antibiotic that is effective against the organism causing the disease. When the organism is unknown, “empiric therapy” is given, meaning the doctor chooses which antibiotic is likely to work based on factors such as the person’s age, health, and severity of the illness.
In adults, the choice of antibiotic therapy depends on the severity of infection and site of care. In all cases, the more quickly antibiotic therapy is started once the diagnosis is made, the better the outcomes. In most cases, the organism causing the pneumonia will not be known before antibiotic therapy is started, so the doctor must choose an antibiotic regimen based on history and symptoms. Later, the therapy may be altered when more information becomes available. To determine the appropriate antibiotic, the doctor must first answer a number of questions:
Once an antibiotic has been chosen, there are still difficulties:
- Individuals respond differently to the same antibiotic, depending on their age, health, size, and other factors.
- People can be allergic to certain antibiotics, thus requiring alternatives.
- People may have strains of bacteria that are resistant to certain antibiotics.
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How Is Pneumonia Diagnosed
Sometimes pneumonia can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are so variable, and are often very similar to those seen in a cold or influenza. To diagnose pneumonia, and to try to identify the germ that is causing the illness, your doctor will ask questions about your medical history, do a physical exam, and run some tests.
Your doctor will ask you questions about your signs and symptoms, and how and when they began. To help figure out if your infection is caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi, you may be asked some questions about possible exposures, such as:
- Any recent travel
- Exposure to other sick people at home, work or school
- Whether you have recently had another illness
Your doctor will listen to your lungs with a stethoscope. If you have pneumonia, your lungs may make crackling, bubbling, and rumbling sounds when you inhale.
If your doctor suspects you may have pneumonia, they will probably recommend some tests to confirm the diagnosis and learn more about your infection. These may include:
- Blood tests to confirm the infection and to try to identify the germ that is causing your illness.
- Chest X-ray to look for the location and extent of inflammation in your lungs.
- Pulse oximetry to measure the oxygen level in your blood. Pneumonia can prevent your lungs from moving enough oxygen into your bloodstream.
- Sputum test on a sample of mucus taken after a deep cough, to look for the source of the infection.