How Asthma Leads To Pneumonia
If you have asthma, you’ve likely developed lung damage and permanent respiratory problems. This increased weakness makes you more susceptible to lung infections, including pneumonia.
According to research, your chances of developing pneumonia may also increase not only because you have asthma, but because of the medications you take to manage it.
Specifically, using inhaled steroids combined with a long-acting beta agonist for asthma seems to make you almost twice as likely to develop serious pneumonia as someone who uses a LABA alone.
Studies have also found that people with asthma who take only inhaled corticosteroids may be 83% more likely to develop pneumonia than those who don’t.
It’s not clear why inhaled steroids increase pneumonia risk, but people who use oral steroids have long been known to have an elevated infection risk, because these drugs dampen the immune response.
Stopping inhaled steroids could potentially be dangerous to your health. The possibility of illness and even death from severe asthma is a significant risk.
Pneumonia And Asthma: Diagnosis And Treatment
In case of pneumonia, your doctor will analyze your sputum to determine if the cause is bacterial or viral. A chest X-ray will also be conducted. Your doctor may run blood work to check your white blood cell count, which can reveal severity of the illness. High levels of white blood cells indicate that your body is warding off a more serious infection.
Treatment for pneumonia often relies on antibiotics, fever reducers, and cough medicines. Hospitalization for pneumonia may be required for those over the age of 65, in case of a continuous vomiting that prevents the ingestion of antibiotics, when breathing becomes rapid, heart rate is slowing down, blood pressure drops, or when a patient becomes confused about time and space.
Pneumonia prevention starts with vaccination if you are in a high-risk category, good hygiene, and smoking cessation. Keep your immune system strong through proper nutrition, regular exercise, and proper sleep.
There are several tests you doctor will conduct to diagnose asthma, beginning with a physical examination. Your doctor will first rule out other respiratory infections and then proceed to run tests to diagnose asthma.
Treatment for asthma is life-long and often involves inhaled medications including inhaled corticosteroids. Other medications used to treat asthma include leukotriene modifiers, long-acting beta agonists, combination inhalers, and quick-relief medications for rapid, short-term relief of asthma symptoms.
Spacers For Asthma Medication
It is recommended that all people with asthma, regardless of age, use a spacer when taking medication via a metered-dose inhaler .
Spacers help to improve the delivery of asthma medication to the lungs and minimise side effects from medications. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about spacers and how they might help you manage your asthma.
which demonstrate how to use a puffer and spacer.
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Characteristics At Diagnosis And Outcomes
The following data were collected after patient-centered interviews: comorbid conditions current smoking status history of asthma asthma controller treatment with classification from step 1 to 5 according to the last 2020 Global Initiative for Asthma report when feasable, we also clarified with the patient or his family whether asthma diagnosis had been confirmed by a pulmonologist or not. In addition, the following laboratory tests were analysed at admission: SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR result, blood count, cardiac biomarkers, liver function, arterial blood gas, C-reactive protein , fibrinogen, D-dimers, creatine phosphokinase , lactate dehydrogenase , ferritin. CT of the chest was analysed by a radiologist and a pulmonologist and the extent of lesions was classified as mild , moderate , severe , very severe , and critical . The following management strategies were detailed: use of systemic corticosteroids , short-acting beta-agonists , antibiotics, adjustement of asthma controller, oxygen flow, intensive care unit admission, and mechanical ventilation requirement. Finally, the main outcomes were investigated after a one-month follow-up.
Differences Between Asthma And Pneumonia
- The key difference between asthma and pneumonia is that the former is a chronic and non-infectious condition, whereas the latter is a lung infection.
- Asthma can cause inflammation and narrowing of the airways. It affects the bronchioles, which are tiny branches of the airways in the lungs.
- Pneumonia, however, is an infection that occurs in one or both lungs and causes inflammation in the air sacs and not just the bronchioles.
- Though pneumonia causes the lungs to fill with fluid and makes breathing painful, it can be treated. However, asthma is incurable but can be managed with prescribed medication.
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Childhood Asthma Vs Asthma In Adults
The symptoms of asthma are the same for children and adults. The symptoms for children, though, are generally more intermittent and may lessen or go away during puberty.
Adult-onset asthma is often more severe. The symptoms are more persistent. Adults are more likely to have frequent asthma attacks, and it does not go away with time. Adults may require daily medications to control their asthma.
Things You Should Know About Pneumonia
- By Stephanie Watson, Executive Editor, Harvard Women’s Health Watch
Pneumonia is an infection that causes the air sacs in the lungs to fill up with fluid or pus, which makes it harder to breathe. The most common symptoms are cough that may be dry or produce phlegm, fever, chills and fatigue. Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and pain in the chest. and shortness of breath. Signs that indicate a more severe infection are shortness of breath, confusion, decreased urination and lightheadedness. In the U.S., pneumonia accounts for 1.3 visits to the Emergency Department, and 50,000 deaths annually.
With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to affect people around the world, pneumonia has become an even larger health concern. Some people infected with the COVID-19 have no symptoms, while others may experience fever, body ache, dry cough, fatigue, chills, headache, sore throat, loss of appetite, and loss of smell.
The more severe symptoms of COV-19, such as high fever, severe cough, and shortness of breath, usually mean significant lung involvement. The lungs can be damaged by overwhelming COVID-19 viral infection, severe inflammation, and/or a secondary bacterial pneumonia. COVID-19 can lead to long lasting lung damage.
Here are other important facts you should know about pneumonia:,
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Disease Process Leading To Pneumonia
Pneumonia-causing agents reach the lungs through different routes:
- In most cases, a person breathes in the infectious organism, which then travels through the airways to the lungs.
- Sometimes, the normally harmless bacteria in the mouth, or on items placed in the mouth or swallowed, can enter the lungs. This usually happens if the body’s “gag reflex,” an extreme throat contraction that keeps substances out of the lungs, is not working properly.
- Infections can spread through the bloodstream from other organs to the lungs.
However, in normal situations, the airways protect the lungs from substances that can cause infection.
- The nose filters out large particles.
- If smaller particles pass through, nerves along the airway prompt a cough or sneeze. This forces many particles back out of the body.
- Tiny particles that reach the small tubes in the lungs are trapped in a thick, sticky substance called mucus. The mucus and particles are pushed up and out of the lungs by tiny hair-like cells called cilia, which beat like a drum. This action is called the “mucociliary escalator.”
- If bacteria or other infectious organisms manage to avoid the airway’s defenses, the body’s immune system attacks them. Large white blood cells called macrophages destroy the foreign particles.
The above-mentioned defense systems normally keep the lungs healthy. If these defenses are weakened or damaged, however, bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites can easily infect the lungs, producing pneumonia.
Pneumonia Vs Asthma: Differences Risk Factors Causes And Treatment
Pneumonia and asthma can both impair a persons ability to breathe, but their causes and treatments are vastly different. Asthma is a chronic condition one lives with and manages. Pneumonia, on the other hand, is a temporary lung condition that people can recover from. One aspect to note is, people who live with asthma are at an increased risk for pneumonia, and pneumonia with asthma can be far more severe and there is also a chance that your pneumonia can be contagious.
Although different, asthma and pneumonia do share some similarities when it comes to symptoms. For example, in both pneumonia and asthma, patients will experience shortness of breath, cough, and an increase in pulse and respiratory rates.
Here we will outline the causes, risk factors, symptoms, and treatments for both asthma and pneumonia, so you can have a better understanding of both conditions.
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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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What Is The Difference Between Pneumonia And Pneumococcal Pneumonia
Pneumonia is a respiratory infection that can be caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi. Pneumococcal pneumonia is caused by the bacteria pneumococcus. This means it is a type of bacterial pneumonia. There are numerous other bacteria as well as viruses and fungi that may also cause pneumonia.
Pneumonia can be acquired in different settings. Community-acquired pneumonia can happen to anyone in their homes, communities, and schools. Conversely, healthcare-acquired pneumonia is contracted while people are in a healthcare facility.
Many types of pneumonia can be prevented through vaccines.
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Asthma Is A Complex Condition
Occasionally, people with asthma experience what are known as silent symptoms. This is where the signs of the tightening of the airways dont result in the familiar asthma sounds of wheezing and coughing. If you or someone you live with, work with, or care for experiences silent symptoms, it is important they consult a doctor for an ongoing Asthma Action Plan. People around the person with asthmasuch as co-workers, school teachers or daycare educators should know about the silent symptoms so they can respond if needed. Asthma can start at any age, and can be more of a problem when it starts in older adults. Dont assume if you never had asthma as a child that its not possible to develop symptoms now. Being breathless is not a normal part of getting older, it should always be checked out by a doctor.
What Are The Symptoms Of Asthma
While symptoms vary from person to person, the most common signs of mild asthma include:
- difficulty breathing feeling breathless, even while resting, or being unable to finish full sentences before needing to take another breath
- wheezing making a whistling sound while breathing
- coughing either at specific times or after certain activities
During a severe asthma attack, you may notice more serious symptoms, such as:
- feeling very distressed, exhausted or even limp from trying to breathe
- deep sucking motions at the throat or chest while trying to breathe
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My Sister’s Asthma Diagnosis
My sisters asthma may have been an effect of her numerous encounters with pneumonia. Over the years, the inflammation caused by her pneumonia may have compacted in her lungs, as they received more damage from each infection. The result was a long-lasting cough after a recent illness, one that was ultimately diagnosed by her physician as asthma.
Q: Is Asthma More Dangerous For Adults
A: Yes. The death rate for adult-onset asthma is substantially higher than the death rate for childhood asthma.
One reason may be that adults either ignore asthma symptoms or attribute them to being overweight, being out of shape or getting older.
Asthma symptoms can also mimic those of other illnesses, including:
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How Is Pneumonia Treated
Treatment depends on the type of pneumonia you have. Most of the time, pneumonia is treated at home, but severe cases may be treated in the hospital. Antibiotics are used for bacterial pneumonia. Antibiotics may also speed recovery from mycoplasma pneumonia and some special cases. Most viral pneumonias dont have specific treatment. They usually get better on their own.
Other treatment may include eating well, increasing fluid intake, getting rest, oxygen therapy, pain medicine, fever control, and maybe cough-relief medicine if cough is severe.
A Flu Shot Is The Best Protection Against Flu
Flu vaccination is especially important for people with asthma because they are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications. Flu vaccines are updated each season to keep up with changing viruses. Also, immunity wanes over a year so annual vaccination is needed to ensure the best possible protection against flu. A flu vaccine protects against the flu viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. This seasons flu vaccines have been updated from last seasons vaccines to better match circulating viruses. More information on why flu vaccines are updated annually is available: Vaccine Virus Selection, as well as this years flu vaccine composition.
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What Causes Pneumonia
Many kinds of bacteria and viruses can cause pneumonia.
The most common type of pneumonia is community-acquired pneumonia, which is when pneumonia affects somebody who is not already in hospital. The most common cause of community-acquired pneumonia is a bacterium called Streptococcus pneumoniae but there are many other causes. Community-acquired pneumonia is much less contagious than flu or a cold, because most peoples immune systems can kill the bacteria that causes it before they can cause an infection. Most people with community-acquired pneumonia are unlikely to give the disease to another person.
What Are The Long
In the long term, chronic inflammation and bronchospasms from asthma can make structural changes in the airway causing it to become permanently narrowed. The airway tubes become scarred and thickened, and the bronchial muscles get enlarged, leading to reduced lung function and breathing difficulties.
Asthma increases the risk for bronchial infections. Asthma can also affect sleep quality and lead to sleep deprivation. It can affect the ability to take part in exercise and sports, which can in turn, potentially lead to conditions such as diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure.
Severe asthma increases the risk for respiratory failure. Though rare, an acute asthma attack can diminish oxygen supply to the body, cause weakness and fatigue, and can sometimes even lead to death.
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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.
What Is The Best Way To Live With Asthma
The key to good living with asthma is developing a strong partnership between patients, caregivers, and physicians. Practical steps include the following:
Make an asthma care management plan with your physician. An asthma management plan helps you understand what to do when specific situations arise. Each time you visit the physician, talk about your plan, and make any necessary changes.
Educate yourself. Stay informed about the latest developments in asthma and allergy care and treatment. Ask your physician about new medications or research findings that may relate to your care.
Get regular medical care. If you have asthma, you should see your physician at least once a year, even if your symptoms are under control. When you become sick, or if you have significant changes in your health, you should also talk with your physician about how your asthma could be affected.
Take your medicine. Your asthma medications will make you feel better and sometimes people think thats the time to stop. Its not! Use your medications as prescribed.
With good management, asthma symptoms can be controlled. Most people who develop adult onset asthma are able to lead normal lives. Expect success!
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The Main Causes Of Pneumonia:
- Exposure to a germ
- Weakened immune system
Some of the germs that cause pneumonia are easily spread from one person to another. They are carried in the nose and throat of an infected person. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, they spray drops of infected saliva into the air around them. A person who breathes in that air can get pneumonia.
There are many things you can do to lower your risk of getting pneumonia. Not smoking is an important way to help prevent pneumonia. People who smoke, and children whose parents smoke, are at a higher risk of getting pneumonia.
Pneumococcal vaccinations help protect you against invasive pneumococcal infections such as pneumonia, bacteremia and meningitis .
Ask your health-care provider about getting the pneumococcal vaccination. For details on when the pneumococcal vaccinations are required, starting at two months of age, see Ontarios Routine Immunization Schedule. Some adults may need it every five years. Prevention of pneumonia through immunization is even more important now since some infections have become more resistant to antibiotics.