Monday, September 26, 2022

What Are The Symptoms When You Have Pneumonia

Take Steps To Protect Yourself And Others

Mayo Clinic Minute: Is pneumonia bacterial or viral?

The following steps can help you prevent spreading the infection to others around you.

  • Cover your nose and mouth while coughing or sneezing.
  • Get rid of used tissues right away.
  • Limit contact with family and friends.
  • Wash your hands often, especially after coughing and sneezing.

Some people get pneumonia again and again. Tell your doctor if this happens. Return to Prevention to find more strategies to help prevent pneumonia.

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
  • 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.

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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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What Happens To Your Lungs When You Are Diagnosed With Pneumonia

Pneumonia, as discussed above, is an infection in the lungs that mainly leads to inflammation in the air sacs called alveoli. Pneumonia leads to the formation of pus and fluid in the lungs, which hinders the breathing process of the individual. There are two categories of patients who are suffering from Pneumonia – Viral pneumonia, and Bacterial pneumonia. Both these types of Pneumonia are contagious and can spread easily from one infected person to another healthy body. In simpler words, Pneumonia damages the lungs by causing inflammation and jamming the way for the oxygen to enter and mix with the bloodstream. Thus Pneumonia can lead to serious breathing issues and death.

Cough And Cold Medicines

Nursing Care Plan for Pneumonia

Be careful with cough and cold medicines. They may not be safe for young children or for people who have certain health problems, so check the label first. If you do use these medicines, always follow the directions about how much to use based on age and weight.

Always check to see if any over-the-counter cough or cold medicines you are taking contain acetaminophen. If they do, make sure the acetaminophen you are taking in your cold medicine plus any other acetaminophen you may be taking is not higher than the daily recommended dose. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how much you can take every day.

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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 38.3°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.

Early Stage Of Pneumonia

The symptoms of the first stage of pneumonia, or what you might expect in the first 24 hours, are very important to understand. When pneumonia is detected at this stage, and promptly treated, the severity of the disease and potential complications may be reduced.

Most commonly, lobar pneumonia begins suddenly with fairly dramatic symptoms.

With pneumonia , the tiniest airways of the lungs are affected. Since this is where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place , pneumonia may cause symptoms related to lower oxygen levels in the body. In addition, lobar pneumonia often extends to the membranes surrounding the lungs , which can lead to particular symptoms.

Read Also: Do You Have A Fever If You Have Pneumonia

When Should You See A Doctor

If you have asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease you should ask your doctor for advice. They may have given you recommendations about increasing your inhaler medication or taking a ‘rescue pack’ of antibiotics and steroid tablets at the first sign of an infection. If not, speak with them for advice if you develop symptoms of a chest infection.

There are a number of symptoms that mean you should see a GP even if you do not have any other lung problems. They include:

  • If a fever, wheezing or headache becomes worse or severe.
  • If you develop fast breathing, shortness of breath, or chest pains.
  • If you cough up blood or if your phlegm becomes dark or rusty-coloured.
  • If you become drowsy or confused.
  • If a cough lasts for longer than 3-4 weeks.
  • If you have repeated bouts of acute bronchitis.
  • If any other symptom develops that you are concerned about.

What To Expect At Home

Flu, Pneumonia & COVID-19: Do you know the symptoms?

You will still have symptoms of pneumonia after you leave the hospital.

  • Your cough will slowly get better over 7 to 14 days.
  • Sleeping and eating may take up to a week to return to normal.
  • Your energy level may take 2 weeks or more to return to normal.

You will need to take time off work. For a while, you might not be able to do other things that you are used to doing.

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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.

/4what Are The Symptoms Of Covid Pneumonia

The various symptoms seen during COVID pneumonia are:

  • Dry cough or cough with thick phlegm
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Headache
  • Wheezing

Several other symptoms can also be seen along with these symptoms depending on what other health complications the patient is having.

The intensity of the symptoms seen in individuals varies from person to person. It is also possible that few patients may experience more than one symptom.

After COVID or during COVID, if you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is advisable to visit a doctor and seek medical help.

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What Is Bacterial Pneumonia

Bacteria are the most common cause of pneumonia in adults.

Bacterial pneumonia may follow a viral infection, like a cold or the flu . This type of pneumonia usually affects one area of the lung and is referred to as lobar pneumonia.

Types of bacteria that cause pneumonia include:

  • Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Chlamydophila pneumoniae
  • Haemophilus influenzae type B

Streptococcus pneumoniae, also known as pneumococcus, is the most common cause of bacterial pneumonia in adults, called pneumococcal pneumonia.

It may be prevented by a vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends two pneumonia vaccines for adults 65 years and older: pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, or Prevnar 13 , and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, or Pneumovax 23 .

According to the CDC:

  • You should receive a dose of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine first, followed at least one year later by a dose of the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine .
  • If you’ve already received any doses of PPSV23, the dose of PCV13 should be given at least one year after the most recent PPSV23 dose.
  • If you’ve already received a dose of the PCV13 at a younger age, another dose is not recommended.

Mycoplasma pneumoniae usually infects younger adults who work in crowded areas, such as schools, homeless shelters, or prisons.

Chlamydophila pneumoniae causes a mild pneumonia infection that usually affects people older than 60.

Other bacterial pneumonia symptoms include:

  • High fever

Diagnosis Of Walking Pneumonia

Pneumonia: Causes, Symptoms &  Support Strategies

This might come as a surprise to you that more often than not walking pneumonia goes undiagnosed and untreated. As the symptoms experienced are so mild in nature, one cant usually tell if they suffer from a condition which requires a visit to the doctor.

You can casually walk in and out of a walking pneumonia this easily. But, this doesnt mean that you should ignore any symptoms as trivial and decide to not pay a visit to your doctor. That would just be wrong, you shouldnt be doing it.

Once you begin to notice the symptoms of walking pneumonia, you have met with your doctor to be certain about the nature of your disease. It is quite possible that, your symptoms may deceive you into thinking that it is walking pneumonia, while in reality it is a severe form of pneumonia or some other condition, you werent considering initially.

As you visit your doctor, to give you an accurate diagnosis, your doctor will perform a physical examination on you and take your medical history. Dont hide anything from them. I repeat. DO NOT

Initially, the doctor will examine your chest, breathing rate and observe you for the presence of congestion or wheezing with a stethoscope. Following this chest examination, if your doctor identifies a problem, he will take a chest X-ray which will further make a pneumonia diagnosis easier.

At other times, your doctor may run a culture test on the mucus sample taken from the nose or throat, that can further help confirm a diagnosis.

Recommended Reading: What To Do For Viral Pneumonia

Severe Symptoms Of Pneumonia

In more serious cases of pneumonia, you may start to cough up blood, or feel very confused or drowsy. The NHS advises that you call 999 or attend A& E immediately if either of these symptoms develop. Other symptoms requiring emergency care include:

  • Struggling to breathe
  • Feeling very cold and sweaty, and having blotchy, pale skin
  • A blue tinge to your lips or face
  • A rash that doesnt fade under a glass
  • Suddenly collapsing
  • Stopping normal urination

Sometimes severe pneumonia causes complications such as pleurisy. This where the pleura, the thin lining between the lung and ribs, becomes inflamed. This causes a sharp pain in the chest when breathing in and out.

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What To Think About

In most cases pneumonia is a short-term, treatable illness. But frequent bouts of pneumonia can be a serious complication of a long-term illness, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease . If you have a severe long-term illness, it may be hard to treat your pneumonia, or you may choose not to treat it. You and your doctor should discuss this. This discussion may include information about how to create an advance care plan.

For more information, see:

There are a number of steps you can take to help prevent getting pneumonia.

  • Stop smoking. You’re more likely to get pneumonia if you smoke.
  • Avoid people who have infections that sometimes lead to pneumonia.
  • Stay away from people who have colds, the flu, or other respiratory tract infections.
  • If you haven’t had measles or chickenpox or if you didn’t get vaccines against these diseases, avoid people who have them.
  • Wash your hands often. This helps prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria that may cause pneumonia.
  • Read Also: Can You Get Pneumonia From Being In The Rain

    When To Call A Doctor

    911 or other emergency services immediately if you:

    • Have chest pain that is crushing or squeezing, is getting more intense, or occurs with any other symptoms of a heart attack.
    • Have such bad trouble breathing that you are worried you won’t 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-colored mucus from the lungs.
    • A fever with shaking chills.
    • Difficult, shallow, fast breathing with shortness of breath or wheezing.
    • Often brings up yellow or green mucus from the lungs and lasts longer than 2 days. Don’t confuse mucus from your lungs with mucus running down the back of your throat from your nasal passages . Postnasal drainage is not a worry.
    • Occurs with a fever and brings up yellow or green mucus from the lungs .
    • Causes you to vomit a lot.
    • Lasts 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.

    What Is Pneumonia Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment And Prevention

    How to diagnose Pneumonia? – Dr. Hirennappa B Udnur

    Pneumonia is a lower respiratory lung infection that causes inflammation in one or both lungs.

    Air sacs in your lungs called alveoli can then fill up with fluid or pus, causing flu-like symptoms that can persist for weeks or cause rapid deterioration of breathing leading to hospitalization. Pneumonia doesnt respond to over-the-counter cold and sinus medicines.

    Pneumonia comes in different forms and is caused primarily by bacteria or viruses, which are contagious, and less commonly by fungi or parasites.

    The type of germ contributes to how serious the illness can become and how its treated. The severity of an infection depends on many factors, including your age and overall health, as well as where you may have acquired the illness.

    Recommended Reading: Can Pneumonia Cause Neck Pain

    Fluid In The Lungs From Pneumonia

    Fluid accumulation in your chest is a known complication of pneumonia. If you or someone you love was diagnosed with pneumonia associated with fluid in the lungs, you can read all about it here. I have personally treated several patients over the last 15 years with fluid in the lungs from pneumonia.

    Based on my personal experience as well as a review of the current medical literature, I will explain what it means when you have fluid in the lungs from pneumonia, who is at risk, and what options you have to get rid of that fluid.

    How To Reduce Your Risk Of Getting Pneumonia

    • If you smoke, try to quitsmoke damages the natural defenses in your lungs that protect you from infections
    • Ask your health-care provider about getting the pneumococcal vaccination
    • Get the flu vaccination each yearsince pneumonia can be a complication of getting the flu, the flu vaccine helps reduce the risk of both the flu and pneumonia
    • Stay away from people who are sick
    • Wash your hands regularlywhen soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
    • If you have an underlying condition that increases your risk of pneumonia , make sure its kept under control
    • If you are at a higher risk from pneumonia and you get a cough, fever or shortness of breath, see your health-care provider right away.
    • Regular exercise, adequate sleep and a healthy diet can strengthen your immune system.

    Recommended Reading: Flu Vaccine With Pneumonia Vaccine

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