Saturday, October 1, 2022

If You Have Pneumonia Where Does It Hurt

What Does It Mean If I Have Chest Congestion But Im Not Sick

Pneumonia

Chest congestion is generally a sign that something is off in your lungs. Even if you do not have other symptoms of illness, it is important to see your doctor if you have any chest congestion lasting more than 3 days. If you do not feel sick, other than your chest congestion, you could be experiencing symptoms of allergies, asthma, pneumonia, COPD or even lung cancer or heart failure. As such, chest congestion should be taken seriously, even if you do not feel sick. Take note of how you feel overall, noticing if you may also be experiencing symptoms you may have ignored, like fatigue or weakness, hoarseness, weight loss or gain, swollen lower extremities, chest, back or arm pain or shortness of breath. These symptoms may indicate more serious concerns with your heart or lung health. If you feel chest congestion, but not sick at all, it is still important that you get checked out by a doctor, just to make sure that nothing else is wrong.

Covid Pneumonia: How Long Does Recovery Take

You’re likely familiar with the common, mild symptoms of COVID-19 including fever, dry cough and fatigue.

But, in more severe cases, COVID-19 can also cause serious complications, including pneumonia.

“We still have a lot to learn about COVID-19, particularly about the havoc it can wreak on the lungs and the pneumonia it causes, which is often now called COVID pneumonia,” says Dr. Rayman Lee, pulmonologist at Houston Methodist.

That being said, there’s still plenty that experts like Dr. Lee do know about COVID pneumonia, including about how long it can take to fully recover from it.

What Other Problems Can Pneumonia Cause

Sometimes pneumonia can cause serious complications such as:

  • Bacteremia, which happens when the bacteria move into the bloodstream. It is serious and can lead to .
  • Lung abscesses, which are collections of pus in cavities of the lungs
  • Pleural disorders, which are conditions that affect the pleura. The pleura is the tissue that covers the outside of the lungs and lines the inside of your chest cavity.
  • Respiratory failure

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When To See Your Gp

You should see your GP if:

  • you feel very unwell or your symptoms are severe
  • your symptoms are not improving after allowing a reasonable period of time
  • you feel confused, disorientated or drowsy
  • you have chest pain or difficulty breathing
  • you cough up blood or blood-stained phlegm
  • your skin or lips develop a blue tinge
  • you’re very overweight and have difficulty breathing
  • you have a weakened immune system
  • you have a long-term health condition

It is also important to see your GP if:

  • you think your child has a chest infection
  • you’re pregnant
  • you’re 65 or over

and your symptoms are getting worse, or your childs condition is deteriorating.

Your GP should be able to diagnose you based on your symptoms. They will also listen to your chest using a stethoscope .

In some cases, further tests such as a chest X-ray, breathing tests and testing phlegm or blood samples may be necessary.

Disease Process Leading To Pneumonia

Is it just a cough, or something worse? Pneumonia is an ...

Pneumonia-causing agents reach the lungs through different routes:

  • In most cases, a person breathes in the infectious organism, which then travels through the airways to the lungs.
  • Sometimes, the normally harmless bacteria in the mouth, or on items placed in the mouth or swallowed, can enter the lungs. This usually happens if the body’s “gag reflex,” an extreme throat contraction that keeps substances out of the lungs, is not working properly.
  • Infections can spread through the bloodstream from other organs to the lungs.

However, in normal situations, the airways protect the lungs from substances that can cause infection.

  • The nose filters out large particles.
  • If smaller particles pass through, nerves along the airway prompt a cough or sneeze. This forces many particles back out of the body.
  • Tiny particles that reach the small tubes in the lungs are trapped in a thick, sticky substance called mucus. The mucus and particles are pushed up and out of the lungs by tiny hair-like cells called cilia, which beat like a drum. This action is called the “mucociliary escalator.”
  • If bacteria or other infectious organisms manage to avoid the airway’s defenses, the body’s immune system attacks them. Large white blood cells called macrophages destroy the foreign particles.

The above-mentioned defense systems normally keep the lungs healthy. If these defenses are weakened or damaged, however, bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites can easily infect the lungs, producing pneumonia.

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More Severe Cases May Also Cause:

  • quick breathing
  • rapid heartbeat
  • nausea and vomiting

Some people get a sharp pain in their chest when they breathe in and out. This may be because the thin lining between the lung and ribcage, called the pleura, is infected and inflamed. This inflammation, called pleurisy, stops your lungs moving smoothly as you breathe.

The symptoms of pneumonia are often very similar to those of other chest infections, such as bronchitis, COPD flare-ups or bronchiectasis flare-ups. To get a proper diagnosis youll need to visit your GP.

If you feel unwell with these symptoms, see your GP or call 111. If you have chest pain, a rapid heartbeat, quick breathing, shivers or confusion, get urgent advice from your GP or call 999. Take extra care if youre over 65.

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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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.

What Is Walking Pneumonia

Pneumonia Overview | Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

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.

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You’re Having Chest Pain

This is not being widely reported as a major symptom of COVID-19, however, pneumonia of any cause can cause chest pain.

  • If pneumonia affects the lining of the lung tissue the pleura it can cause pleurisy. Pleuritic chest pain is a typical pain felt in the chest when you breathe in. It is sometimes also felt in the abdomen, the neck or the shoulder. Pneumonia can also cause fluid to build up in the chest this is called a pleural effusion.
  • Coughing and straining the intercostal muscles can cause pain. Severe coughing can cause a fractured rib, or a pneumothorax a lung collapse.
  • Patients do report chest tightening with COVID-19which may be due to bronchospasm, especially in people who are known asthmatics or have a tendency to wheeze when they get a respiratory infection.

Causes And Risk Factors For Bronchitis

Bronchitis is usually caused by a virus such as ones that cause the common cold or the flu, but occasionally in fewer than 10 percent of cases it can be caused by a bacterial infection. You may also be at a higher risk of developing bronchitis if you are exposed to lung irritants such as smoke, dust, fumes, or air pollution, notes the American Lung Association.

If the viral and bacterial infections that cause colds and the flu can sometimes cause bronchitis, you may be asking: “Can I stop the flu or a cold from turning into bronchitis?” Not necessarily, according to Carlos Picone, MD, a pulmonologist in private practice at Chevy Chase Pulmonary Associates in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and Johns Hopkins Medicines Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, DC .

Its common for a cold or the flu to be caused by an infection in the upper nasal respiratory epithelium, and theres nothing you can do to prevent that infection from spreading into the lower airways because those airways are so close to one each other, Dr. Picone explains. The two areas are very connected, he says.

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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:

How Is Pneumonia Treated

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How pneumonia is treated depends on the germs that cause it.

  • Bacterial pneumonia: Bacterial pneumonia is usually treated with antibiotics. The specific antibiotic choice depends on such factors as your general health, other health conditions you may have, the type of medications you are currently taking , your recent use of antibiotics, any evidence of antibiotic resistance in the local community and your age. Medicines to relieve pain and lower fever may also be helpful. Ask your doctor if you should take a cough suppressant. Its important to be able to cough to clear your lungs.
  • Viral pneumonia: Antibiotics are not used to fight viruses. There are no treatments for most viral causes of pneumonia. However, if the flu virus is thought to be the cause, antiviral drugs might be prescribed, such as oseltamivir , zanamivir , or peramivir , to decrease the length and severity of the illness. Over-the-counter medicines to relieve pain and lower fever are usually recommended. Other medicines and therapies such as breathing treatments and exercises to loosen mucus may be prescribed by your doctor.
  • Fungal pneumonia: Antifungal medication is prescribed if a fungus is the cause of your pneumonia.

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What Is The Treatment For Pneumonia

Treatment for pneumonia depends on the type of pneumonia, how sick the patient is, the patients age, and if they have other health conditions.

Medications used to treat pneumonia include:

  • Antibiotics, if the cause is bacterial
  • Antivirals, if the cause is viral

In many cases, managing symptoms and resting are sufficient. Home care may include:

  • Getting a lot of rest
  • Drinking plenty of fluids
  • Warm beverages can help open airways
  • Fever reducers
  • Aspirin: Do not give aspirin to children due to the risk of Reyes syndrome
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Taking steamy baths or showers or using a humidifier to help open airways
  • Dont smoke and avoid secondhand smoke or any other lung irritants
  • Talk to your doctor before you take cough medicines because coughing helps the body work to get rid of infection
  • For severe cases, patients may need to be hospitalized, and treatment may include:

    • Intravenous fluids

    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 Do You Get Rid Of Mucus In Your Chest

    The first thing you need to do to relieve chest congestion is make sure you are well hydrated. This will help ensure that the mucus is thin enough to cough up. Water is ideal, but many people find that warm tea is helpful, as is warm water with lemon and honey. Inhaling steam, from a humidifier or a shower, can also help loosen the mucus in your chest. Breathe the steam for as long as it feels comfortable and effective. Finally, you can use an expectorant to help break up the mucus, allowing you to cough it up. If you experience chest congestion lasting more than three days, or chest congestion that suddenly gets worse, contact your doctor. If your chest congestion causes you to cough up bloody mucus, or comes with a fever, wheezing, chest pain or breathing difficulties, seek medical attention right away.

    Treatment For Chest Infections

    Pneumonia: types, causes, and treatment

    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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    Can Pneumonia Be Prevented

    Vaccinations can help prevent some types of pneumonia. Its a good idea to speak to your doctor about whether vaccination is recommended for you or for your children.

    One vaccination that reduces the risk of pneumonia is the pneumococcal vaccine. Pneumococcal vaccines are free in Australia under the National Immunisation Program for some people .

    Who Is Most At Risk For Getting Pneumonia

    People who have an increased risk of pneumonia include:

    • People over the age of 65 and infants under age 2. The weakening immune system of older people makes them less able to fight off illnesses. Similarly, the immune system of infants is still developing and not at full-strength, making them more susceptible to infection.
    • People with a health-caused weakened immune system. Examples include:
    • People who are receiving chemotherapy
    • Transplanted organ recipients
    • People who have HIV/AIDS
    • People with autoimmune disease and who are taking medications that suppress the immune system.
  • People who have health conditions that affect the lungs or heart. Examples include:
  • Stroke
  • People who are in the hospital. In particular, people in the ICU or anyone recovering who spends a large amounts of time lying on their backs. This position allows fluids, mucus or germs to settle in the lungs. People who need ventilators to breathe are at even greater risk since they have a difficult time coughing up germs that could cause a lung infection.
  • People who smoke or drink alcohol. Smoking damages lung tissue and long-term alcohol abuse weakens the immune system.
  • People who are exposed to toxic fumes, chemicals or secondhand smoke. These contaminants weaken lung function and make it easier to develop a lung infection.
  • Read Also: Can Strep Throat Turn Into 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

    Is Pneumonia Contagious

    Pneumonia: The disease that kills 80 every day

    Certain types of pneumonia are contagious . Pneumonia caused by bacteria or viruses can be contagious when the disease-carrying organisms are breathed into your lungs. However, not everyone who is exposed to the germs that cause pneumonia will develop it.

    Pneumonia caused by fungi are not contagious. The fungi are in soil, which becomes airborne and inhaled, but it is not spread from person to person.

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