Is Pneumonia Treated Any Differently In Children
Essentially no. Just like adults, bacterial causes of pneumonia in children may be treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics are not used to treat pneumonia caused by viruses. Flu-related pneumonia may be treated with antiviral medicine if caught early in the course of illness. Most cases of pneumonia are treated with comfort care measures that ease symptoms. These may include:
- Drinking more fluids.
- Getting more rest.
- Taking over-the-counter medicines for cough and acetaminophen for fever. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about giving medicines to your child.
- Using a cool mist humidifier in your childs room.
How Soon After Treatment For Pneumonia Will I Begin To Feel Better
How soon you will feel better depends on several factors, including:
- Your age
- The cause of your pneumonia
- The severity of your pneumonia
- If you have other at-risk conditions
If you are generally healthy, most symptoms of bacterial pneumonia usually begin to improve within 24 to 48 hours after starting treatment. Symptoms of viral pneumonia usually begin to improve within a few days after starting treatment. A cough can last for several weeks. Most people report being tired for about a month after contracting pneumonia.
What Are The Complications Of Pneumonia
Most people with pneumonia respond well to treatment, but pneumonia can be very serious and even deadly.
You are more likely to have complications if you are an older adult, a very young child, have a weakened immune system, or have a serious medical problem like diabetes or cirrhosis. Complications may include:
Acute respiratory distress syndrome . This is a severe form of respiratory failure.
Lung abscesses. These are pockets of pus that form inside or around the lung. They may need to be drained with surgery
Respiratory failure. This requires the use of a breathing machine or ventilator.
This is when the infection gets into the blood. It may lead to organ failure.
Read Also: What Does Pneumonia Look Like
Cough And Cold Medicines
Be careful with cough and cold medicines. They may not be safe for young children or for people who have certain health problems, so check the label first. If you do use these medicines, always follow the directions about how much to use based on age and weight.
Always check to see if any over-the-counter cough or cold medicines you are taking contain acetaminophen. If they do, make sure the acetaminophen you are taking in your cold medicine plus any other acetaminophen you may be taking is not higher than the daily recommended dose. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how much you can take every day.
How Common Is Pneumonia
Approximately 1 million adults in the United States are hospitalized each year for pneumonia and 50,000 die from the disease. It is the second most common reason for being admitted to the hospital — childbirth is number one. Pneumonia is the most common reason children are admitted to the hospital in the United States. Seniors who are hospitalized for pneumonia face a higher risk of death compared to any of the top 10 other reasons for hospitalization.
Recommended Reading: What Antibiotics Treat Pneumonia In Adults
When Should I See My Doctor
Pneumonia can be life-threatening if left untreated, especially for certain at-risk people. You should call your doctor if you have a cough that wont go away, shortness of breath, chest pain, or a fever. You should also call your doctor if you suddenly begin to feel worse after having a cold or the flu.
When To See Your Gp
You should see your GP if:
- you feel very unwell or your symptoms are severe
- your symptoms are not improving after allowing a reasonable period of time
- 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 very overweight and have difficulty breathing
- you have a weakened immune system
- you have a long-term health condition
It is also important to see your GP if:
- you think your child has a chest infection
- you’re pregnant
- you’re 65 or over
and your symptoms are getting worse, or your childs condition is deteriorating.
Your GP should be able to diagnose you based on your symptoms. They will also listen to your chest using a stethoscope .
In some cases, further tests such as a chest X-ray, breathing tests and testing phlegm or blood samples may be necessary.
Also Check: Should Chemo Patients Get Pneumonia Vaccine
Symptoms Of Chest Infections
Pneumonia is more common in winter and spring. It can strike suddenly or come on slowly over a few days. The symptoms will depend on your age, the cause and severity of the infection, and any other medical problems you may have. Symptoms include:
- Fast or difficult breathing
- Coughing with brown or green-coloured phlegm
- Blue colour around the lips
- Stomach pain
- A child may vomit, have diarrhoea and be irritable or lethargic.
How Can I Help My Child Feel Better
Your child should drink fluids throughout the day, especially if he or she has a fever. Ask the doctor before you use a medicine to treat a cough. Cough suppressants stop the lungs from clearing mucus, which might not be helpful for lung infections like walking pneumonia.
If your child has chest pain, try placing a heating pad or warm compress on the area. Take your child’s temperature at least once each morning and each evening. Call the doctor if it goes above 102°F in an older infant or child, or above 100.4°F in an infant under 6 months of age.
With treatment, most types of bacterial pneumonia go away within 1 to 2 weeks. Coughing can take up to 4 to 6 weeks to stop.
Beware Of Chronic Chest Pains
Never ignore a mild to moderate chest pain post-COVID recovery, as you may not realise when it can turn into a severe symptom and lead to hospitalisation. One of the most common Long-COVID symptoms is chest pain. This can happen due to a lot of reasons, but patients suffering from pneumonia will experience the worst of it. “one may develop chest pain, which can get worse when breathing or coughing. Take this seriously and make sure to get tested for pneumonia without delay,” says Dr. Mukherjee.
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
Don’t Miss: What Kinds Of Pneumonia Are Contagious
Are There Treatments For Covid
Clinical trials are looking into whether some drugs and treatments used for other conditions might treat severe COVID-19 or related pneumonia, including dexamethasone, a corticosteroid.
The FDA has approved the antiviral remdesivir for treatment of patients hospitalized with COVID. The drug was origininally developed to treat the Ebola virus.
What Increases Your Risk
You are more likely to get pneumonia if you:
- Smoke. Cigarette smoking is a strong risk factor for pneumonia in healthy young people.
- Have another medical condition, especially lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or asthma.
- Are younger than 1 year of age or older than 65.
- Have an impaired immune system.
- Take medicine called a proton pump inhibitor that reduces the amount of stomach acid.footnote 3, footnote 4
- Drink excessive amounts of alcohol.
- Recently had a cold or the flu.
You are more likely to have complications of pneumonia and need to go to the hospital if you:
- Are older than 65.
- Have some other illness , or have gone to the hospital for a medical problem within the last 3 months.
- Have had your spleen removed or do not have a working spleen .
- Have an alcohol use problem.
- Have a weak immune system.
- Reside in a place where people live close together, such as a university dorm or nursing home.
Recommended Reading: Common Reactions To Pneumonia Vaccine
Can Pneumonia Be Prevented Or Avoided
There are many factors that can raise your risk for developing pneumonia. These include:
People who have any of the following conditions are also at increased risk:
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- sickle cell disease
You can help prevent pneumonia by doing the following:
- Get the flu vaccine each year. People can develop bacterial pneumonia after a case of the flu. You can reduce this risk by getting the yearly flu shot.
- Get the pneumococcal vaccine. This helps prevent pneumonia caused by pneumococcal bacteria.
- Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Dont smoke. Smoking damages your lungs and makes it harder for your body to defend itself from germs and disease. If you smoke, talk to your family doctor about quitting as soon as possible.
- Practice a healthy lifestyle. Eat a balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables. Exercise regularly. Get plenty of sleep. These things help your immune system stay strong.
- Avoid sick people. Being around people who are sick increases your risk of catching what they have.
How Is Pneumonia Treated
Treatment depends on the type of pneumonia you have. Most of the time, pneumonia is treated at home, but severe cases may be treated in the hospital. Antibiotics are used for bacterial pneumonia. Antibiotics may also speed recovery from mycoplasma pneumonia and some special cases. Most viral pneumonias dont have specific treatment. They usually get better on their own.
Other treatment may include eating well, increasing fluid intake, getting rest, oxygen therapy, pain medicine, fever control, and maybe cough-relief medicine if cough is severe.
Don’t Miss: Does It Hurt To Breathe With Pneumonia
What Can I Do At Home To Feel Better
In addition to taking any antibiotics and/or medicine your doctor prescribes, you should also:
- Get lots of rest. Rest will help your body fight the infection.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Fluids will keep you hydrated. They can help loosen the mucus in your lungs. Try water, warm tea, and clear soups.
- Stop smoking if you smoke and avoid secondhand smoke. Smoke can make your symptoms worse. Smoking also increases your risk of developing pneumonia and other lung problems in the future. You should also avoid lit fireplaces or other areas where the air may not be clean.
- Stay home from school or work until your symptoms go away. This usually means waiting until your fever breaks and you arent coughing up mucus. Ask your doctor when its okay for you to return to school or work.
- Use a cool-mist humidifier or take a warm bath. This will help clear your lungs and make it easier for you to breathe.
Pneumonia After Recovering From Covid
Now, we already know how both Pneumonia and COVID-19 damages the lung cells and disrupt the complete breathing process of an individual. However, the risk of developing pneumonia increases as and when the body gets infected by the deadly COVID-19 virus. Why? it is so because the lung cells at this point are already damaged with the COVID virus.
To understand the complication further, TheHealthSite.com spoke to cardiologist M.K Mukherjee, Max Hospital, Saket. According to the doctor, two things raise the risk of developing pneumonia in COVID recovered patients weak lungs, poor habits while and after recovering from COVID. “The COVID-19 virus causes severe inflammation in the lungs. It damages the cells and tissue that line the air sacs in the lungs. These sacs are where the oxygen one breathes is processed and gets delivered to the blood, which carries it to the other body parts. The damage causes tissue to break off and thus clog the lungs. The walls of the air sacs thus get inflamed, making it very hard for a person to breathe.”
Also Check: What Are The Risk Factors Of Pneumonia
How Do You Treat Pneumonia
Mild pneumonia can usually be treated at home but the vulnerable and those in at-risk groups might need to have hospital treatment.
At home it is treated by
- getting plenty of rest
- taking antibiotics if it’s bacterial pneumonia
- drinking plenty of fluids
Those who are in at-risk groups will be treated in hospital as it can lead to serious complications and some cases can be fatal
How To Not Let Your Body Catch Pneumonia After Recovering From Covid
Pneumonia is extremely common among those whose lungs are too weak or vulnerable to virus attacks. COVID can damage your lungs to a great extent, thus taking care of this organ post-COVID is important to not let your body catch pneumonia. To keep it simple, Dr. Mukherjee says that the best way to reduce the risk of developing pneumonia are certain lifestyle changes, including turning into a non-smoker , limiting alcohol intake, getting a flu-shot and taking the jabs against COVID-19 as well .
You May Like: Do You Need A Second Pneumonia Shot
Take Something For The Aches
If aches or fever are wearing you down, a pain reliever might help, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Be sure you follow the instructions on the label for how much to take and how often. Speaking of taking medicine: If your doctor gives you an antibiotic, take every dose of it, even if you start to feel good again before you use it up. When you quit too soon, the pneumonia could come back.
Can You Catch Pneumonia More Than Once
Yes. Pneumonia is caused by many different microbes, and so getting it once does not protect you from getting it again. If you get pneumonia more than once you may need to have more investigations to understand why this has happened. It could be due to a problem in your chest or your immune system, and you may be referred to a specialist.
Recommended Reading: Is Community Acquired Pneumonia Contagious
How Harmful Is Pneumonia
Despite vaccinations being available, there are still around 700 reported cases of pneumonia in the under-fives in the UK every year. The disease claims the lives of around 40 children in England and Wales each year.
So its worth being aware of the signs and symptoms of pneumonia, and knowing when to call for medical help.
What Is Fungal Pneumonia
Three types of fungi living in soil are known causes of pneumonia:
- Coccidioides immitis and Coccidiodes posadasii are two related fungi common to the American Southwest. Both can cause coccidioidomycosis, also known as cocci or valley fever.
- Histoplasma capsulatum is found in the central and eastern United States, especially areas around the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys, and causes a disease called histoplasmosis.
- Cryptococcus is a fungi found in soil and bird droppings all across the country.
Most people who inhale these fungi don’t get sick, but if your immune system is weak, you may develop pneumonia.
Another fungus, Pneumocystis jirovecii, can generate an infection in premature, malnourished infants, and in people with a weakened immune system, such as those who have HIV or AIDS.
The symptoms of pneumonia that are caused by fungi are often similar to those of other forms of pneumonia, including a fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue.
But because this type of pneumonia usually affects people with weakened immune systems, symptoms tend to develop faster, and people often experience a high fever.
Don’t Miss: Can You Get Pneumonia After Having The Vaccine
Treating The Underlying Cause
If your pleurisy is caused by a viral infection, it’ll usually get better on its own after a few days.
If it’s caused by a bacterial infection, you’ll need antibiotics. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, this may be either tablets or injections.
If your symptoms are particularly severe or you’re already in poor health, you may need to be admitted to hospital.
What Are Symptoms Of Covid
Pneumonia is a serious condition in which the lungs get filled with fluid and pus, resulting in severe breathing difficulties. With COVID-19pneumonia, the virus tends to attack both lungs, causing both air sacs to fill with fluid and reduce their capacity to hold in oxygen. This can lead to symptoms such as:
- Shortness of breath
Also Check: How To Know If You Have Bacterial Pneumonia
Bacterial Vs Viral Pneumonia Symptoms
Bacteria and viruses are the most common causes of pneumonia. Fungi and parasites can sometimes cause it.
When the cause is bacteria, the illness can come on either slowly or quickly. It tends to be more serious than other types.
When a virus causes your pneumonia, youâre more likely to notice symptoms over several days. Early signs will look like the flu — such as fever, dry cough, headache, and weakness — but get worse in a day or two.
What Can You Do To Prevent Pneumonia
Most cases of pneumonia are bacterial and are not passed on from one person to another.
The NHS says that a healthy lifestyle such as no smoking and not misusing alcohol could help.
Mr Khan added: “Many people do not know there are widely available and effective vaccines to protect against pneumonia.
“These are not available on the NHS to everyone but are well worth having done privately if people are concerned or feel they may be vulnerable. A single dose can give lifetime protection.
Pneumonia can be a serious illness with long-term effects and can lead to other serious health conditions like sepsis.
Read Also: How Often Do I Need To Get Pneumonia Shot