Monday, September 26, 2022

How To Tell If It’s Pneumonia

What Are The Main Differences Between Bacterial And Viral Pneumonia

Knowing the signs and symptoms of pneumonia

Common symptoms of pneumonia include3

  • cough
  • difficulty breathing
  • increased breathing rate

When a patient presents with these symptoms, the next step is to examine the lungs with a stethoscope. With pneumonia, decreased breath sounds, wheezing, or crackles on listening to the lungs, are all indications that can help point towards a diagnosis. The next step is to order a radiograph or X-ray if pneumonia is suspected.

The radiograph still remains the reference standard for a medical diagnosis of pneumonia, and also helps to differentiate between bacterial and viral pneumonia. However, a combination of clinical symptoms, exam findings, and imaging is the best way to uncover the most likely culprit.3,4

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
  • asthma
  • 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.

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

Read Also: Treatment For Walking Pneumonia In Adults

How To Tell If You Have Walking Pneumonia

February 5, 2019 By Caitlin Hartwyk

Were all familiar with the sense of dread that comes when you realize youre getting a case of the winter sniffles often cold or flu. Although, its thought that over two million Americans actually deal with walking pneumonia each year, and many may not even realize it.

What is Walking Pneumonia?

If youve never heard of walking pneumonia, youre not alone. The disease goes unheard of for many, despite affecting 2 million people in the United States every year.

Walking, or atypical, pneumonia is a lung infection caused by a different bacteria than the regular disease. The CDC states it, might have slightly different symptoms, appear different on a chest X-ray, or respond to different antibiotics than the typical bacteria that cause pneumonia.

For example, antibiotics are required and routinely prescribed to treat pneumonia. But, the M. pneumoniae bacteria is resistant to the same medicine. Beta-lactam antibiotics such as penicillin cannot be used to treat M. pneumoniae. This is part of the growing, worrying trend of AMR, or antimicrobial resistance.

Even when it comes to atypical pneumonia, there are several different types. Atypical pneumonia could come in the form of Mycoplasma pneumonia, Legionnaires disease, Chlamydophila pneumonia and psittacosis. Mycoplasma pneumonia is by far the most common variety of walking pneumonia.

How Do I Know if I Have Walking Pneumonia?

Who is Most Often Affected by Atypical Pneumonia?

About Us

How To Determine If You Have Pneumonia

Loyola Arrupe Centre for Seniors operating as LA Centre ...

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

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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.

Read more about treating bronchitis and treating pneumonia

Types Of Walking Pneumonia

Walking pneumonia is one of more than 30 different types of pneumonia. It can be divided into a few different subtypes, including:

Mycoplasma pneumonia

This type of pneumonia tends to be mild, and most people recover without treatment. Its caused by the bacterium Mycoplasma pneumoniae . The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are about of M. pneumoniae infections each year in the United States.

Chlamydial pneumonia

This type of walking pneumonia is caused by Chlamydia pneumoniae bacteria. While it can cause a serious infection, most people experience only mild illness or no symptoms whatsoever. Its common among school-age children and young adults.

Legionella pneumonia

Legionnaires disease is one of the most serious types of walking pneumonia, as it can lead to both respiratory failure and death. Its caused by Legionella, a type of bacteria found in freshwater that can contaminate water systems in buildings. People can get this disease if they inhale airborne droplets of water that contain the bacteria.

Walking pneumonia symptoms are typically mild and look like the common cold. People may start noticing signs of walking pneumonia between 1 and 4 weeks of being exposed to the pathogen that caused the disease.

Symptoms of walking pneumonia can include:

  • vomiting
  • loss of appetite

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What Percent Of Bronchitis Is Viral

Acute bronchitis. About 5% of adults self-report an episode of acute bronchitis each year, and up to 90% of them seek medical advice. Viruses appear to be mainly responsible, causing up to 95% of cases of acute bronchitis in otherwise healthy adults. The viruses are the same as those that cause the common cold.

How Are Chest Infections Treated

I Don’t Know If I Have Bronchitis or Pneumonia

Often chest infections do not need any medical treatment. But in some cases, antibiotics are needed. Only bacterial infections respond to treatment with antibiotics they will not help viral infections. If you are prescribed antibiotics you must take the full course even if you feel better after 2 to 3 days.

Pneumonia can be life threatening for some people. Babies, young children and older adults may need to be looked after in hospital if they have pneumonia.

If you have a chest infection, you can look after yourself by:

Inhaling steam and raising your head with a pillow in bed can help to ease the symptoms. You can also talk to your pharmacist about whether a decongestant medicine might help.

Also Check: Pneumonia Vaccine For Adults Over 50

How Do I Prevent Pneumonia

December 20, 2021 By Will Sowards

Once known as The Winter Fever, pneumonia is an illness that millions are affected with each year, throughout the world.It is an infection of the lungs, where one can also get a fever, muscle aches, chills, and of course, the hallmark of the infection, coughing. In certain cases, it can even lead to death.

Streptococcus pneumonia is the bacteria behind the infection. It was first identified under a microscope in 1875 by Edwin Klebs, a German pathologist. His work would pave the way for Albert Fraenkel and Carl Friedlander, who would go on to discover the two most common types of bacteria causing pneumonia. In 1881, the French microbiologist Louis Pasteur, as well as George Sternberg, an American microbiologist both separately found the lancet-shaped bacteria in saliva.

But, symptoms of pneumonia have been recorded even earlier than that, dating all the way back to 460 B.C. The Greek physician Hippocrates observed them, calling them peripneumonia, and describing the symptoms just as we know them today, chest pain and cough.

In the late 1800s and the early 1900s, pneumonia was the third-leading cause of death. In the 1930s, sulfapyridine, an antibacterial medication gained a small bit of notoriety when it was used to treat former Prime Minister Winston Churchills bacterial pneumonia. But, with the discovery of penicillin, sulfapyridine was quickly set aside for this new method of treatment.

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Chronic Bronchitis Vs Copd

A chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation is another issue entirely when compared to chronic bronchitis. A COPD exacerbation is simply an acute worsening of the symptoms of COPD, such as wheezing, shortness of breath, mucus production, or coughing.

Depending on the kind of COPD a person has , these symptoms may be slightly different.

Patients with chronic bronchitis generally have more mucus production and cough, whereas people with emphysema have more shortness of breath, although either type of COPD can cause any number of these symptoms.

A COPD exacerbation may be caused by an infection , but it may also be caused by non-infectious causes such as fumes, irritants, or smoke.

The treatment for an acute COPD exacerbation is often steroids, inhalers, and antibiotics .

If you have chronic bronchitis or COPD and experience worsening of your symptoms, contact your healthcare provider. They will be able to determine the correct treatment for you.

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Pneumonia Complications In Pregnant Women

If the mother has pneumonia, she and the expected, the coming child, both will have complications.

Below are few of the complications they can encounter:

Mothers Complication:

  • Empyema may develop in which infection takes place in bloodstream due to excessive fluid around the lung.
  • Oxygen supply lowers while breathing complication rises.
  • Respiratory failure may happen in the worst condition.

Babys Complication:

  • Born with low weight

Treatment For Chest Infections

COVID

Most people with bronchitis can be treated at home and make a full recovery. Assessment of the severity of pneumonia is complex. Some patients can be managed at home on simple antibiotics. Those assessed as severe may require admission to the intensive care unit and their illness may be life threatening.Treatment options include:

  • Your doctor will advise you about any medications you need to get over this attack.
  • Some people need to be admitted to hospital for further treatment, particularly young children and the elderly who are at greater risk of serious complications.
  • Review with your local doctor may be needed within 48 hours, especially if you are not improving, and again in six weeks to make sure that you have made a full recovery. A chest x-ray may be needed at this time.

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Causes Of Walking Pneumonia

Walking pneumonia can be caused by viruses or bacteria. According to the American Lung Association, most cases are caused by M. pneumoniae, a common type of bacteria that usually affects children and adults under the age of 40. M. pneumoniae infections tend to peak in summer and early fall but can happen throughout the year.

Chlamydophila pneumoniae can also cause walking pneumonia. Infections from this type of bacteria are common in all four seasons. It often spreads in crowded environments, like college dorms and long-term care facilities.

Adults and children can also contract walking pneumonia from viruses. Respiratory syncytial virus is a frequent cause of walking pneumonia in young kids, while adults tend to get the viral form of the disease from the influenza virus.

Transmission And Prevention Research

Modelling research has been conducted with several objectives, including predictions of the dynamics of transmission, diagnosis and prognosis of infection, estimation of the impact of interventions, or allocation of resources. Modelling studies are mostly based on compartmental models in epidemiology, estimating the number of infected people over time under given conditions. Several other types of models have been developed and used during the COVID-19 including computational fluid dynamics models to study the flow physics of COVID-19, retrofits of crowd movement models to study occupant exposure, mobility-data based models to investigate transmission, or the use of macroeconomic models to assess the economic impact of the pandemic. Further, conceptual frameworks from crisis management research have been applied to better understand the effects of COVID-19 on organizations worldwide.

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What Causes Pneumonia In Babies

Pneumonia is the worsened condition of cold that gives your baby a hard time.

Medically known respiratory viruses such as Influenza A , respiratory syncytial virus , adenovirus and human metapneumovirus , and bacteria such as Streptococcus pneumoniae, Hemophilus influenza, Staphylococcus aureus, and Mycoplasma pneumoniae can cause pneumonia in childhood .

If your childs lungs were already infected previously by cold and left untreated, chances are it may catch pneumonia quickly on the various pollutant exposures.

Often parents overlook the hygienic matters for which children catch various germs from the floor, toys, foods, and on whatever places they toddle or crawl.

Germs like virus, bacteria, parasites, or fungi may creep into their delicate nasal line during breathing. Your babies can possibly swallow stuffs without your notice that may carry bacteria. Such residues may enter the lungs from the stomach and affect the air sacks eventually.

Older kids and teenagers are prone to Mycoplasma which makes them suffer with rash, sore throat, or headache in addition to pneumonia condition.

Kids may develop pneumonia symptoms from whooping cough. Having affected by so, they experience long coughing duration, their face going blue for the lack of oxygen, and sound whoop while breathing.

What Can I Do To Feel Better If I Have Pneumonia

How To Know If You Should Get Checked For Pneumonia
  • Finish all medications and therapies prescribed by your doctor. Do not stop taking antibiotics when you start feeling better. Continue taking them until no pills remain. If you dont take all your antibiotics, your pneumonia may come back.
  • If over-the-counter medicines to reduce fever have been recommended , take as directed on the label. Never give aspirin to children.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to help loosen phlegm.
  • Quit smoking if you smoke. Dont be around others who smoke or vape. Surround yourself with as much clean, chemical-free air as possible.
  • Use a humidifier, take a steamy shower or bath to make it easier for you to breathe.
  • Get lots of rest. Dont rush your recovery. It can take weeks to get your full strength back.

If at any time you start to feel worse, call your doctor right away.

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How Do You Get Pneumonia

Pneumonia can be contracted tons of different ways, from inhalation of fumes to living in a moldy building. Overall, its divided into two different categories: community-acquired pneumonia and hospital acquired pneumonia, says Norman Edelman, M.D., senior scientific advisor to the American Lung Association.

Community-acquired pneumonia can be acquired anywhere, anytime. Bacterial and viral pneumonia are contagious, so you can pick it up from someones stray cough or sneeze, by sharing cups, or not washing your hands as often as you should.

Then there is hospital-acquired pneumonia, which is the kind you pick up while staying in the hospital or at a chronic care facility, like a nursing home or rehab center. We make that distinction because the bugs that cause these two types of pneumonia tend to be different and treated differently, says Dr. Edelman.

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
  • immunocompromised

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.

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