When Can I Return To Work School And Regular Activities If I Have Pneumonia
You typically can resume your normal activities if your symptoms are gone, mild or improving and you do not have new or worsening:
- Shortness of breath or tiredness
- Chest pain
- Mucus, fever or cough
If you are generally healthy, most people feel well enough to return to previous activities in about a week. However, it may take about a month to feel totally back to normal.
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.
Treatment And Medication Options For 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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Common Symptoms And Risk Factors Of Bacterial Pneumonia
According to Johns Hopkins University, this type of pneumonia generally occurs when the body is weakened in some way, such as by illness, poor nutrition, old age, or impaired immunity, and the bacteria are able to work their way into the lungs. It can affect people of any age, but the source says those who smoke, abuse alcohol, or have respiratory illness or infection are at greater risk.
Common symptoms of bacterial pneumonia can include fever, chest pain, and an increased heart rate.
Risk Factors For Pneumonia
Anyone can get pneumonia at any age, but people who are younger than two or older than 65 are at the highest risk. Also at risk are people in a weakened state of health due to illness, poor nutrition or a compromised immune system from conditions such as asthma, HIV/AIDS, lymphoma, diabetes, leukemia or heart disease. Smokers and people who abuse alcohol are also more likely to get pneumonia.
Along with these health issues, people who are hospitalized, particularly if they are using a machine for respiratory support , are at risk of hospital-acquired pneumonia. People undergoing chemotherapy, organ donors and recipients or people on long-term steroids can have a weakened immune system that makes them more susceptible.
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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.
Causes And Risk Factors Of Pneumonia
How do you get pneumonia? The majority of the germs that cause infection are spread from person to person through droplets, from coughing or sneezing.
- A weakened immune system due to human immunodeficiency virus or cancer
People who smoke are at higher risk for pneumonia, as are people on immunosuppressive medications, and people who are frequently in close, crowded spaces with others, such as college students and military personnel.
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Who Are At Risk Of Developing Covid
Some people are at a higher risk for developing COVID-19 pneumonia. It totally depends on the individual’s health conditions. Some of the other risk factors include:
Older adults or adults who are 65 years up are at an increased risk for serious illness due to COVID-19.
#Underlying Health Complications
An individual who is suffering from other health complications such as – asthma, diabetes, liver diseases, obesity, and kidney illnesses is at higher risk of catching COVID-19 pneumonia.
#Weak Immunity System
Another most important risk factor is a weakened immune system. Being immunocompromised can raise the risk of serious COVID-19 pneumonia disease.
The Four Main Types Of Walking Pneumonia
Mycoplasma pneumoniae Infection
Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection is by far the most common type of walking pneumonia. The infection causes an estimated two million cases in the U.S. every year.
Mycoplasma pneumoniae bacteria spread from person to person through coughing or sneezing. As a result, outbreaks will most often occur in schools, colleges, hospitals, nursing homes, military barracks and other crowded locations. Mycoplasma pneumoniae bacteria is often naturally resistant to certain antibiotics like penicillin. To treat the infection, doctors must instead use other types such as macrolides.
Infection from Mycoplasma pneumoniae can lead to or worsen a range of illnesses including chest cold, pneumonia, encephalitis, kidney problems, skin disorders, hemolytic anemia and asthma. Experts believe that approximately 1 in 10 people who become ill as a result of infection will actually get pneumonia. Signs of infection will typically get worse over a month.
Legionnaires Disease is the most severe type of walking pneumonia. This infection will be fatal for approximately one in 10 patients. Legionnaires Disease affected over 6,000 people in 2016. Certain groups of people, such as seniors and current or former smokers, pose extra risk for the infection. People dealing with a chronic illness or weakened immune systems will also have an increased risk.
Chlamydia pneumoniae Infection
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Symptoms Of Pneumonia In The Elderly
The symptoms of pneumonia do vary and depend a great deal on the seniors physical state. In some, the symptoms come on rapidly and in others they may start occurring after a bout with the flu or a cold.
- Pain in the chest or ribs
- Cough that may be wet or produce phlegm
- Lower-than-normal body temperature
How Do The Lungs Work
Your lungs main job is to get oxygen into your blood and remove carbon dioxide. This happens during breathing. You breathe 12 to 20 times per minute when you are not sick. When you breathe in, air travels down the back of your throat and passes through your voice box and into your windpipe . Your trachea splits into two air passages . One bronchial tube leads to the left lung, the other to the right lung. For the lungs to perform their best, the airways need to be open as you breathe in and out. Swelling and mucus can make it harder to move air through the airways, making it harder to breathe. This leads to shortness of breath, difficulty breathing and feeling more tired than normal.
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The 6 Different Types Of Pneumonia Explained By Doctors
It’s easy to assume all cases of pneumonia are created equal, but there are actually several different types of the infectionand knowing the kind of pneumonia that you have can be crucial in order to get you the proper care you need.
“The different types of pneumonia can sometimes require very different treatments,” Thomas Monaco, MD, assistant professor of medicine-pulmonary at the Baylor College of Medicine, tells Health. “For example, one group of bacteria that causes pneumonia may not respond to the same antibiotic as another group, and antibiotics will not help at all if the cause of the pneumonia is due to a virus or some of the more uncommon causes of pneumonia.”
Shweta Sood, MD, MS, a pulmonologist at Penn Medicine, agrees. “For us, it’s really helpful to know the type because it influences our therapies for that specific patient, including how aggressive they should be,” Dr. Sood tells Health. And once your doctor can figure out the type of pneumonia you have, they can get you the right treatment to help you feel like yourself again sooner.
But while you’re probably familiar with what pneumonia is, you might be a little unsure of the details. Quick recap: Pneumonia is an infection of the tiny air sacs in the lungs, called alveoli, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , and it can cause mild to severe illness in people of all ages.
Gram Negative Bacterial Pneumonia
Gram-negative bacteria are those who have a more complex, thinner and less compact cell wall. Most of these gram negative bacteria are covered in a capsule that makes them resistant to the action of antibiotics. Thus, they cause havoc in a persons body as the antibiotics are not able to control the infections successfully. These gram negative bacteria causing pneumonia include:
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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.
How Is Pneumonia Classified
It should be noted that, in pneumonia, the main causative agent of the symptoms is the patients own immune system, not just the viral or bacterial components that can infest the linings of the lower respiratory tract. The macrophages settled in this region are in charge of dealing with foreign agents, and in the initial stages, they are the cause of the clinical picture.
Macrophages phagocytose microorganisms, but also induce an inflammatory response, by binding through their membrane receptors to the pathogens own compounds. Upon recognition, this cell body synthesizes cytokines such as TNF-a, IL-8, and IL-1, attracting neutrophils to the site of infection. All this triggers tissue inflammation and, therefore, the aforementioned shortness of breath and chest pain.
This condition can be multifactorial, and it is also possible to classify it according to the place of infection, pathological involvement, host reaction, host type, or the area of acquisition of the pathology. Then, we tell you the characteristics of these most important typologies. Do not miss it.
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Causes Of Viral Pneumonia
Viral pneumonia can be caused by a variety of different things such as the common cold, flu viruses, or respiratory syncytial virus .
Although Verywell Health points out that if you develop one of those viral infections, you wont always develop pneumonia. That said, its still important to be on the lookout for the common signs of pneumonia, such as shortness of breath. Contact your doctor right away if this develops.
Common Symptoms Of Mycoplasma Pneumonia
While symptoms of this infection can differ greatly among each individual who is infected, a dry cough is common.
Walking pneumonia can also cause other unpleasant symptoms such as a sore throat, fever, body aches, weakness, fatigue, headache, vomiting, and loss of appetite. Most symptoms resolve within 5-days, however, some individuals experience a cough for a month or more.
Ahmet Misirligul / Shutterstock
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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.
Minimising Problematic Heterogeneitydefinitions And Classification Of Pneumonia
Two examples of pneumonia research that have substantially advanced the field illustrate the scientific benefit of using restrictive criteria to study homogenous patient subgroups. Firstly, between 1971 and 1981 a collection of childhood pneumonia aetiology studies using lung aspiration established, without a doubt, that the aetiology in cases of substantial lobar pneumonia was bacterial in 3080 % of cases and pneumococcal in 1050 % . A more recent study by McNally and colleagues extensively investigated children with severe or very severe pneumonia with half having failed therapy , and found that 18 % had more than one aetiologic bacterial organism, thus establishing the paradigm of co-infection in pneumonia.
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Who Should Get Pneumococcal Vaccines
CDC recommends pneumococcal vaccination for all children younger than 2 years old and all adults 65 years or older. In certain situations, older children and other adults should also get pneumococcal vaccines. Below is more information about who should and should not get each type of pneumococcal vaccine.
Talk to your or your childs doctor about what is best for your specific situation.
What About The Influenza And Pneumococcal Vaccines
Because the flu is a common cause of pneumonia, consider getting your flu vaccine. This is one of the reasons we recommend the flu vaccine, because not only can you get the flu virus and feel really miserable, but you can end up with a secondary bacterial infection which could be very serious or even fatal, Dr. Cameron says.
There is also a pneumococcal vaccine, which offers protection from a common form of bacterial pneumonia. The shot is recommended for children younger than 5 and adults 65 and older. It is also advised for children and adults who are at an increased risk of pneumonia due to other health conditions.
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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 .
Possible Complications Of Pneumonia
Most people treated for pneumonia recover successfully, but, in some cases, it can be a life-threatening condition. People who are very young or over 60 years of age, or who have chronic health conditions, are at greater risk of complications. These can include respiratory failure or its more extreme form, acute respiratory distress syndrome , which might require a person to be treated with a ventilator or respirator.
If the infection enters the bloodstream, can occur. Sometimes, pneumonia can cause empyema, in which infected packets of pus and fluid collect along or inside the lungs, and may need to be treated with surgery.
Pneumonia can worsen some chronic conditions, such as emphysema and congestive heart failure. It can also make some people more likely to have a heart attack.
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How To Treat Pneumonia
Antibiotics are tailored to fight most of the bacteria that will cause bacterial pneumonia. Once the doctors run more tests on your body and figure out the exact bacteria causing your illness, they will give you antibiotics designed to fight that specific bacteria.
Viral and fungal pneumonia cannot be treated with antibiotics. Viral pneumonia is treated with rest and fluids. Fungal pneumonia is treated with antifungal medications. In severe cases, operations at a hospital may be required.
You will also receive prescriptions or can get over the counter medication to treat the symptoms that come with pneumonia, like pain and fevers.
What’s The Connection Between Coronavirus And Pneumonia
Infection with SARS-CoV-2 begins when respiratory droplets containing the virus enter your body through your upper respiratory tract. As the virus multiplies, the infection can progress to your lungs and can further spread the infection. During this time, the chances of developing pneumonia become high and thus can lead to COVID-19 pneumonia.
Now, the question comes – how does this actually happen? Well, the oxygen you breathe into your lungs crosses into your bloodstream inside the alveoli, the small air sacs which are present in your lungs. However, infection with SARS-CoV-2 can damage the alveoli and surrounding tissues.
Further, as your immune system fights the virus, inflammation can cause fluid and dead cells to build up in your lungs. These factors interfere with the transfer of oxygen, leading to symptoms like severe coughing and extreme shortness of breath.
According to the studies, people infected with COVID-19 pneumonia can also go on to develop other illnesses such as acute respiratory distress syndrome . Acute respiratory distress syndrome is a progressive type of respiratory failure that occurs when the air sacs in the lungs fill up with fluid. This can make it the person hard to breathe and thus leads to breathlessness.
At times, such patients are also put under ventilation for life support.
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