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How Are Walking Pneumonia And Regular Pneumonia Treated
For walking pneumonia, some doctors may evaluate your symptoms, assume thats what you have and prescribe an antibiotic. But Dr. Chaisson doesnt recommend that approach. The vast majority of patients with these symptoms have something viral, such as an upper respiratory infection, sinus infection or bronchitis, he explains. Such illnesses are treated with time, rest and symptom-relieving medication.
Dr. Chaisson cautions that antibiotic overuse can lead to antibiotic resistance and an outbreak of Clostridium difficile. C. difficile, an intestinal infection that causes diarrhea and abdominal pain, is difficult to treat and can lead to death particularly in elderly patients.
That said, if your symptoms linger for longer than a few days or if you have a chronic health issue , its best to visit your doctor to see if you might have walking pneumonia.
Although walking pneumonia may go away on its own, antibiotics may be necessary. Walking pneumonia can be confirmed by a chest X-ray, which will show an area of infection in the lung.
Regular pneumonia, on the other hand, is often more severe, Dr. Chaisson says. Regular pneumonia usually warrants antibiotics and sometimes patients are hospitalized because they require oxygen, IV fluids, and breathing treatments, he says.
Besides Vaccination What Else Can I Do To Prevent Bacterial And Viral Pneumonia
Receiving all recommended vaccinations is one of the best ways to prevent pneumonia. Additionally, there are several other ways to prevent pneumonia, including:
- Quitting smoking, and avoiding secondhand smoke. Smoking damages your lungs.
- Washing your hands before eating, before handling food, after using the restroom, and after being outside. If soap is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoiding being around people who are sick. Ask them to visit when they are feeling better.
- Not touching or sharing objects that are shared with others. Germs can be transferred from object to you if you touch your nose or mouth without washing or sanitizing your hands first.
- Eating a healthy diet, exercise, and get enough rest. Healthy habits keep your immune system strong.
- Getting treated for any other infections or health conditions you may have. These conditions could weaken your immune system, which could increase your chance of infections.
- Avoiding excessive consumption of alcohol.
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Treatment And Prevention Of Pneumonia In Young Children
Pneumonia is routinely diagnosed using x-rays, blood tests and visual examinations, while the course of treatment will depend on the underlying cause of the infection. As is the case with adults, if the childrens pneumonia is caused by bacteria, antibiotics will be prescribed, while the viral infection will heal over time. Similarly, children must lie in bed and eat a proper diet for the duration of the treatment. When it comes to preventing pneumonia in children, a shot called pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is widely administered. However, as preventing any kind of illness goes, good, balanced diet and lots of physical activity coupled by a good overall hygiene of the child go a long way.
When Does A Cough Turn Into Pneumonia
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So youve been coughing for a while, and instead of getting better, it seems like your cough is getting worse. Maybe youve even started coughing up phlegm or have pain in your chest when you cough. Those are signs your cough might actually be pneumonia.
Pneumonia is an infection in your lungs that can range from mild to life-threatening, which causes your lungs to fill up with fluid or pus. You may experience difficulty breathing or have a fever. If youre a healthy young adult, pneumonia might not be as serious as it is for very young kids or adults over age 65.
Whether youve had your cough for three days or three weeks, knowing the symptoms of pneumonia and when to go to the doctor can help put your mind at ease.
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Would Imaging Studies Be Helpful If So Which Ones
Obtaining serial CXRs will help determine that pneumonias have occurred and have been recurrent rather than persistent. They will also help determine if the abnormalities are usually in the same area or if they have occurred in different lung segments. It may be challenging to have the opportunity to view all the radiographs at the same time and have them all reviewed by a pediatric radiologist, but this is highly recommended.
Chest computerized tomography usually helps further define the location of and extent of any airway or parenchymal abnormality.
A modified barium swallow with speech therapy present and an upper GI series are often helpful in assessing aspiration.
Returning To Everyday Activities
Regardless of whether you could treat your pneumonia at home or you were hospitalized for pneumonia, the best thing you can do is take care of yourself as you recover. Here are some recovery tips:
- Stay home:Be sure you stay home until your fever breaks and your coughing is at least minimal. Staying home and resting not only improves your recovery, it also protects anyone you come into contact with from getting sick.
- Get plenty of rest:Take naps when you need to, and hang low while recovering.
- Drink plenty of fluids:This will help keep your body hydrated as it works to flush out your illness.
- Complete prescription medication: Make sure to complete the full course of any antibiotics, even if youre feeling better.
- Pace yourself:Ease into your typical everyday life.
Pneumonia is a serious infection capable of damaging your lungs. While many people seem to recover from pneumonia fully, its possible your lungs will not be able to return to the same level of activity as before.
This possibility is just one reason why its important to slowly ramp up your activity level as you heal, and practice any breathing techniques your healthcare provider may recommend.
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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.
How Is Walking Pneumonia Diagnosed
Walking pneumonia is usually diagnosed through a physical examination. The doctor will check your child’s breathing and listen for a hallmark crackling sound that often indicates walking pneumonia.
If needed, a chest X-ray or tests of mucus samples from the throat or nose might be done to confirm the diagnosis.
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So Hows That Different Than Regular Pneumonia
Pneumonia is generally a more serious lung infection. It can also be caused by bacteria or viruses .
No matter the cause, the infection causes your immune system to fill the air sacs in the lungs with mucus, pus, and other fluids. This makes it difficult for oxygen to reach your blood.
Though the symptoms of bacterial pneumonia and viral pneumonia arent exactly the same, Dr. Chaisson says both tend to cause shortness of breath, difficulty breathing and feeling more tired than usual.
How Long Is Pneumonia Contagious
You can catch pneumonia from someone who has a viral or bacterial lung infection a day or so before they start showing symptoms.
Dr. Charles Patrick Davis on MedicineNet says that pneumonia can be contagious for up to a weak or so with viral pneumonia. Usually, viral pneumonia is less contagious as the symptoms begin to go away. This usually means that pneumonia is no longer infectious a day or so after the fever has gone.6
Depending on the type of bacterial lung infection, pneumonia caused by bacteria can be contagious for between 1 to 2 days after taking antibiotics. However for tuberculosis it can take two weeks or more after taking antibiotics before the person is no longer contagious.6
This means that the incubation period for pneumonia can be anywhere from 2 to 14 days, depending on the severity of your infection. Its also not uncommon for a cough caused by pneumonia to persist for a few weeks after a person is no longer contagious.
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How To Regain Your Strength After Pneumonia
While recovering from mild pneumonia, be sure to:
- Eat a well-balanced diet
- Slowly work back into your exercise routine
“Physical activity can help your lungs regain strength but go slow. Start with light exercise and stop if your cough worsens or you have trouble breathing. If a light workout feels okay, you can put a little more effort into your next workout,” says Dr. Lee.
However, Dr. Lee’s advice for someone recovering from severe pneumonia looks quite different.
“The first thing to realize is that your body may be extremely weak after being discharged from the hospital, so you’ll need to take extra care leaning on your support network, if possible,” says Dr. Lee.
Complications And Risk Factors
Pneumonia can sometimes cause serious complications and become life-threatening. Potential complications can include:
- breathing difficulties or even respiratory failure, which can require being placed on a ventilator in order to get oxygen
- worsening of chronic lung conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- fluid accumulation in the lungs, which can become infected and may need to be drained
- lung abscess, which is the formation of a pocket of pus in your lung
- bacteremia, when bacteria spread into your bloodstream, possibly leading to
People that may be at risk for more serious symptoms or complications include:
- children under 2 years old
- adults over 65 years old
There are several types of pneumonia. They can be classified by how you get the infection.
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Taking Care Of Yourself At Home
If you have a bacterial chest infection, you should start to feel better 24 to 48 hours after starting on antibiotics. You may have a cough for days or weeks. For other types of chest infections, the recovery is more gradual. You may feel weak for some time and need a longer period of bed rest.Be guided by your doctor, but general self-care suggestions include:
- Take your medication as directed. Even if you feel better, finish the course of antibiotics.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Rest for a few days.
- Prop yourself up on a couple of pillows at night it will make it easier to sleep.
- Stop smoking, at least until you feel better, if you cant give up at this stage.
- Contact your local doctor if you have any concerns or questions.
- Go straight to your local doctor or the nearest hospital emergency department if you have trouble breathing, have a high fever or feel worse.
When To Contact A Doctor
It is important to contact a doctor if a person believes that they or a member of their family is experiencing symptoms of pneumonia. While some people may be able to recover at home without medical assistance, others may need medication or hospitalization.
People should seek immediate medical attention if they experience any of the following symptoms:
- breathing difficulties
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How You Catch Pneumonia
While anyone can catch pneumonia, some people are more likely to come down with illness when coming into contact with the germs. Like many other illnesses, pneumonia is caught through contact with the bacteria or virus that creates pneumonia.
Coughing and sneezing are the most common ways these germs spread.
Its also possible to catch the illness by touching something like a counter or door handle, sharing cups and utensils, and touching your face without washing your hands first.
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.
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What To Expect At Home
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.
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 Are The Possible Outcomes Of Recurrent Pneumonia
The prognosis depends on the underlying cause. Successful asthma therapy usually prevents further episodes of pneumonia. The average age of death for patients with CF is now 38.5 years and consistently increasing as new therapies become available. If aspiration can be eliminated or minimized, the recurrent pneumonia usually resolves. Successful assistance with airway clearance for patients with weakness or mucociliary clearance defects will also reduce the frequency of pneumonia.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Pneumonia In Children
The signs and symptoms of pneumonia in children vary from child to child and also depend on your childs age, cause of the infection, and severity of their illness.
Usual symptoms include:
- Cry more than usual. Are restless or more fussy.
Adolescents have the same symptoms as adults, including:
- Difficulty breathing/shortness of breath.
- Chest pain.
Newborns are at greater risk of pneumonia caused by bacteria present in the birth canal. In young children, viruses are the main cause of pneumonia.
Pneumonia caused by bacteria tends to happen suddenly, starting with fever and fast breathing. Symptoms appear more slowly and tend to be less severe when pneumonia is caused by viruses.
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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.
Are Vaccines Available To Prevent Pneumonia
Yes, there are two types of vaccines specifically approved to prevent pneumonia caused by pneumococcal bacteria. Similar to a flu shot, these vaccines wont protect against all types of pneumonia, but if you do come down with pneumonia, its less likely to be as severe or potentially life-threatening especially for people who are at increased risk for pneumonia.
- Bacterial pneumonia: Two pneumonia vaccines, Pneumovax23® and Prevnar13®, protect against the most common causes of bacterial pneumonia.
- Pneumovax23® protects against 23 different types of pneumococcal bacteria. It is recommended for all adults 65 years of age and older and children over 2 years of age who are at increased risk for pneumonia.
- Prevnar13® protects against 13 types of pneumonia bacteria. It is recommended for all adults 65 years of age and older and children under 2 years of age. Ask your healthcare provider about these vaccines.
If you have children, ask their doctor about other vaccines they should get. Several childhood vaccines help prevent infections caused by the bacteria and viruses that can lead to pneumonia.
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Multiorgan Effects Of Covid
Some people who had severe illness with COVID-19 experience multiorgan effects or autoimmune conditions over a longer time with symptoms lasting weeks or months after COVID-19 illness. Multiorgan effects can affect many, if not all, body systems, including heart, lung, kidney, skin, and brain functions. Autoimmune conditions happen when your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake, causing inflammation or tissue damage in the affected parts of the body.
While it is very rare, some people, mostly children, experience multisystem inflammatory syndrome during or immediately after a COVID-19 infection. MIS is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed. MIS can lead to post-COVID conditions if a person continues to experience multiorgan effects or other symptoms.