How Long Does Pneumonia Cough Last
Most coughs from pneumonia last for 2 weeks. Some people have significant coughs for 3 weeks. About 20% of people may have lingering coughs for a month. It is very uncommon for pneumonia cough to last longer than six weeks. If you still have coughs six weeks after pneumonia, you need to see your doctor to make sure you havent developed anything else.
With regular community-acquired pneumonia, early coughs are usually associated with lots of phlegm. When pneumonia is active, there is significant inflammation inside your lungs. White blood cells and fluids rush to your lungs to fight the infection. Your cough helps get rid of these waste products in the form of thick, yellow phlegm. After about a week, your cough may produce more of a rusty-colored phlegm, as WBCs decrease while dried blood and dead cells increase. As more time passes, you may have more dry coughs than coughs with phlegm.
What Are The Signs Of Pneumonia In Children
When children have pneumonia, they can experience the same symptoms asadults including high fever, cough, difficulty breathing and pain in the chest,but they may also complain of stomach pain, ear pain, have a decreased appetiteand be more tired or irritable than usual. If a child has “walkingpneumonia” their symptoms may be milder and can appear like a cold. Someinfants may not appear to have any symptoms beyond being restless and adecreased appetite. In extreme cases of pneumonia, infants and small childrenmay have bluish fingernails, toenails, lips and mouth.
Pneumonia Symptoms And Causes
There are more than 30 different causes of pneumonia, including bacteria, viruses, airborne irritants, and fungi. When these germs enter the lungs, they can overpower the immune system and invade nearby lung tissues, which are very delicate.
Once infected, the air sacs in the lungs become inflamed and fill up with fluid and pus, which causes coughing, fever, chills, and breathing problems.
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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.
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.
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What Is Viral Pneumonia
Viruses are responsible for about one-third of all pneumonias, and they’re the most common cause of pneumonia in children younger than age 5.
Viral pneumonias tend to clear up in about one to three weeks, but they can increase your risk for bacterial pneumonia.
Viral pneumonia is usually less serious than bacterial pneumonia.
At first, the symptoms of viral pneumonia may be similar to symptoms often associated with the flu, except you may experience a dry cough that does not produce phlegm. You may also develop a fever and headache.
But within a couple of days, these symptoms typically get worse.
Adults with viral pneumonia can also expect to develop:
- Sore throat
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle pain
The flu virus is the most common cause of viral pneumonia in adults, which tends to be more serious in people with heart or lung disease, senior citizens, and pregnant women.
Respiratory syncytial virus pneumonia is usually a mild infection that clears up in about a week or two. It can be more severe and is more common in young children and older adults. In fact, RSV is the most common cause of pneumonia in children younger than 12 months.
Why Is Pneumonia Cough Worse At Night
Some people find pneumonia cough especially worse at night. Some possible reasons for pneumonia cough worsening at night are:
There are no clear-cut ways to help reduce pneumonia cough at night. Sometimes, keeping your head higher with a propped pillow may help. If you have increased mucus, an antihistamine such as Benadryl may help. If you have other symptoms of acid reflux, you can try an OTC acid reducer. Call your doctor if your symptoms worsen.
In conclusion, coughs are a very important defense against pneumonia. You need to regularly cough to keep your airways clear so that you can recover from pneumonia. In certain situations, too many coughs can cause problems. There is no clear-cut solution to help pneumonia cough. Try a few options and see what helps you.
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How Bronchitis And Pneumonia Are Treated
Treatments for both bronchitis and pneumonia depend on the underlying cause, such as whether its bacterial or viral.
Bacterial pneumonia and acute bronchitis are both treated with antibiotics. For viral cases, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral drug. However, theyll likely suggest you get a few days of rest and drink plenty of fluids while you recover.
If you have chronic bronchitis, your doctor may prescribe a breathing treatment or steroid drug that you inhale into your lungs. The medicine helps to reduce inflammation and clear mucus from your lungs.
For more severe cases, your doctor might also prescribe supplemental oxygen to help you breathe. Its also important to avoid smoking or exposure to the substance that caused your bronchitis.
Regardless of the cause, follow these tips to speed up your healing time:
- Get plenty of rest.
- Drink plenty of fluids to loosen up the mucus in your lungs. Water, clear juices, or broths are the best choices. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can be dehydrating.
- Take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory to reduce a fever and soothe body aches.
- Turn on a humidifier to loosen up the mucus in your lungs.
- Ask your doctor about using an over-the-counter cough remedy if your cough is keeping you up at night or making it hard to sleep.
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.
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Questions About Your Symptoms
Bacterial pneumonia, which is the most common form, tends to be more serious than other types of pneumonia, with symptoms that require medical care. The symptoms of bacterial pneumonia can develop gradually or suddenly. Fever may rise as high as a dangerous 105 degrees F, with profuse sweating and rapidly increased breathing and pulse rate. Lips and nailbeds may have a bluish color due to lack of oxygen in the blood. A patient’s mental state may be confused or delirious.
The symptoms of viral pneumonia usually develop over a period of several days. Early symptoms are similar to influenza symptoms: fever, a dry cough, headache, muscle pain, and weakness. Within a day or two, the symptoms typically get worse, with increasing cough, shortness of breath and muscle pain. There may be a high fever and there may be blueness of the lips.
Symptoms may vary in certain populations. Newborns and infants may not show any signs of the infection. Or, they may vomit, have a fever and cough, or appear restless, sick, or tired and without energy. Older adults and people who have serious illnesses or weak immune systems may have fewer and milder symptoms. They may even have a lower than normal temperature. Older adults who have pneumonia sometimes have sudden changes in mental awareness. For individuals that already have a chronic lung disease, those symptoms may worsen.
When to call a doctor
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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What Is Walking Pneumonia
Walking pneumonia is a mild case of pneumonia. It is often caused by a virus or the mycoplasma pneumoniae bacteria. When you have walking pneumonia, your symptoms may not be as severe or last as long as someone who has a more serious case of pneumonia. You probably wont need bed rest or to stay in the hospital when you have walking pneumonia.
Pneumonia Vs Cold And Flu Symptoms
Itâs tricky, because pneumonia can be a complication of colds and flu. This happens when the germs that cause those common illnesses get into your lungs. You might be feeling better, but then you start getting symptoms again — and this time, they can be a lot worse.
The top clue that you have the flu is that the symptoms come on strong, seemingly out of nowhere. You may have:
- Fever above 100.4 F
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Why Does It Take So Long To Recover From Pneumonia
I was diagnosed with pneumonia in October. The doctor told me to rest, really rest. She told me to expect to feel better after a couple of days of antibiotics, but that I still must rest. She told me I would have good days, but they would be followed by bad days.
After a week of antibiotics, the bacteria causing my illness – presumably Streptococcus pneumonia – should have been dead. Also called pneumococcus, this pathogen is the most common perpetrator of community-acquired pneumonia, which is pneumonia that people get outside hospitals and nursing homes. The antibiotic I received, a common first-line treatment, covers pneumococcus as well as other bacterial invaders.
Yet my doctor told me to expect weeks to months of recovery. Friends with recent pneumonia experience confirmed this rather depressing outlook. Pneumonia can vary in severity so not everyone will need months to recover.
The scientific literature concurs with the anecdotal evidence I collected. One study followed 576 adult patients with community-acquired pneumonia. Thirty days after diagnosis, 65 percent of them reported fatigue, nearly half of whom said their fatigue was moderate to severe 53 percent reported cough and 36 percent reported shortness of breath. Ninety days after diagnosis, 51 percent reported fatigue, 32 percent cough, and 28 percent shortness of breath.
Why does it take so long to recover from pneumonia?
Things People Dont Tell You About Pneumonia
While many of you mightve thought I have been on a hiatus due to winning the lottery and spending the past month enjoying my new home in Italy, Ive actually just been sick. Really, really sick. How sick, you ask? So sick that I couldnt even read. THAT sick.
You see, I went home to Texas for a quick, early Christmas visit with family in mid-December and came back with the worst gift ever: H1N1 flu.
Its an evil, evil virus, folks. As in fetal position for six days. And then for me, it quickly turned into pneumonia, with a side of kidney and liver failure. I spent many days in the hospital. Christmas and New Years never happened, really.
Basically, you know those stories you read in the newspaper about previously healthy people who get the flu and die unexpectedly? Well, that was ALMOST me. I was one of the lucky ones who pulled through.
Its been two weeks since I got out of the hospital now, and Im still on oxygen. Which makes me feel about 90 years old, and is something that I never dreamed Id need in my 40s.
Here are a few other things that no one ever told me about pneumonia.
1. When you are in the throes of pneumonia, before the antibiotics start to kick in, every time you cough, you will feel as though someone is reaching down through your lungs and pulling out your soul. And the sound will be violent. Horribly violent.
Have you ever had H1N1 and/or pneumonia? Whats been your experience?
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Breathing Exercises To Clear Covid Lungs
If youre having trouble clearing mucus from your lungs after a respiratory infection, these exercises may help. There are two types of exercise here.
The first two are breathing exercises that use your breath to strengthen your lungs and help you expel mucus. The second two are postural exercises that use gravity to help move mucus out of your lungs.
How To Regain Strength After Pneumonia
If you have pneumonia, the first priority is clearing the infection causing it.
This means following your doctor’s treatment plan very closely. Yes, getting plenty of rest. And, yes, taking every single pill in the bottle of antibiotics your doctor prescribed you if your pneumonia is bacterial in nature.
But, even after your primary symptoms fade away, you may be left feeling lousy, with low energy and/or dealing with a cough that just won’t quit. In some cases, you may feel weak for months.
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Does Asthma Cause Dry Coughing
Yes, asthma can cause a dry cough. This type is often called cough-variant asthma and can be due to the same triggers as normal asthma. Triggers include dust, cold air, stress, pollen, and a change of seasons. Cough-variant asthma is confirmed by its responsiveness to standard treatments for asthma. If you take your asthma treatments as prescribed and continue to cough, you may have something other than cough-variant asthma.