Thursday, September 29, 2022

What Are Common Symptoms Of Pneumonia

Pleural Effusion Empyema And Abscess

Med Talk Health Talk: Pneumonia

In pneumonia, a collection of fluid may form in the space that surrounds the lung. Occasionally, microorganisms will infect this fluid, causing an empyema. To distinguish an empyema from the more common simple parapneumonic effusion, the fluid may be collected with a needle , and examined. If this shows evidence of empyema, complete drainage of the fluid is necessary, often requiring a drainage catheter. In severe cases of empyema, surgery may be needed. If the infected fluid is not drained, the infection may persist, because antibiotics do not penetrate well into the pleural cavity. If the fluid is sterile, it must be drained only if it is causing symptoms or remains unresolved.

In rare circumstances, bacteria in the lung will form a pocket of infected fluid called a lung abscess. Lung abscesses can usually be seen with a chest X-ray but frequently require a chest CT scan to confirm the diagnosis. Abscesses typically occur in aspiration pneumonia, and often contain several types of bacteria. Long-term antibiotics are usually adequate to treat a lung abscess, but sometimes the abscess must be drained by a surgeon or radiologist.

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.

Bronchitis Vs Pneumonia: Why Theyre Related And How Theyre Different

A pneumonia diagnosis is based on your medical history, a physical exam, and certain test results. Your doctor determines which type of pneumonia you have based on how you became infected, what your X-ray or lung exam reveals, and which kind of germ is responsible for your infection.

During a physical exam, your doctor will check your vital signs and listen to your lungs with a stethoscope. Decreased breath sounds is an indication of a lot of inflammation, says Michelle Barron, MD, a professor in the division of infectious diseases at University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora.

If your doctor suspects pneumonia, they may order further diagnostic tests, such as a chest X-ray to help determine the extent of the infection. Blood tests and an analysis of the patients sputum can pinpoint whats causing the pneumonia. Pulse oximetry measures the oxygen level in your blood .

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The Usual Symptoms Of Pneumonia Include:

  • Fever
  • Difficulty in swallowing or dysphagia
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Smoking
  • Patients with a compromised immune system, e.g., patients facing HIV/AIDs or undergoing chemotherapy, long-term steroid use, and patients whove had an organ transplant.
  • Neurological disorders, such as epilepsy, Parkinsons disease, and dementia
  • History of respiratory disease and lung conditions like COPD, cystic fibrosis, etc.
  • Hospitalization, especially if patients were in an ICU needing a ventilator to breathe

Medical History And Physical Exam

Pneumonia: Causes, Symptoms &  Support Strategies ...

Your doctor will ask about your signs and symptoms and when they began. Your doctor will also ask whether you have any risk factors for pneumonia. Your doctor also may ask about:

  • Exposure to sick people at home, school, or work or in a hospital
  • Flu or pneumonia vaccinations
  • Exposure to birds and other animals
  • Smoking

During your physical exam, your doctor will check your temperature and listen to your lungs with a stethoscope.

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What Tests Are Used To Diagnose Pneumonia

Your child’s doctor may order a to diagnose pneumonia. The cause of some types of pneumonia can be determined by culturing the bacteria taken from the mucus an ill child produces from coughing. This helps doctors determine what types of treatments will work best. Some viral pneumonias can be diagnosed by testing nasal secretions.

How Is Pneumonia Treated

When you get a pneumonia diagnosis, your doctor will work with you to develop a treatment plan. Treatment for pneumonia depends on the type of pneumonia you have, how sick you are feeling, your age, and whether you have other health conditions. The goals of treatment are to cure the infection and prevent complications. It is important to follow your treatment plan carefully until you are fully recovered.

Take any medications as prescribed by your doctor. If your pneumonia is caused by bacteria, you will be given an antibiotic. It is important to take all the antibiotic until it is gone, even though you will probably start to feel better in a couple of days. If you stop, you risk having the infection come back, and you increase the chances that the germs will be resistant to treatment in the future.

Typical antibiotics do not work against viruses. If you have viral pneumonia, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication to treat it. Sometimes, though, symptom management and rest are all that is needed.

Most people can manage their symptoms such as fever and cough at home by following these steps:

If your pneumonia is so severe that you are treated in the hospital, you may be given intravenous fluids and antibiotics, as well as oxygen therapy, and possibly other breathing treatments.

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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.

Treatment And Medication Options For Pneumonia

Knowing the signs and symptoms of 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.

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Antiviral And Antifungal Drugs

Antibiotics are not helpful for viral pneumonias. However, specific antiviral drugs are sometimes given if certain viral infections are suspected, such as influenza or chickenpox. For influenza, specific antiviral drugs can reduce the duration and severity of illness if people begin taking the drugs within 48 hours of when symptoms start. However, once a person has developed influenza pneumonia, doctors are not sure whether the antiviral drugs will help, but they still usually give them. Often a bacterial pneumonia can develop after the viral infection. In this case, doctors give affected people antibiotics.

In rare cases, a fungus or parasite is the cause of the pneumonia, and an antifungal or antiparasitic drug is given.

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.
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    Key Points About Pneumonia

    • Pneumonia is an infection of one or both of the lungs caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi.

    • There are more than 30 different causes of pneumonia, and theyre grouped by the cause. The main types of pneumonia are bacterial, viral, and mycoplasma pneumonia.

    • A cough that produces green, yellow, or bloody mucus is the most common symptom of pneumonia. Other symptoms include fever, shaking chills, shortness of breath, low energy, and extreme tiredness.

    • Pneumonia can often be diagnosed with a thorough history and physical exam. Tests used to look at the lungs, blood tests, and tests done on the sputum you cough up may also be used.

    • Treatment depends on the type of pneumonia you have. Antibiotics are used for bacterial pneumonia. It may also speed recovery from mycoplasma pneumonia and some special cases. Most viral pneumonias dont have a specific treatment and just get better on their own. Other treatment may include a healthy diet, more fluids, rest, oxygen therapy, and medicine for pain, cough, and fever control.

    • Most people with pneumonia respond well to treatment, but pneumonia can cause serious lung and infection problems. It can even be deadly.

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    Other Neurological And Psychiatric Symptoms

    Other neurological symptoms appear to be rare, but may affect half of patients who are hospitalized with severe COVID-19. Some reported symptoms include delirium, stroke, brain hemorrhage, memory loss, psychosis, peripheral nerve damage, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Neurological symptoms in many cases are correlated with damage to the brain’s blood supply or encephalitis, which can progress in some cases to acute disseminated encephalomyelitis. Strokes have been reported in younger people without conventional risk factors.

    As of September 2020, it was unclear whether these symptoms were due to direct infection of brain cells, or of overstimulation of the immune system.

    A June 2020 systematic review reported a 6â16% prevalence of vertigo or dizziness, 7â15% for confusion, and 0â2% for ataxia.

    Other symptoms are less common among people with COVID-19. Some people experience gastrointestinal symptoms such as loss of appetite, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting. A June 2020 systematic review reported a 8â12% prevalence of diarrhea, and 3â10% for nausea.

    Approximately 20â30% of people who present with COVID-19 have elevated liver enzymes, reflecting liver injury.

    Complications include multi-organ failure, , and death.

    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.”

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    Can You Catch Pneumonia More Than Once

    Yes. Pneumonia is caused by many different microbes, and so getting it once does not protect you from getting it again. If you get pneumonia more than once you may need to have more investigations to understand why this has happened. It could be due to a problem in your chest or your immune system, and you may be referred to a specialist.

    Southern Cross Medical Library

    What are the Signs and Symptoms of Pneumonia?

    The purpose of the Southern Cross Medical Library is to provide information of a general nature to help you better understand certain medical conditions. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. This information is not intended to relate specifically to insurance or healthcare services provided by Southern Cross. For more articles go to the Medical Library index page.

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    Who Is At Risk

    Anyone can develop pneumonia, but the risk is greater in babies and children aged 4 years and under and adults older than 65 years. Other risk factors include:

    • recently having had a cold or the flu
    • having a chronic lung condition
    • having a weakened immune system
    • smoking
    • being a patient in hospital.

    In children, the risk of pneumonia is increased by:

    • premature birth
    • chest pain that gets worse when you breathe deeply or cough

    How Soon After Treatment For Pneumonia Will I Begin To Feel Better

    How soon you will feel better depends on several factors, including:

    • Your age
    • The cause of your pneumonia
    • The severity of your pneumonia
    • If you have other at-risk conditions

    If you are generally healthy, most symptoms of bacterial pneumonia usually begin to improve within 24 to 48 hours after starting treatment. Symptoms of viral pneumonia usually begin to improve within a few days after starting treatment. A cough can last for several weeks. Most people report being tired for about a month after contracting pneumonia.

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    Vaccines To Prevent Pneumonia

    Vaccines are available that offer partial protection against pneumonia caused by

    People with pneumonia need to remove mucus and secretions from the lungs and may benefit from deep-breathing exercises Breathing exercises Respiratory therapists use several different techniques to help treat lung disease, including Postural drainage Suctioning Breathing exercises The choice of therapy is based on the underlying… read more . People with pneumonia who are short of breath or have low levels of oxygen in their blood are given oxygen, usually by a small plastic tube in the nostrils . Although rest is an important part of treatment, complete bed rest can be harmful, and people are encouraged to move often and get out of bed and into a chair.

    Usually antibiotics are started whenever bacterial pneumonia is suspected, even before the organism is identified. The prompt use of antibiotics reduces the severity of pneumonia and the chance of developing complications, some of which can lead to death.

    How Can I Help Myself Feel Better

    Pneumonia: What Are the Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

    If your doctor has prescribed medicine, follow the directions carefully.

    You may feel better in a room with a humidifier, which increases the moisture in the air and soothes irritated lungs. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids, especially if you have a fever. If you have a fever and feel uncomfortable, ask the doctor whether you can take over-the-counter medicine such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to bring it down. But don’t take any medicine without checking first with your doctor a cough suppressant, for example, may not allow your lungs to clear themselves of mucus.

    And finally, be sure to rest. This is a good time to sleep, watch TV, read, and lay low. If you treat your body right, it will repair itself and you’ll be back to normal in no time.

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    Is Pneumonia Treated Any Differently In Children

    Essentially no. Just like adults, bacterial causes of pneumonia in children may be treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics are not used to treat pneumonia caused by viruses. Flu-related pneumonia may be treated with antiviral medicine if caught early in the course of illness. Most cases of pneumonia are treated with comfort care measures that ease symptoms. These may include:

    • Drinking more fluids.
    • Getting more rest.
    • Taking over-the-counter medicines for cough and acetaminophen for fever. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about giving medicines to your child.
    • Using a cool mist humidifier in your childs room.

    Pneumonia In Elderly People

    Pneumonia in elderly people may become serious due to the high risk of severe complications. They are also at a higher risk for pneumonia because their immune system becomes less capable of fighting diseases. It can also get complicated if older adults have chronic health conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder . According to medical reports, such diseases can develop gradually across several days or suddenly over 1-2 days.

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