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.
Tests To Assess Overall Health
Because pneumonia can trigger a range of potential complications, it is common for tests that assess your overall health to be included as part of pneumonia testing. Examples of these tests include:
- Complete blood count with differential: This test measures the amount of each type of blood cell in a blood sample taken from a vein in your arm. In addition to providing insight about overall health, a CBC can show if there is an elevated level of white blood cells, which is associated with some infections.
- Basic metabolic panel : This is another routine blood test that assesses kidney function, electrolytes, and blood sugar levels.
Medical History Review And Physical Exam
Pneumonia testing usually begins with an initial examination by a doctor that includes both a review of your medical history and a physical exam. This process helps the doctor understand your situation, check for signs of pneumonia, and look for the possible complications of an infection.
A medical history review includes a discussion of your current symptoms as well as your overall health and medical history. The doctor will usually ask about how long you have had symptoms and may ask questions about your medications, vaccinations, if you have been around other people who are sick, if you smoke cigarettes, or if you have other health issues that may affect your risk for pneumonia.
A physical exam for pneumonia typically includes using a stethoscope to listen to your lungs. A health care provider may tap on your chest and ask you to take several breaths while they listen. During this exam, the doctor is checking to see if they hear certain sounds that are associated with pneumonia.
Most of the time, additional tests are needed after this clinical evaluation. In some situations, a medical history review and physical exam may be sufficient to diagnose mild cases of pneumonia.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Pneumonia
Pneumonia symptoms can vary from so mild you barely notice them, to so severe that hospitalization is required. How your body responds to pneumonia depends on the type germ causing the infection, your age and your overall health.
The signs and symptoms of pneumonia may include:
- Cough, which may produce greenish, yellow or even bloody mucus
- Fever, sweating and shaking chills
- Sharp or stabbing chest pain that gets worse when you breathe deeply or cough
- Loss of appetite, low energy, and fatigue
- Nausea and vomiting, especially in small children
- Confusion, especially in older people
Ct Of The Lungs For Sars And Covid
Today, CT of the lungs is considered the gold standard to diagnose pneumonia since it shows with high accuracy the degree of lung damage even in the early stages. The sensitivity of fluorography and X-ray is significantly lower. For example, on an X-ray, the doctor will see areas of non-uniform darkening, which can be interpreted as pneumonia, when pneumonia has already reached stages 3 and 4. The error is not excluded in laboratory analyzes. Therefore, the most optimal type of radiation diagnostics for pneumonia will be modern computed tomography, eliminating the need for other X-ray studies.
During the epidemics of SARS and MERS atypical coronavirus pneumonia, doctors faced a problem the inaccuracy of laboratory tests. In the case of the new coronavirus infection COVID-19, approximately 30 out of 100 patients who underwent blood and sputum tests reported false-negative results. Only when the condition of the patients worsened was the CT scan revealed clinically significant areas of destruction of the lung tissue. It turned out that coronavirus pneumonia is best visualized on CT of the lungs. Areas of alveolar lesion correspond to frosted glasses bright areas of the lungs pronounced on CT scans.
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Pneumonia And Long Covid
In a Q& A about lingering COVID-19 symptoms, the Cleveland Clinic notes that it is seemingly random who experiences long-lasting symptoms and who doesn’t. So, its not quite clear whether having pneumonia in the past is connected with having long COVID.
As a way to find answers, in 2021, the National Institutes of Health launched an ongoing study into the underlying biological causes of prolonged symptoms and what makes some people more likely to get long COVID.
How Pneumocystis Pneumonia Spreads
PCP spreads from person to person through the air.15-17 Some healthy adults can carry the Pneumocystis fungus in their lungs without having symptoms, and it can spread to other people, including those with weakened immune systems.8
Many people are exposed to Pneumocystis as children, but they likely do not get sick because their immune systems prevent the fungus from causing an infection.18 In the past, scientists believed that people who had been exposed to Pneumocystis as children could later develop PCP from that childhood infection if their immune systems became weakened.8,19 However, it is more likely that people get PCP after being exposed to someone else who has PCP or who is carrying the fungus in their lungs without having symptoms.
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How To Determine If You Have Pneumonia
This article was medically reviewed by Victor Catania, MD. Dr. Catania is a board certified Family Medicine Physician in Pennsylvania. He received his MD from the Medical University of the Americas in 2012 and completed his residency in Family Medicine at the Robert Packer Hospital. He is a member of the American Board of Family Medicine.There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 75,807 times.
Research shows that pneumonia is an infection of the air sacs in your lungs that can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source This infection is most dangerous for children, elderly people, and those with weakened immune systems, and it can become life-threatening. Experts note that if you recognize the symptoms and seek medical help right away, pneumonia can be treated effectively.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
Can Pneumonia Be Prevented
Check with your healthcare provider about getting immunizations. The flu is a common cause of pneumonia. Because of that, getting a flu shot every year can help prevent both the flu and pneumonia.
There is also a pneumococcal vaccine. It will protect you from a common form of bacterial pneumonia. Children younger than age 5 and adults ages 65 and older should get this shot.
The pneumococcal shot is also recommended for all children and adults who are at increased risk of pneumococcal disease due to other health conditions.
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How To Treat Pneumonia In Covid Know What The Doctor Has To Say
Covid-19 pneumonia treatment requires proper medical attention. Here are some doctor tips to treat it. Read on.
Pneumonia can develop in the lungs when a bacteria or virus causes infection resulting in major damage and inflammation. The fluid and debris build-up on the lungs can make it difficult for an individual to breathe. In fact, oxygen therapy and ventilator support is required if the condition gets worse. No matter which bacteria or virus caused it, pneumonia can make the patient’s condition very critical, even life-threatening. When we talk about COVID pneumonia, the damage to the lungs is caused by the Coronavirus, i.e the virus responsible for COVID-19 disease.
Novel Coronavirus can have an impact on any organ of our body, but the most damage occurs on the respiratory system. Pneumonia associated with the novel coronavirus was earlier named as novel coronavirus-infected pneumonia . However, it was later changed by the WHO to COVID pneumonia. Onlymyhealth editorial team talked to Dr. Ankit Singhal, Pulmonologist, Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute, New Delhi, about the treatment of Covid pneumonia.
Laboratory Diagnostic Testing Methods For Pneumonia
The routine laboratory evaluation of patients with pneumonia continues to rely on methods that have been used for decades: microscopy and culture of respiratory tract specimens, blood cultures, detection of antigens in urine and respiratory specimens, and detection of specific antibodies in blood . Nucleic acid detection methods, such as polymerase chain reaction , have been available for > 2 decades and are now established tools in tertiary-level diagnostic laboratories.
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Tests To Find The Cause Of Pneumonia
Pneumonia testing may include a range of tests to identify why pneumonia occurred. There are many potential causes of pneumonia including an infection with a bacteria, virus, or fungus. When the cause is known, the doctor can choose a tailored therapy that offers the most benefit and least risk.
This kind of testing is not routinely performed in patients with mild cases of pneumonia. Trying to identify the cause is of greater importance when a patient is hospitalized or at higher risk of severe complications from pneumonia.
Although many tests are available to look for the underlying cause, in the majority of cases, no single cause can be conclusively identified.
The following sections describe different types of tests that may be used to detect the cause of pneumonia. Each section is organized based on the type of sample that is used for testing.
Sputum is a thick kind of mucus produced in the lungs that is also known as phlegm. It is distinct from saliva or spit because its thickness helps it trap and remove pathogens from the lungs. For this reason, sputum can be analyzed to check for signs of bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens.
There are three main ways that a sputum sample can be obtained. The least invasive way of collecting sputum is by coughing deeply so that sputum can be spit into a cup. Before this, you may inhale a vapor that makes it easier to produce a testable amount of sputum.
Throat or nasal swab tests
How Is Pneumonia Diagnosed And Evaluated
Your primary doctor will begin by asking you about your medical history and symptoms. You will also undergo a physical exam, so that your doctor can listen to your lungs. In checking for pneumonia, your doctor will listen for abnormal sounds like crackling, rumbling or wheezing. If your doctor thinks you may have pneumonia, an imaging test may be performed to confirm the diagnosis.
One or more of the following tests may be ordered to evaluate for pneumonia:
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How Is Pneumonia Spread From Person To Person
Pneumonia is spread when droplets of fluid containing the pneumonia bacteria or virus are launched in the air when someone coughs or sneezes and then inhaled by others. You can also get pneumonia from touching an object previously touched by the person with pneumonia or touching a tissue used by the infected person and then touching your mouth or nose.
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.
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What Are The Types Of Pneumonia
There are many different types of pneumonia that are generally categorized based on where an infection was acquired and the underlying cause of the infection. Some common categories of pneumonia include:
- Community-acquired pneumonia: When pneumonia occurs in people who have not recently been in the hospital, it is classified as community-acquired pneumonia. This includes walking pneumonia, which is a nonmedical term that refers to pneumonia with mild symptoms.
- Hospital-acquired pneumonia: This type of pneumonia develops as a result of an infection contracted while a person is in a hospital.
- Ventilator-associated pneumonia: A ventilator is a device that uses a breathing tube to help people who are not able to breathe on their own. When people contract pneumonia as a result of using a ventilator, it is called ventilator-associated pneumonia.
- Pneumocystis pneumonia: This type of pneumonia is caused by a fungal infection and is most common in people who have a weakened immune system.
- Aspiration pneumonia: Aspiration pneumonia can occur when food, saliva, vomit, or another substance manages to enter the lungs. These substances can carry infectious pathogens or inflame or block the lungs and cause a pneumonia infection.
Recognizing the category of pneumonia can help doctors more quickly identify the specific germ causing the infection and initiate the treatment that is most likely to be effective.
When To See A Doctor
See your doctor if you have trouble breathing, chest pain, persistent fever or higher, cough, especially if you cough up phlegm.
People from risk groups must see a doctor:
- Adults over 65,
- Children under 2 years of age with signs and symptoms,
- Patients with exogenous intoxication ,
- People with poor and satisfactory health conditions or weakened immune systems,
- Patients with chronic diseases, especially in the stage of decompensation ,
- People receiving chemotherapy or medications that suppress the immune system
Pneumonia can quickly become a life-threatening condition for some older adults and people with heart failure or chronic lung disease.
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Diagnostic Tests And Procedures
If your doctor thinks you have pneumonia, he or she may do one or more of the following tests.
- Chest X-ray to look for inflammation in your lungs. A chest X-ray is often used to diagnose pneumonia.
- Blood tests, such as a complete blood count to see whether your immune system is fighting an infection.
- Pulse oximetry to measure how much oxygen is in your blood. Pneumonia can keep your lungs from moving enough oxygen into your blood. To measure the levels, a small sensor called a pulse oximeter is attached to your finger or ear.
If you are in the hospital, have serious symptoms, are older, or have other health problems, your doctor may do other tests to diagnose pneumonia.
What Are The Symptoms
Symptoms of pneumonia may include:
- Cough. You will likely cough up mucus from your lungs. Mucus may be rusty or green or tinged with blood.
- Fever, chills, and sweating.
- Feeling very tired or very weak.
When you have less severe symptoms, your doctor may call this “walking pneumonia.”
Older adults may have different, fewer, or milder symptoms. They may not have a fever. Or they may have a cough but not bring up mucus. The main sign of pneumonia in older adults may be a change in how well they think. Confusion or delirium is common. Or, if they already have a lung disease, that disease may get worse.
Symptoms caused by viruses are the same as those caused by bacteria. But they may come on slowly and often are not as obvious or as bad.
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Which Doctor Treats Pneumonia
For patients interested in which doctor treats the disease in the clinic and is engaged in diagnostics, the answer is unambiguous the therapist or pulmonologist and a neurologist treat when complications that affect the nervous system are observed. Doctors prescribe laboratory tests to determine the presence of bacteria and viruses of a specific etiology.
Our clinic, which has been operating for many years, employs doctors who can clearly establish the diagnosis, causes, symptoms of diseases. These activities are carried out in order to professionally diagnose and treat pneumonia with a favorable prognosis of recovery. All the doctors of the clinic have many years of experience, which allows them to conduct a high-quality examination and cope with the disease. Doctors regularly attend refresher courses, which makes it possible to treat pneumonia with high success.
When Can I Return To Work School And Regular Activities If I Have Pneumonia
You typically can resume your normal activities if your symptoms are gone, mild or improving and you do not have new or worsening:
- Shortness of breath or tiredness
- Chest pain
- Mucus, fever or cough
If you are generally healthy, most people feel well enough to return to previous activities in about a week. However, it may take about a month to feel totally back to normal.