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.
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.
Tips For Regaining Your Strength After Severe Pneumonia
- Get plenty of rest
- Slowly start moving around once you’re ready but don’t overdo it
- Complete any treatments prescribed by your doctor
- Eat a nutritious diet
- Quit smoking and avoid second-hand smoke
- Limit exposure to throat irritants, including pollution and alcohol
- Perform deep breathing exercises
- Consult with your doctor before returning to exercise
Aim to slowly work back into your usual routine and be sure to take note of any signs that the infection may be coming back.
“Pneumonia can be incredibly taxing and there’s no one-size-fits-all to recovery. Some people feel better in about six weeks, but it can take several months for others to feel better after severe pneumonia,” adds Dr. Lee. “Most importantly, be patient with your body.”
If your recovery is prolonged, a specialized program focused on pulmonary rehabilitation may help get you back on track.
Read Also: How Long Until Pneumonia Goes Away
How To Know If You Have Pneumonia Or Bronchitis
Pneumonia and bronchitis are both respiratory conditions that can affect your breathing, cause a painful cough, and be accompanied by cold or flu-like symptoms. What is the difference between pneumonia and bronchitis? One big difference is where it develops in your body. Pneumonia develops in your lungs, while bronchitis develops in the airways that lead to your lungs. Pneumonia can be viral and fungal, but it is most commonly bacterial in adults, which means it can be treated with antibiotics. On the other hand, bronchitis that is typically viral cannot be treated with antibiotics. Compared to acute bronchitis, pneumonia typically has more severe symptoms. However, its important to keep an eye on bronchitis which can turn into pneumonia.
Despite this information, some of the similar symptoms can still make it difficult to know whether you or someone you care for has bronchitis or pneumonia. A doctor can make an accurate diagnosis, but there are a few things that can help you further understand the symptoms of both.
Dont Miss: Can Vaping Give You Pneumonia
What Increases Your Risk Factors For Walking Pneumonia
Like pneumonia, the risk for developing walking pneumonia is higher if you are:
- over age of 65 years old
- 2 years old or younger
Since walking pneumonia tends to be mild, some people with the illness choose not to get a formal diagnosis. But other serious diseases can cause symptoms that look like walking pneumonia. If symptoms continue to worsen after a few days, consider checking in with a healthcare professional for a diagnosis and treatment.
Treatment for walking pneumonia depends on whats causing the disease. Walking pneumonia from bacteria can be treated with antibiotics. A healthcare professional may use antiviral medications to treat cases caused by viruses.
For very mild cases of walking pneumonia, treatment may simply involve managing symptoms at home and resting.
You May Like: What Are The Two Pneumonia Vaccines
What Are The Treatments For Pneumonia
Treatment for pneumonia depends on the type of pneumonia, which germ is causing it, and how severe it is:
- Antibiotics treat bacterial pneumonia and some types of fungal pneumonia. They do not work for viral pneumonia.
- In some cases, your provider may prescribe antiviral medicines for viral pneumonia
- Antifungal medicines treat other types of fungal pneumonia
You may need to be treated in a hospital if your symptoms are severe or if you are at risk for complications. While there, you may get additional treatments. For example, if your blood oxygen level is low, you may receive oxygen therapy.
It may take time to recover from pneumonia. Some people feel better within a week. For other people, it can take a month or more.
Also Check: Signs Of Pneumonia In Dogs
Face Masks And Respiratory Hygiene
The WHO and the US CDC recommend individuals wear non-medical face coverings in public settings where there is an increased risk of transmission and where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. This recommendation is meant to reduce the spread of the disease by asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic individuals and is complementary to established preventive measures such as social distancing. Face coverings limit the volume and travel distance of expiratory droplets dispersed when talking, breathing, and coughing. A face covering without vents or holes will also filter out particles containing the virus from inhaled and exhaled air, reducing the chances of infection. But, if the mask include an exhalation valve, a wearer that is infected would transmit the virus outwards through it, despite any certification they can have. So the masks with exhalation valve are not for the infected wearers, and are not reliable to stop the pandemic in a large scale. Many countries and local jurisdictions encourage or mandate the use of face masks or cloth face coverings by members of the public to limit the spread of the virus.
Recommended Reading: Flu Jab And Pneumonia Jab Together Side Effects
How Do You Know If You Have Bronchitis Or Copd
For either acute bronchitis or chronic bronchitis, signs and symptoms may include:
- Production of mucus , which can be clear, white, yellowish-gray or green in color rarely, it may be streaked with blood.
- Chest discomfort.
What is the difference between copd and bronchitis?
Similarly, you may ask, what is the difference between COPD and bronchitis?Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are two different lung conditions that make up an overall condition called COPD. Both conditions can cause breathing difficulty and shortness of breath. People with chronic bronchitis will have a long-term cough that produces mucus. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease .
how do I know if I have acute or chronic bronchitis?acute bronchitischronic bronchitis
Dont Miss: How Do You Check For Pneumonia
Follow Your Treatment Plan
It is important that you take all your medicines as your doctor prescribes. If you are using antibiotics, continue to take the medicine until it is all gone. You may start to feel better before you finish the medicine, but you should continue to take it. If you stop too soon, the bacterial infection and your pneumonia may come back. It may also become resistant to the antibiotic, making treatment more difficult.
Read Also: Can You Get A Pneumonia Shot Every Year
Critical Role Of Pneumococcal Vaccine In Preventing Pneumonia
In children aged three months to four years, the most common type of bacterial pneumonia is Strep. pneumoniae. In children greater than age four, it remains in the top three most common types. The pneumococcal vaccine series, started at two months of age, significantly reduces the rates of bacterial pneumonia from Strep. Pneumoniae. The vaccine is usually administered during wellness or prevention visits and cannot be given to a child with a fever. This emphasizes the need for healthcare access globally.6
With global vaccination rates currently plateauing, the challenges of diagnosing and treating community acquired pneumonia are even more pertinent for prevention of severe respiratory illness. Vaccine uptake challenges can be overcome with global measures to increase the access and use of vaccines. Addressing vaccine use and providing education about common pneumonia symptoms can aid in early diagnosis of pneumonia and lower the rate of severe respiratory illness and prolonged hospitalization.
World Health Organization Health Topics. Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals: National programs and systems on improving vaccination demand and addressing hesitancy. 17 June 2020 update.
Popovsky EY, Florin TA. Community-Acquired Pneumonia in Childhood. Reference Module in Biomedical Sciences. 2020 B978-0-08-102723-3.00013-5. doi:10.1016/B978-0-08-102723-3.00013-5
How Serious Is Fluid On The Lungs In Elderly
Fluid in the Lungs: Poor Prognosis in the Elderly While fluid in the lungs is quite common in the elderly, recognizing the underlying reason is critical to achieving a favorable prognosis for this condition. As a result of heart disease, the majority of cases result in death within one year, with the mortality rate for senior patients being around 40%.
Also Check: Will Medicare Pay For Pneumonia Vaccine
When To See A Doctor
If you feel like you have either bronchitis or pneumonia, its always a good idea to check in with your doctor. If the underlying cause is bacterial, you should start feeling much better within a day or two of starting antibiotics.
Otherwise, call your doctor if your cough or wheezing doesnt improve after two weeks.
You should also seek immediate medical care if you notice:
- blood in your phlegm
- a fever over 100.4°F that lasts for more than a week
- shortness of breath
Treatment And Medication Options For Pneumonia
A lot of treatment aspects, as well as outcome, depend on the person, as well as the type of pneumonia they have, says Dr. Barron. Sometimes youll be fine just resting, but if you have things like trouble breathing, you should get to a doctor right away.
Your doctor will outline a plan that’s specific to you, considering the type of pneumonia you have, the severity of the condition, your age, and your overall health. From there, you’ll know whether you can be treated at home or need to go to the hospital, and whether you require antibiotics.
You May Like: I Think I Have Pneumonia What Should I Do
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 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.
You May Like: How Can I Treat Pneumonia At Home
Don’t Miss: Signs Bronchitis Is Turning Into Pneumonia
How The Infection May Be Treated In Or Out Of The Hospital
Pneumonia can worsen quickly, so its important to seek medical care right away if you develop any of the symptoms above, Bregier says.
Treatment depends on whats causing your pneumonia. If its bacterial, your doctor will give you antibiotics, either by mouth or intravenously. If its viral, options are more limited, but your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication, a bronchial dilator to help get air in and out or a medication to break up the mucus. COVID-19 pneumonia is also treated with steroids and monoclonal antibodies.
If your case is particularly severe, you may need to be hospitalized so you can receive oxygen treatment and other support.
Doctors say if youre older and more at risk, your best bet is to take precautions so you dont get sick in the first place. Wash your hands frequently, wear a mask in indoor or crowded spaces and most important get all recommended vaccines.
Vaccines prevent you from getting sick or lessen the severity of it if you do, Sahetya says. The best defense is a good offense.
Michelle Crouch is a contributing writer who has covered health and personal finance for some of the nation’s top consumer publications. Her work has appeared in Reader’s Digest, Real Simple, Prevention, The Washington Post and The New York Times.
More on Health
Where Is Bacterial Pneumonia Found
Usually, bacterial pneumonia affects only the small portion of the lung, referred to as the lobe. A lobar pneumonia condition is caused in this manner. In addition to recovering from surgery, people with respiratory disease, viral infection, and those with weakened immune systems may be at greatest risk of bacteria pneumonia.
Read Also: Does The Pneumonia Vaccine Have Side Effects
How Do You Get Rid Of Walking Pneumonia
Antibiotics can be used to treat walking pneumonia, which is caused by bacteria. Antiviral drugs may be prescribed by a healthcare expert to treat illnesses that are caused by viruses. In the event of extremely mild instances of walking pneumonia, therapy may be as simple as treating symptoms at home and taking it easy.
Signs And Symptoms Of A Chest Infection
The main symptoms of a chest infection can include:
- coughing up yellow or green phlegm , or coughing up blood
- breathlessness or rapid and shallow breathing
- chest pain or tightness
- feeling confused and disorientated
You may also experience more general symptoms of an infection, such as a headache, fatigue, sweating, loss of appetite, or joint and muscle pain.
Read Also: Can Urgent Care Test For Pneumonia
Also Check: What Age Can You Get Pneumonia Vaccine
Can You Have Walking Pneumonia Without A Fever
Are there cases of pneumonia that do not manifest themselves with a fever? Its not common, but it is possible to have pneumonia while having a mild temperature, or even no fever at all, in some cases. The extremely young and the elderly, as well as individuals with a weaker immune system, are the most commonly affected.
Preventing Pneumonia With Vaccine
While anyone can get pneumonia, infants under the age of two, adults over the age of 65, and people who have chronic medical conditions are most at risk due to a weaker immune system that may not be strong enough to fight the infection. Your health insurance coverage, including Medicare Part B and Medicare Advantage , covers some vaccines and immunizations that can help prevent infection by some of the bacteria and viruses that can cause pneumonia, including:
- Haemophilus influenzae type b
Also Check: How Long Can A Cough Last After Pneumonia
Also Check: How To Tell If You Have Pneumonia
How Do You Get Rid Of Walking Pneumonia Symptoms
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.
Don’t Miss: Stage 4 Lung Cancer And Pneumonia