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.
How Is Double Pneumonia Treated
Treatment usually depends on what caused your pneumonia in the first place, Dr. Sood says. Here’s a breakdown of possible treatments:
- Antibiotics. “If someone is relatively healthy and they get bacterial pneumonia, we can usually treat them as an outpatient with antibiotics,” Dr. Sood says. In more severe cases, you’ll need IV antibiotics in the hospital.
- Rest. If you have viral double pneumonia, you may not need anything, Dr. Panettieri says.
- Anti-virals. Doctors usually recommend rest and fluids if you have viral pneumonia. However, in more severe situations, an antiviral medication like remdesivir may help, Dr. Casciari says.
- Antifungals. An antifungal medication can help treat fungal pneumonia, Dr. Sood says. And, like antibiotics, if you have a more severe form of double pneumonia, you may be given the medication through an IV.
- Breathing support. “Patients with pneumonia in both lungs are more likely to need supplemental oxygen or possibly support from a mechanical ventilator,” Dr. Monaco says.
As far as prognosis goes, it’s important to note that pneumonia is one of the top 10 causes of death in the US, per the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionand “it’s serious, but even worse when it involved both lungs,” Dr. Casciari says.
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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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Bacteremia And Septic Shock
If bacteria caused your pneumonia, they could get into your blood, especially if you didn’t see a doctor for treatment. It’s a problem called bacteremia.
When your blood pressure is too low, your heart may not be able to pump enough blood to your organs, and they can stop working. Get medical help right away if you notice symptoms like:
Your doctor will likely treat your lung abscesses with antibiotics. They may do a procedure that uses a needle to remove the pus.
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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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:
Take Steps To Protect Yourself And Others
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.
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What Causes Pneumonia In The Elderly
Pneumonia is an illness that seems to affect seniors in a radically different way than it does people in other age groups. But does it actually target seniors the way it seems to? Find out more about what pneumonia is, what causes it, how to prevent it, and whether seniors contract it in different ways from people in other age groups. If you arent sure what pneumonia is or you are curious about why its such a concern in the world of elder care, take the time to learn more about this illness.
How Can I Help Myself Feel Better
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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What Is Walking Pneumonia
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.
How Is Pneumonia Diagnosed
Sometimes pneumonia can be hard to diagnose. This is because it can cause some of the same symptoms as a cold or the flu. It may take time for you to realize that you have a more serious condition.
Your health care provider may use many tools to make a diagnosis:
- A medical history, which includes asking about your symptoms
- A physical exam, including listening to your lungs with a stethoscope
- Various tests, such as
- A chest x-ray
- Blood tests such as a complete blood count to see if your immune system is actively fighting an infection
- A Blood culture to find out whether you have a bacterial infection that has spread to your bloodstream
If you are in the hospital, have serious symptoms, are older, or have other health problems, you may also have more tests, such as:
- Sputum test, which checks for bacteria in a sample of your sputum or phlegm .
- Chest CT scan to see how much of your lungs is affected. It may also show if you have complications such as lung abscesses or pleural effusions.
- Pleural fluid culture, which checks for bacteria in a fluid sample that was taken from the pleural space
- Pulse oximetry or blood oxygen level test, to check how much oxygen is in your blood
- Bronchoscopy, a procedure used to look inside your lungs’ airways
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What About Hospital Treatment
Hospital admission may be advised if you have severe pneumonia, or if symptoms do not quickly improve after you have started antibiotic treatment. Also, you are more likely to be treated in hospital if you are already in poor health, or if an infection with a more serious infecting germ is suspected. For example, if infection with Legionella pneumophila is suspected. Even if you are in hospital, you are likely to be offered antibiotics in capsule, tablet or liquid form unless you have difficulties taking them, in which case they may be given through a vein. Your antibiotic treatment will be stopped after five days, unless you are very unwell.
Sometimes oxygen and other supportive treatments are needed if you have severe pneumonia. Those who become severely unwell may need treatment in an intensive care unit.
When you return home, even though the infection is treated, you may feel tired and unwell for some time.
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.
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Pleural Effusion Empyema And Abscess
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.
Symptoms Of Fluids In The Lungs From Pneumonia
If you would like to review different types of pneumonia and their symptoms, please read this article. Symptoms of fluids in the lungs from pneumonia come together with the symptoms of pneumonia. If you already have pneumonia and are having these additional symptoms, you need to be concerned about possible fluids in your lungs from pneumonia.
Here are those symptoms:
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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.
When Would I Need To Be Hospitalized For Pneumonia
If your case of pneumonia is more severe, you may need tostay in the hospital for treatment. Hospital treatments may include:
- Fluids, antibiotics and other medicines given through an IV
- Breathing treatments and exercises to help loosen mucus
People most likely to be hospitalized are those who are most frail and/or at increased risk, including:
- Babies and young children
- People with weakened immune systems
- People with health conditions that affect the heart and lungs
It may take six to eight weeks to return to a normal level of functioning and well-being if youve been hospitalized with pneumonia.
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Limit Contact With Others
One of the best things you can do when recovering from pneumonia is to limit your contact with others. As weve learned throughout the COVID-19 pandemicwhich can cause viral pneumoniastaying at least six feet away from others reduces the amount of viral or bacterial content they are exposed to as you breathe or talk.
The Effects Of Pneumonia On The Body
Pneumonia is an infection in one or both lungs. Bacteria and viruses are the most common causes of pneumonia. Fungi can induce pneumonia, too. The infection causes inflammation in the air sacs of the lungs. This results in a buildup of fluid that makes it hard to breathe. Pneumonia can be a medical emergency, especially among high-risk groups like people over 65 and children 5 or younger.
Pneumonia typically affects the lungs, but complications can lead to problems in other areas of the body, too. These can be very serious and even deadly. Your risk, treatment, and recovery time depend on what caused the infection, your age, and any additional health issues you had before getting pneumonia.
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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.
What Is The Outlook For Pneumonia
People who are otherwise healthy often recover quickly when given prompt and proper care. However, pneumonia is a serious condition and can be life-threatening if left untreated and especially for those individuals at increased risk for pneumonia.
Even patients who have been successfully treated and have fully recovered may face long-term health issues. Children who have recovered from pneumonia have an increased risk of chronic lung diseases. Adults may experience:
- General decline in quality of life for months or years
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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
|Other names||Chronic obstructive lung disease , chronic obstructive airway disease|
|Section of a lung showing , with enlarged airspaces in the centre of a usually caused by smoking and a major feature of COPD|
|Over 35 years old|
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a type of progressive that is preventable and treatable. COPD is characterized by long-term respiratory symptoms and airflow limitation. The main symptoms include and a , which may or may not produce . COPD with such as walking or dressing becoming difficult.
The most common cause of COPD is . Other include and , exposure to occupational irritant substances such as dust from , and dust or fumes, and . In , common sources of are the use of coal, and such as wood and as fuel for . Most people living in European cities are exposed to damaging levels of air pollution. The diagnosis is based on poor airflow as measured by .
Most cases of COPD can be prevented by reducing exposure to risk factors such as smoking and indoor and outdoor pollutants. While treatment can slow worsening, there is no conclusive evidence that any medications can change the long-term decline in lung function. COPD treatments include , , , , and . Some people may benefit from long-term , , and . In those who have periods of , increased use of medications, , corticosteroids, and hospitalization may be needed.