Pneumonia Can Be A Life
While many cases of pneumonia can be mild such as with walking pneumonia, left untreated some cases of pneumonia can be serious and even life-threatening. Thousands of people die or are hospitalized from pneumonia each year. Those most at risk of severe infection from pneumonia include smokers, people with heart or lung disease, infants and young children, adults age 65 and older, and people with chronic medical conditions or weakened immune systems. If you have risk factors for severe pneumonia and you develop a cough that won’t go away, shortness of breath, chest pain, fever, or you feel worse after recovering from a cold or the flu, see your doctor.
The Symptoms Are Shockingly Similar But Pneumonia Can Become Serious Fast
When you think of pneumonia, you probably think of having it as a little kid or hearing about your grandma catching it while in the hospital. Its true that pneumonia is more common in children and older adults -but pneumonia can still affect anyone.
But how can you tell the difference between pneumonia and say, the flu or a really nasty cold? Heres everything you need to know about spotting pneumonia, treating it, and avoiding it altogether.
Taking Care Of Yourself At Home
If you have a bacterial chest infection, you should start to feel better 24 to 48 hours after starting on antibiotics. You may have a cough for days or weeks. For other types of chest infections, the recovery is more gradual. You may feel weak for some time and need a longer period of bed rest.Be guided by your doctor, but general self-care suggestions include:
- Take your medication as directed. Even if you feel better, finish the course of antibiotics.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Rest for a few days.
- Prop yourself up on a couple of pillows at night it will make it easier to sleep.
- Stop smoking, at least until you feel better, if you cant give up at this stage.
- Contact your local doctor if you have any concerns or questions.
- Go straight to your local doctor or the nearest hospital emergency department if you have trouble breathing, have a high fever or feel worse.
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Warning Signs Your Lungs Are Trying To Give You Post
Your lungs can give you some signs which may signal that something is wrong within your body. Especially when it comes to pneumonia, there are certain signs which may help you spot the condition fast and start the treatment before it is too late for you to save your lungs. According to the experts, the onset of pneumonia can be quite sudden, as in without any prior signals. This is why it is important for you to track the actions of your lungs and understand the abnormalities going on inside your system. COVID-19 wrecks havoc on the lungs, and these conditions thereafter can lead to symptoms such as a phlegm-producing cough. Check out for these subtle, yet warning symptoms of pneumonia post-COVID recovery.
What Can I Do To Feel Better If I Have 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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Pneumonia After Recovering From Covid
Now, we already know how both Pneumonia and COVID-19 damages the lung cells and disrupt the complete breathing process of an individual. However, the risk of developing pneumonia increases as and when the body gets infected by the deadly COVID-19 virus. Why? it is so because the lung cells at this point are already damaged with the COVID virus.
To understand the complication further, TheHealthSite.com spoke to cardiologist M.K Mukherjee, Max Hospital, Saket. According to the doctor, two things raise the risk of developing pneumonia in COVID recovered patients weak lungs, poor habits while and after recovering from COVID. “The COVID-19 virus causes severe inflammation in the lungs. It damages the cells and tissue that line the air sacs in the lungs. These sacs are where the oxygen one breathes is processed and gets delivered to the blood, which carries it to the other body parts. The damage causes tissue to break off and thus clog the lungs. The walls of the air sacs thus get inflamed, making it very hard for a person to breathe.”
What Is Pneumonia Exactly
Pneumonia is an infection in the gas-exchanging units of the lung , says Michael Niederman, M.D., clinical director of pulmonary and critical care medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York. Translation: the air sacs in your lungs become inflamed or even fill with fluid or pus, which interferes with your bodys ability to deliver oxygen to your blood.
About half the time, its due to bacteria, says Dr. Edelman. The other half the time, its due to viruses. The most common type of pneumonia is caused by the bacteria streptococcus pneumoniae, in the same family of bacteria that causes strep throat. Influenza is also a key virus that can spur pneumonia, and fungi can be a culprit, too. The novel coronavirus, of course, can also cause pneumonia, albeit one with a longer incubation period than, say, the flu, says Dr. Dasgupta.
Pneumonia develops if the organism overwhelms the patients host defenses, says Dr. Niederman. This basically means that a foreign bug takes over your immune system, even if youre generally healthy. Thats because certain organisms, like those associated with the flu, can be particularly hostile or invade your body in large numbers.
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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.
You Might Also Have Gastro Issues
Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea have been COVID symptoms since the initial COVID struck and may still strike you. “COVID-19 can be transmitted through poo and contaminated surfaces or hands. It’s critically important to wash your hands thoroughly and regularly clean bathrooms if you, anyone you live with, or someone you’re caring for has diarrhoea, to prevent the infection spreading,” says the Zoe Symptom Report.
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How Common Is Pneumonia
Approximately 1 million adults in the United States are hospitalized each year for pneumonia and 50,000 die from the disease. It is the second most common reason for being admitted to the hospital — childbirth is number one. Pneumonia is the most common reason children are admitted to the hospital in the United States. Seniors who are hospitalized for pneumonia face a higher risk of death compared to any of the top 10 other reasons for hospitalization.
Viral Vs Bacterial Pneumonia Symptoms
Although viral and bacterial pneumonia symptoms can be very similar, there are some key differences between the two. The section below outlines some examples.
- Lungs affected: Bacterial pneumonia tends to affect one particular part, or lobe, of a lung, whereas viral pneumonia typically affects both lungs.
- Symptom onset: The symptoms of bacterial pneumonia can develop either suddenly or gradually, whereas symptoms of viral pneumonia typically develop over several days.
- Symptoms: People with bacterial pneumonia usually experience a higher temperature and a wet cough, whereas people with viral pneumonia
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How Can You Prevent Pneumonia
Experts recommend immunization for children and adults. Children get the pneumococcal vaccine as part of their routine shots. If you are 65 or older or you have a long-term health problem, it’s a good idea to get a pneumococcal vaccine. It may not keep you from getting pneumonia. But if you do get pneumonia, you probably won’t be as sick. You can also get an influenza vaccine to prevent the flu, because sometimes people get pneumonia after having the flu.
You can also lower your chances of getting pneumonia by staying away from people who have the flu, respiratory symptoms, or chickenpox. You may get pneumonia after you have one of these illnesses. Wash your hands often. This helps prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria that may cause pneumonia.
When Should You Call Your Doctor
The faster you get treatment, the faster you will get over pneumonia. This is especially true for the very young, for people older than 65, and for anyone with other long-lasting health problems, such as asthma.
911 or other emergency services immediately if you:
- Have chest pain that is crushing or squeezing, is increasing in intensity, or occurs with any other symptoms of a heart attack.
- Have such bad trouble breathing that you are worried you will not have the strength or ability to keep breathing.
- Cough up large amounts of blood.
- Feel that you may faint when you sit up or stand.
if you have:
- A cough that produces blood-tinged or rust-coloured mucus from the lungs.
- A fever with shaking chills.
- Difficult, shallow, fast breathing with shortness of breath or wheezing.
- Frequently brings up yellow or green mucus from the lungs and lasts longer than 2 days. Do not confuse mucus from your lungs with mucus running down the back of your throat from your nasal passages . Post-nasal drainage is not a worry.
- Occurs with a fever of 38.3Â°C or higher and brings up yellow or green mucus from the lungs .
- Causes you to vomit a lot.
- Continues longer than 4 weeks.
Also call your doctor if you have new chest pain that gets worse with deep breathing and if you have other symptoms of pneumonia, such as shortness of breath, cough, and fever.
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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.
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.
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What Are The Signs Of Pneumonia
Keep in mind that the signs of pneumonia must be detected as soon as possible to avoid any kind of further complications. These signs may differ from mild to severe, largely depending on factors like the type of germ causing the infection, the babyâs age and his overall immunity. Talking about mild signs and symptoms, these often exhibit similar symptoms to those of a cold or flu. But in the case of pneumonia, these symptoms last for a longer period of time.
In case your little one is showing the following signs, you must call your healthcare provider immediately:
High Fever – A fever that exceeds 102Â°F and is accompanied by chills
Coughing – Wet cough âmucusâ directed from the lungs .
Fatigue – Feeling weak lack of energy
Fast or Laboured Breathing – Breathing patterns would be rapid but shallow. directing from the stomach instead of the chest, accompanied by wheezing.
Pale Skin – The skin around the lips and face start turning blue .
Pain – Depending on the infected part, he will experience pain in the lung or the abdomen. Especially when coughing or breathing deeply.
Stomach Troubles – Feeling nauseous, vomiting, or dealing with episodes of diarrhoea.
Loss Of Appetite – Consuming less food than usual.
Vigilance Is Still Key
Omicrons dominating presence makes it difficult to avoid. However, taking the same steps to protect yourself and your family as with previous COVID-19 variants is imperative for reducing the risk of exposure or severe symptoms and complications.
Right now, what anybody and everybody should also be doing in addition to making sure that theyre optimizing their immunity through vaccines is to wear a well-fitted mask, certainly when theyre out in public or around others, ODonnell says. And to continue to make assessments about what they think is the safest way to go about their daily lives meaning, large events, indoors, unmasked are very unsafe at this point in time. Wearing a mask, limiting your attendance in large crowds, sticking with people that you know if youre getting together are all safety measures.
If youre going somewhere where you or others might be maskless or otherwise vulnerable, such as making a nursing home visit, COVID-19 testing may well be mandated. As of Jan. 18, you can order four free COVID-19 test kits per residential address via the COVIDtests.gov website.
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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.
Trouble In Breathing Due To Inflammed Air Sacs Or Alveoli
You may experience a steady drop in your breathing rate or an unexplained rise in your breathing counts. One may also notice that there is sudden trouble which one may notice every time he/she breathes. This condition is also known as laboured breathing. “The patient may notice that the breathing rate post-COVID recovery has drastically changed. It is either rapid or shallow. One can also find him/herself becoming breathless even while resting,” Dr. Mukherjee told TheHealthSite.com.
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How Do You Treat Pneumonia
Mild pneumonia can usually be treated at home but the vulnerable and those in at-risk groups might need to have hospital treatment.
At home it is treated by
- getting plenty of rest
- taking antibiotics if it’s bacterial pneumonia
- drinking plenty of fluids
Those who are in at-risk groups will be treated in hospital as it can lead to serious complications and some cases can be fatal