When To Call The Doctor
You should call your childs doctor if your child:
- Has trouble breathing or is breathing much faster than usual
- Has a bluish or gray color to the fingernails or lips
- Is older than 6 months and has a fever over 102°F
- Is younger than 6 months and has a temperature over 100.4°F.
- Has a fever for more than a few days after taking antibiotics
When your child should stay home and return to school or childcare
How To Get Rid Of A Chest Cold
While antibiotics may not always help with chest congestion, there are many things you can do at home to relieve your symptoms. Itâs important to ensure your body is hydrated, as clear liquids help to thin the mucus inside your throat and lungs. Placing a humidifier in the room youâre in helps soothe lung irritation, and sleeping on multiple pillows will help you breathe easier overnight. Taking a hot steamy shower or bath can help to dislodge whatever is irritating your chest. Taking over-the-counter medications like decongestants and aspirin will help alleviate pain, lower your fever, and get the mucus out. Combining these home remedies will help you shorten your healing time, alleviate your symptoms, and help you go back to your daily life sooner rather than later.
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.
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How Long Does It Take To Recover From Pneumonia
Pneumonia is a serious illness that can take quite a toll on a persons lungs and body. It can take anywhere from a week to several months to fully recover from it, says Dr. Rayman Lee, pulmonologist at Houston Methodist.
The length of time it takes for you to recover from pneumonia is influenced by:
- Your age
- The severity of your illness
- Whether you have other health conditions
- The type of pneumonia
If youre generally healthy and have only a mild case of pneumonia, your symptoms should begin to improve one to two days after starting treatment.
Most people with mild pneumonia are able to return to their everyday activities in a week, although fatigue and cough can linger for an entire month, says Dr. Lee.
Recovery timelines become more murky for people who have severe pneumonia.
For more serious cases that require hospitalization, were not only focused on clearing the infection, were also focused on preventing or treating complications that can develop including difficulty breathing, fluid buildup in the lungs, sepsis, acute respiratory distress syndrome and lung abscesses, warns Dr. Lee.
Pneumonia and its complications can wreak havoc on a persons lungs and body. And, it can take anywhere from one to six months for a person to recover and regain strength after being hospitalized for pneumonia.
What Is A Chest Infection
Chest infection refers to the infection of the lungs and airways. It can be due to multiple reasons. But among them, bronchitis is a majorly noticed. Bronchitis is the inflammation of the bronchial tubes, which are responsible for carrying air to the lungs. It can occur from bacterial causes, environmental issues, and viral as well. The same virus is responsible for causing cold and flu.
Majorly it is with persistent cough and accompanied by chest tightness, low fever, and shortness of breathing as well. Two types of bronchitis are there acute and chronic.
Acute bronchitis lasts for a few weeks only. But chronic bronchitis can occur for several months at the same time. These can be improved with the treatment, but there is no permanent solution for the same.
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It Might Feel Like A Cold
Walking pneumonia is how some people describe a mild case of pneumonia. Your doctor might call it âatypical pneumoniaâ because itâs not like more serious cases.
A lung infection is often to blame. Lots of things can cause it, including:
- Inhaled food
Walking pneumonia usually is due to bacteria called Mycoplasma pneumoniae.
You probably wonât have to stay in bed or in the hospital. You might even feel good enough go to work and keep up your routine, just as you might with a cold.
How Is Acute Bronchitis Treated
Acute bronchitis is usually mild and does not cause complications. The symptoms often resolve on their own and lung function goes back to normal.
In most cases, antibiotics are not needed to treat acute bronchitis. Thats because most of the infections are caused by viruses. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses. If it has progressed to pneumonia, then antibiotics may be necessary.
Treatment is aimed at treating the symptoms, and may include:
- Avoiding exposure to secondhand smoke
- Cough medicine
- Pain relievers and fever reducers, such as acetaminophen
- Quitting smoking
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:
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Common Chest Cold Symptoms
Common chest colds happen when the airways of your lungs swell and produce mucus. When you have a common chest cold, you will most likely experience a sore throat, aches, pains, fatigue, a runny nose, chest congestion, a persistent hacking cough, and yellow or green phlegm. Chest colds typically get better within a week or so after fluids and rest.
Comparison Between Symptoms
When it comes to having a coronavirus, having a fever or headaches is common. However, with a cold, fever and headaches are rarer. Both COVID-19 and the common chest cold could sometimes involve fatigue. Diarrhea can rarely occur with COVID-19, but does not occur when you have a common chest cold. Having a sore throat or aches and pains is more common with a common chest cold, whereas these symptoms can only sometimes occur with COVID-19. A runny nose is common when with a chest cold, but rarer with COVID-19. A person with coronavirus will not sneeze, but sneezing is common with a chest cold. While both can cause coughing, coronavirus causes a dry cough and can often leave you breathless. The common chest cold will cause a yellow or green phlegmy cough.
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Risk Factors For Hospital
Pneumonia that is contracted in the hospital is called hospital-acquired, or nosocomial, pneumonia. It is the most common hospital-acquired infection in the intensive care unit . It affects an estimated 5 to 10 of every 1,000 hospitalized patients every year. More than half of these cases may be due to strains of bacteria that have developed resistance to antibiotics. In fact, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and multidrug-resistant P aeruginosa are leading causes of death from hospital-acquired pneumonia. Those at highest risk are:
- Older people and the very young.
- People with long-term or severe medical conditions, such as lung problems, heart disease, nervous system disorders, and cancer.
- People who have had surgery, particularly people over age 80 years. Among the surgical procedures that pose a particular risk are removal of the spleen , abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, or operations that impair coughing.
- People who have been in the ICU. This is particularly true for newborns or patients on breathing machines . People who lie flat on their backs are at particular risk for aspiration pneumonia. Raising the person up may reduce this risk.
- People who have received sedation. Hospital patients who receive sedatives also have a higher risk of developing nosocomial pneumonia.
- People who received antibiotics within the previous 90 days.
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Treatment For Chest Infections
Most people with bronchitis can be treated at home and make a full recovery. Assessment of the severity of pneumonia is complex. Some patients can be managed at home on simple antibiotics. Those assessed as severe may require admission to the intensive care unit and their illness may be life threatening.Treatment options include:
- Your doctor will advise you about any medications you need to get over this attack.
- Some people need to be admitted to hospital for further treatment, particularly young children and the elderly who are at greater risk of serious complications.
- Review with your local doctor may be needed within 48 hours, especially if you are not improving, and again in six weeks to make sure that you have made a full recovery. A chest x-ray may be needed at this time.
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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Natural Ways To Nip Bronchitis In The Bud
When prepared, your body can fight off viral infections. To be sure your immune system is up to the task, there are two main requirements: a hydrated body and optimal nutrition.
But if youre blindsided, there are a few things Dr. Cutler suggests that you can do to ramp up your bug-fighting powers, starting with:
- High dose Vitamin C at 9,000 mg in three divided doses each day until you have recovered. In a study of 252 students ages 18 to 30 years, those who received mega doses of Vitamin C reported flu and cold symptoms 85% less than those of the student control group who received pain relievers and decongestants. If you experience diarrhea, decrease the amount of vitamin C.
- High dose vitamin D has been shown to cause a powerful antimicrobial response. In 1948 researchers first reported near miraculous effects of high dose vitamin Ds effects on influenza and viral pneumonia. In later studies, mega doses of vitamin D was observed to naturally release antimicrobial peptides against infectious agents including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites.
Pneumonia Vs Cold: Us Prevalence And Economic Impact
Just because pneumonia has a small impact on health doesnt mean it has no impact. In fact, out of all deaths in children under five years old, 15 percent can be attributed to pneumonia. That figure added up to 922,000 for 2015. Worldwide, that means its still the largest cause of death for children within that age range.
The reason so many children are still dying due to pneumonia is because less than one third actually get the antibiotics needed to fight the symptoms. Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia make up the bulk of these deaths, with children being infected through airborne virus particles. However, pneumonia can also be spread through the blood, which becomes a problem during birth in these aforementioned regions.
The common cold is a more prevalent problem, despite its light physical impact. Its estimated that there are about 62 million Americans infected each year, accounting for about one billion colds. Breaking that number down further, thats over five million colds every month. Though the physical damage is low, the economic impact is not.
Think about this. During any given year, 40 percent of the time lost from work is due to a cold. For school, 30 percent of total time lost is due to cold symptoms. That measures to be over 20 million lost days of school and over 40 million lost work days. Figures like these cant be ignored.
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When A Cold Becomes Bronchitis
Coughing is your bodys way of getting rid of mucus in the chest. Its a healthy reflex. But when a cough persists long after cold symptoms are gone, its probably a case of bronchitis.
If your cough produces thickening, darker mucus, keeps you awake at night, or lasts more than three weeks, its time to call your doctor. Likewise, if your fever is over 100.4F, or you are having consistent difficulty breathing.
The bronchial tubes are passageways that carry air deep into your lungs. When the inner lining of these tubes becomes inflamed and swells up, breathing becomes difficult.
On top of that, the membranes in the bronchial tubes secrete extra mucus to soothe the irritation. The persistent coughing of bronchitis is a way to try and move that mucus up and out.
Clear mucus isnt a problem, but if youre coughing up green or yellow phlegm, its a sign of infection.
Other symptoms of bronchitis can include:
- a low fever,
- tightness or pain in your chest,
- wheezing ,
- and shortness of breath.
If you have bronchitis, you will also feel extremely fatigued. Restricted airways mean less than optimal oxygen being taken in. Respect this symptom, and give your body the rest it is asking for.
Is It A Chest Cold Or Bronchitis And Is Pneumonia Far Behind
Could colds, coughs and sore throats can happen any time of year.
There are so many healthy, warming drinks, as well as vitamin supplements and nutrition and lifestyle adjustments, that could keep you from getting sick.
But even the healthiest of us can catch germs from people around us, and before you know it, weve got chills, were sneezing and the nose and chest are clogged.
Its the chest you should be most concerned with.
What many people write off as just a chest cold is actually an inflammation of the lungs called bronchitis.
Heres how to know if youve got it, and how to treat it, keep yourself comfortable, and make sure it doesnt become a more serious respiratory issue.
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When Does A Cough Turn Into Pneumonia
If you prefer to listen to this article, click on the SoundCloud player below.
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.
Signs Its Time To See A Doctor
Itâs important to note that this list is not all inclusive. If you are concerned about your symptoms, call your doctor and ask for their advice.
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Symptoms Of Chest Infections
Pneumonia is more common in winter and spring. It can strike suddenly or come on slowly over a few days. The symptoms will depend on your age, the cause and severity of the infection, and any other medical problems you may have. Symptoms include:
- Fast or difficult breathing
- Coughing with brown or green-coloured phlegm
- Blue colour around the lips
- Stomach pain
- A child may vomit, have diarrhoea and be irritable or lethargic.
Pneumonia Diagnosis And Treatment
A clinical evaluation is necessary to diagnose pneumonia. The process may include taking your temperature, listening to your lungs with a stethoscope, analyzing your sputum and performing a chest X-ray, blood test and CT scan.
Treatment of pneumonia varies on its type and severity, as well as a persons other health issues. Antibiotics may be necessary, and plenty of rest and liquids are likely to be recommended.
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Is There A Such Thing As Mild Pneumonia In An Elderly Person And If So Is This Any Less Of An Urgent Situation
Ever wonder if its possible for an elderly person to experience a pneumonia thats only mild?
Of course it can, in folks who are generally healthy, begins Susan L. Besser, MD, with Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore Diplomate, American Board of Obesity Medicine and board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine.
But in the frail elderly, even a cold can cause significant issues.
Though pneumonia in an advanced-age patient doesnt always produce serious symptoms, this doesnt mean one should be any less vigilant with recovery.
Pneumonia in the elderly can produce what appears to be mild symptoms, as was the case with my mother, who at the time was over age 70.
Initially she appeared to just have a nagging cough. It would come on suddenly and shed have a spell of hacking.
I tried to get her to describe the nature of this cough, but her feedback was not reliable, as shes not someone whos very tuned into her body or symptoms.
My mothers cough sounded really bad and was producing phlegm, and I began suspecting pneumonia, something coming up from her lungs.
Even though my mother kept saying she felt fine, other than feeling tired or weak from all the coughing, I couldnt dismiss pneumonia as a real possible trigger of the coughing.
There were no other symptoms no fever, shakes, chills or shortness of breath pre-diagnosis.
The diagnosis at the ER was a little pneumonia.
The next day, my elderly but very mobile mother reported feeling weak.