How Is Acute Bronchitis Diagnosed
Healthcare providers can often diagnose acute bronchitis by taking a medical history and doing physical exam. Tests may be done to rule out other diseases, such as pneumonia or asthma. Any of these tests may be used to help confirm a diagnosis:
- Chest X-rays. A test that uses invisible radiation beams to make images of internal tissues, bones, and organs, including the lungs.
- Arterial blood gas. This blood test is used to analyze the amount of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the blood.
- Pulse oximetry. An oximeter is a small machine that measures the amount of oxygen in the blood. To get this measurement, a small sensor is taped or clipped on a finger or toe. When the machine is on, a small red light can be seen in the sensor. The sensor is painless and the red light does not get hot.
- Cultures of nasal discharge and sputum. Testing the sputum you cough up or swab from your nose may be done to find and identify the microorganism causing the infection.
- Pulmonary function tests. These are tests that help to measure the ability of the lungs to move air in and out of the lungs. The tests are usually done with special machines that you breathe into.
Getting Treatment For Pneumonia
Once youve been diagnosed, your doctor can begin treating your pneumonia. In most cases, you can be treated at home. However, your doctor may choose to hospitalize you if youre risks of getting worse are high or your symptoms are severe. Common treatment for pneumonia includes:
- Antibiotics, which target and treat bacterial infections. More than one type of antibiotic may be needed to treat your pneumonia.
- Cough medicine to help reduce coughing and allow for more rest.
- Pain reliever/fever reducer to help bring down your fever and pain symptoms. Most over-the-counter medications should work, but your doctor may recommend specific medications.
If you have pneumonia signs or symptoms, dont wait too long before you contact your doctor. Getting the right treatment will help you feel better more quickly.
When Does A Cough Turn Into Pneumonia
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So youve been coughing for a while, and instead of getting better, it seems like your cough is getting worse. Maybe youve even started coughing up phlegm or have pain in your chest when you cough. Those are signs your cough might actually be pneumonia.
Pneumonia is an infection in your lungs that can range from mild to life-threatening, which causes your lungs to fill up with fluid or pus. You may experience difficulty breathing or have a fever. If youre a healthy young adult, pneumonia might not be as serious as it is for very young kids or adults over age 65.
Whether youve had your cough for three days or three weeks, knowing the symptoms of pneumonia and when to go to the doctor can help put your mind at ease.
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What To Do With Back Pain From Pneumonia
You need to control the back pain. It is not just a matter of comfort. Uncontrolled back pain from pneumonia makes it difficult to recover and also makes you vulnerable to more complications. You can start by taking some Tylenol. Ibuprofen or Naproxen can be taken on top of the Tylenol. The goal is to make your pain tolerable enough to be able to cough and take deep breaths regularly. If over-the-counter pain medications are not enough, you may have to ask your doctor for prescription pain medications to enable you to cough and take deep breaths comfortably. However, it is best to avoid opioids. They can make you drowsy and suppress your cough reflex.
When you have a severe, sharp pain in your back from pneumonia, you may avoid taking deep breaths. If you dont take deep breaths, the lower part of your lungs may collapse. A collapsed lung can worsen your pneumonia and make you more short of breath.
Taking deep breaths and coughing normally are two very important things to help you recover from pneumonia.
How Do The Lungs Work
Your lungs main job is to get oxygen into your blood and remove carbon dioxide. This happens during breathing. You breathe 12 to 20 times per minute when you are not sick. When you breathe in, air travels down the back of your throat and passes through your voice box and into your windpipe . Your trachea splits into two air passages . One bronchial tube leads to the left lung, the other to the right lung. For the lungs to perform their best, the airways need to be open as you breathe in and out. Swelling and mucus can make it harder to move air through the airways, making it harder to breathe. This leads to shortness of breath, difficulty breathing and feeling more tired than normal.
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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.
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.
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How Lung Cancer And Back Pain Are Linked
When we think about back pain, usually the last thing that comes to mind is cancer. Instead, we connect it to things like an injury, such as a muscle strain or ruptured disc. Or we may think it’s because of a degenerative disease, like arthritis or osteoporosis.
Back pain caused by lung cancer shares some common features with many of these disorders. Yet it also has distinct differences. These may relate to how and where the cancer causes pain, both directly and indirectly.
Some possible ways in which lung cancer can produce back pain include:
- A tumor can place direct pressure on the structure of the back, most often in the mid to upper back rather than lower back.
- A tumor can irritate the nerves that serve the lining of the lungs and chest wall. This may trigger a sharp and sometimes chronic nerve pain.
- Cancer spread from the lungs to the spine and bones happens in some 30% of people with lung cancer.
- Spread of cancer to the adrenal glands occurs in 40% of people with lung cancer, and can cause pain right above the kidney.
Healthcare providers may overlook a possible lung cancer as the cause of back pain, especially in people who have never smoked. However, at the current time, most of the people who develop lung cancer are non-smokers, either never smokers or former smokers. Lung cancer cases are rising in young women and men who have never smoked.
Your Back Pain Doesn’t Radiate Down Your Leg
If all you have is back pain, it’s unlikely to be the coronavirus or pneumonia. Back pain can arise from a series of non-virus related causes, such as a slipped disc, muscle strain, ligament strains, arthritis, and trauma, Poston says.
Henaku Yirenkyi, MD, an orthopedic spine surgeon with World Spine and Orthopedics, says that back pain from these other conditions often leads to a “radiation of pain into the lower extremities.” However, he says that back pain from COVID won’t radiate down your leg. And if you are experiencing back pain, check out these Easy Ways to Beat Back Pain Every Day.
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What Does Pneumonia Feel Like
Not everyone feels the same when they have pneumonia, but there arecore signs you can look out for, such as feeling like you’re out of breath,generally feeling tired or sleepy and sharp, stabbing chest pain. Note, however,that “walking pneumonia” might not have obvious symptoms or justsymptoms of a common cold.
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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How To Regain Your Strength After Pneumonia
While recovering from mild pneumonia, be sure to:
- Eat a well-balanced diet
- Slowly work back into your exercise routine
“Physical activity can help your lungs regain strength but go slow. Start with light exercise and stop if your cough worsens or you have trouble breathing. If a light workout feels okay, you can put a little more effort into your next workout,” says Dr. Lee.
However, Dr. Lee’s advice for someone recovering from severe pneumonia looks quite different.
“The first thing to realize is that your body may be extremely weak after being discharged from the hospital, so you’ll need to take extra care leaning on your support network, if possible,” says Dr. Lee.
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.
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Pneumonia And Rib Pain
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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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Symptoms That May Suggest Lung Cancer
Symptoms of back pain linked to lung cancer may overlap with back pain caused by other conditions. If the cancer involves the spine, it can mimic many of the symptoms of an upper back injury.
Lung cancer-related back pain may feel dull like a muscle ache, or it may seem sharp like a pinched nerve. People with cancer that has spread to the adrenal glands may sometimes say they have “kidney pain” on one side of their back. They also may describe a feeling like they’ve just been “kidney punched.”
That said, back pain related to lung cancer may have certain telltale signs. Red flags that back pain may be due to lung cancer include:
- Back pain that is present at rest
- Back pain that is worst at night
- Back pain that happens without any activity
- Back pain that worsens the longer you lie in bed
- Back pain that gets worse when you take a deep breath
- Back pain that doesn’t respond to physical therapy or other treatment
The back pain may come with other telltale lung cancer signs like a cough that won’t go away or shortness of breath. Unintentional weight loss, chronic fatigue, or coughing up blood may further suggest lung cancer.
The “typical” symptoms of lung cancer are less likely to be present with lung adenocarcinoma, which often affects non-smokers. The most common symptoms with this type of cancer are fatigue and shortness of breath with exercise, which people may attribute to age or inactivity instead.
Besides Vaccination What Else Can I Do To Prevent Bacterial And Viral Pneumonia
Receiving all recommended vaccinations is one of the best ways to prevent pneumonia. Additionally, there are several other ways to prevent pneumonia, including:
- Quitting smoking, and avoiding secondhand smoke. Smoking damages your lungs.
- Washing your hands before eating, before handling food, after using the restroom, and after being outside. If soap is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoiding being around people who are sick. Ask them to visit when they are feeling better.
- Not touching or sharing objects that are shared with others. Germs can be transferred from object to you if you touch your nose or mouth without washing or sanitizing your hands first.
- Eating a healthy diet, exercise, and get enough rest. Healthy habits keep your immune system strong.
- Getting treated for any other infections or health conditions you may have. These conditions could weaken your immune system, which could increase your chance of infections.
- Avoiding excessive consumption of alcohol.
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When Back Pain Is A Symptom Of Lung Cancer
Research suggests that the time between the onset of symptoms and a diagnosis of lung cancer is around 12 months. This is often because a person does not recognize the symptoms, or because they hope that they’ll go away. Back pain is one such symptom.
It is not uncommon for people to have back pain with lung cancer, or even to have back pain as their first symptom. In fact, there are certain defining symptoms that point to cancer as the cause of back pain.
Chief among them are the location and types of pain, which may be quite different from your typical, chronic backache. All told, around 25% of people with lung cancer will report back pain as a symptom at some point in their disease.
This article looks at how back pain is linked to lung cancer, and how this pain differs from other kinds of back pain. It also explains why early treatment for back pain is so important.
Verywell / Hugo Lin
How Can I Tell If I Have Pneumonia Versus The Common Cold Or The Flu
Do I have a cold or could it be the flu or even pneumonia? Its tough to tell the difference but critical to know when to seek medical care
Watch for these ongoing symptoms that occur in pneumonia:
- Serious congestion or chest pain.
- Difficulty breathing.
- A fever of 102 or higher.
- Coughing that produces pus.
Pneumonia symptoms last longer than cold and flu. If your symptoms arent severe, its okay to try such home remedies as getting more rest, drinking more fluids and taking some over-the-counter medicines and see what happens. But if you dont see improvement in your symptoms after three to five days, or if you are experiencing more serious symptoms such as dizziness or severe difficulty breathing, see your healthcare provider. Dont let it go. Pneumonia-like symptoms in very young children or in adults older than 65 are a cause for concern. Also, pneumonia can cause permanent lung damage if left untreated for too long. And always seek immediate care if you experience chest pain or have breathing difficulties.
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