Can I Prevent Pneumonia
The routine vaccinations that most people receive as kids help prevent certain types of pneumonia and other infections. If you have a chronic illness, such as sickle cell disease, you may have received extra vaccinations and disease-preventing antibiotics to help prevent pneumonia and other infections caused by bacteria.
People should get a pneumococcal vaccination if they have diseases that affect their immune system , are 65 years or older, or are in other high-risk groups. Depending on the bugs that are likely to affect them, these people also may get antibiotics to prevent pneumonia, as well as antiviral medicine to prevent or lessen the effects of viral pneumonia.
Doctors recommend that everyone 6 months and older get an annual flu shot. That’s because someone with the flu could then come down with pneumonia. Call your doctor’s office or check your local health department to see when these vaccines are available.
Because pneumonia is often caused by germs, a good way to prevent it is to keep your distance from anyone you know who has pneumonia or other respiratory infections. Use separate drinking glasses and eating utensils wash your hands often with warm, soapy water and avoid touching used tissues and paper towels.
You also can stay strong and help avoid some of the illnesses that might lead to pneumonia by eating as healthily as possible, getting a minimum of 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night, and not smoking.
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Whats The Outlook For People With Pneumonia
The time that it takes to recover from pneumonia can vary by individual. Some may find that they can go back to their normal routine in about a week. Others may need some additional time to recover. Sometimes tiredness and fatigue can linger for several weeks.
Illness may also be more severe in at-risk groups like young children, older adults, and people with underlying conditions. These groups often require hospitalization and close monitoring through their treatment and recovery.
What about the different causes of pneumonia? The time until symptoms improve can also depend on whats causing your infection.
In bacterial pneumonia, you may begin to feel better after several days of antibiotic treatment. Viral pneumonia typically improves in while fungal pneumonia may require taking antifungal medications for weeks or even months.
what to do while recovering
Remember, the germs that cause pneumonia can be contagious. While youre recovering, be sure to do the following:
- limit contact with others
- cover your nose and mouth when you cough
- wash your hands frequently
- throw away any used tissues promptly in a covered container
Be sure to speak to your doctor about when you can go back to your normal activities. Your doctor may also want to schedule a follow-up chest X-ray to make sure that your infection has completely cleared.
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Can You Have Pneumonia Without A Cough Other Symptoms And
Symptoms of pneumonia differ from person to person, pneumonia might notBronchitis and pneumonia also often come with a wet cough, which may be mild or high Shaking chills Shortness of breath Other symptoms include: Confusion, dry cough, if you feel the first signs of coronavirus, but this is not always the case, within a few days
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, Pneumovax23Â® and Prevnar13Â®, protect against the most common causes of bacterial pneumonia.
- Pneumovax23Â® 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.
- Prevnar13Â® 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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Why Do Some People Have Pneumonia Without A Fever And Others Have One With A Fever
A fever is a type of immune reaction. It is one of the ways your body tries to fend off an invasion by disease-causing germs. Pneumonia is a type of infection where the invading germs settle down in your lungs. To have a fever with pneumonia, the following sequence of events must happen inside your body.
Any defect in the steps can result in pneumonia without a fever.
There are certain viruses that dont produce fever-causing chemicals. There was a research article published in the Cambridge University Press where they identified such viruses. . Some people have defects in the immune system that causes it fail to recognize the specific triggers. Some people have defects in producing the signal-magnifying chemicals, and are unable to tell the brain to reset the thermostat to start a fever.
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Is Pneumonia Without A Fever Always Dangerous
No, absolutely not.
If you go back to the list of things that are needed to have a fever with pneumonia, the people with the worst outcome when suffering from pneumonia without a fever are the ones who are unable to have a fever due to problems in step 5 or step 6 of the sequence. These are those who cannot effectively reset the thermostat or those who cant generate enough heat for a fever. You may have a mild viral pneumonia without a fever and you may not even know about it.
Among patients with mild, community-acquired bacterial pneumonia, a fever may or may not be present. Some of them have only had a cough, chest discomfort, and an increased heart rate. Others may only have weakness, dizziness, and a cough. When they only have mild symptoms, they can be treated with antibiotics at home regardless of whether they have pneumonia without a fever or with a fever.
Pneumonia is a disease that may only cause mild discomfort in some people, but can be a serious life-threatening illness in others. If you want to read about mild pneumonia and its treatment, you can read this other article.
Here at PatientEducationMD, our goal is to explore different aspects of common but potentially serious medical issues, and pneumonia is one of the subjects we are exploring in great detail. If you would like to see a list of all of our articles on pneumonia, you can go to our Diseases and Conditions page and click on pneumonia.
Does Pneumonia Cause Fever When To Go To Urgent Care
Pneumonia is an infection that inflames the tiny air sacs in the lungs called alveoli. Although microscopic, theyre vital to respiration. The alveoli pick up the incoming oxygen and release the outgoing waste thats exhaled. When the alveoli become inflamed, air cant pass easily in and out of your lungs. A variety of organisms, like bacteria, viruses and fungi, can infect these tiny air sacs and lead to pneumonia.
Contrary to what you may think, pneumonia can affect anyone, at any age, including otherwise healthy adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1.7 million people visit the emergency room each year with pneumonia as their primary diagnosis.
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What Are The Treatments For Pneumonia
Treatment for pneumonia depends on the type of pneumonia, which germ is causing it, and how severe it is:
- Antibiotics treat bacterial pneumonia and some types of fungal pneumonia. They do not work for viral pneumonia.
- In some cases, your provider may prescribe antiviral medicines for viral pneumonia
- Antifungal medicines treat other types of fungal pneumonia
You may need to be treated in a hospital if your symptoms are severe or if you are at risk for complications. While there, you may get additional treatments. For example, if your blood oxygen level is low, you may receive oxygen therapy.
It may take time to recover from pneumonia. Some people feel better within a week. For other people, it can take a month or more.
Does Pneumonia Cause Fever
You might be wondering, Does pneumonia cause fever? Pneumonia can range in severity from mild to life-threatening, with symptoms that mimic a cold or flu, but they tend to last longer. Most people with pneumonia have symptoms for 2-4 weeks. While it is possible to have pneumonia without fever at first, a person with a viral upper respiratory infection will get a fever and may develop a secondary bacterial infection, which may cause a fever to rise as high as a dangerous 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
Other symptoms of pneumonia may include:
- Chest pain when you breathe or cough
- Shortness of breath
- Sweating and shaking chills
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Lower-than-average internal body temperature
- Confusion or changes in mental awareness
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When Should I See My Doctor
Pneumonia can be life-threatening if left untreated, especially for certain at-risk people. You should call your doctor if you have a cough that wont go away, shortness of breath, chest pain, or a fever. You should also call your doctor if you suddenly begin to feel worse after having a cold or the flu.
More Severe Cases May Also Cause:
- quick breathing
- rapid heartbeat
- nausea and vomiting
Some people get a sharp pain in their chest when they breathe in and out. This may be because the thin lining between the lung and ribcage, called the pleura, is infected and inflamed. This inflammation, called pleurisy, stops your lungs moving smoothly as you breathe.
The symptoms of pneumonia are often very similar to those of other chest infections, such as bronchitis, COPD flare-ups or bronchiectasis flare-ups. To get a proper diagnosis youll need to visit your GP.
If you feel unwell with these symptoms, see your GP or call 111. If you have chest pain, a rapid heartbeat, quick breathing, shivers or confusion, get urgent advice from your GP or call 999. Take extra care if youre over 65.
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Caring For Your Symptoms At Home
Many chest infections arent serious and get better within a few days or weeks. You wont usually need to see your GP, unless your symptoms suggest you have a more serious infection .
While you recover at home, you can improve your symptoms by:
- getting plenty of rest
- drinking lots of fluid to prevent dehydration and to loosen the mucus in your lungs, making it easier to cough up
- treating headaches, fever and aches and pains with painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen
- drinking a warm drink of honey and lemon to relieve a sore throat caused by persistent coughing
- raising your head up with extra pillows while youre sleeping to make breathing easier
- using an air humidifier or inhaling steam from a bowl of hot water to ease your cough
- stopping smoking
Avoid cough medicines, as theres little evidence they work, and coughing actually helps you clear the infection more quickly by getting rid of the phlegm from your lungs.
Antibiotics arent recommended for many chest infections, because they only work if the infection is caused by bacteria, rather than a virus.
Your GP will usually only prescribe antibiotics if they think you have pneumonia, or youre at risk of complications such as fluid building up around the lungs .
If theres a flu outbreak in your local area and youre at risk of serious infection, your GP may also prescribe antiviral medication.
Read more about treating bronchitis and treating pneumonia
When To Call Your Healthcare Provider Or 911
Its important to be vigilant about how you feel if you suspect you have pneumonia or have been diagnosed with it. Let your healthcare provider know if you experience:
- Chronic shortness of breath or breathing difficulties
- Persistent fever with heavy mucus production
- Unusually severe fatigue
In some cases, pneumonia can become dangerous and even lead to a medical emergency. Call 911 when you have:
- Shortness of breath or breathing difficulties even at rest
- Chest pain and discomfort that gets worse
- Confusion or cognitive difficulties
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How Can I Tell If I Have Pneumonia Versus The Common Cold Or The Flu
Do I have a cold or could it be the flu or even pneumonia? Its tough to tell the difference but critical to know when to seek medical care
Watch for these ongoing symptoms that occur in pneumonia:
- Serious congestion or chest pain.
- Difficulty breathing.
- A fever of 102 or higher.
- Coughing that produces pus.
Pneumonia symptoms last longer than cold and flu. If your symptoms arent severe, its okay to try such home remedies as getting more rest, drinking more fluids and taking some over-the-counter medicines and see what happens. But if you dont see improvement in your symptoms after three to five days, or if you are experiencing more serious symptoms such as dizziness or severe difficulty breathing, see your healthcare provider. Dont let it go. Pneumonia-like symptoms in very young children or in adults older than 65 are a cause for concern. Also, pneumonia can cause permanent lung damage if left untreated for too long. And always seek immediate care if you experience chest pain or have breathing difficulties.
Symptoms That Differentiate Pneumonia From The Common Cold2
When you are looking at the signs and symptoms of pneumonia versus a cold, it is helpful to look at duration, severity and types of symptoms. Unlike pneumonia, cold symptoms often do not require that you stay home sick, and generally, the symptoms of a cold are not severe enough to warrant a call to your doctor. If your symptoms last longer than 10 days, come on suddenly and/or grow increasingly severe, you should contact your physician as soon as possible as you may have pneumonia. After reviewing the following 12 signs and symptoms of pneumonia, it should be easier for you to differentiate it from the symptoms of a common cold.So what does pneumonia feel like?
- Fever, often high
- Shivering that may be accompanied by teeth-chattering chills
- Cough that is likely to be worse than the mild cough you may experience with a cold
- Mucus that may be rusty, green or blood-tinged
- Shortness of breath
- Confusion, particularly in older people
- Sharp pain in the chest that worsens when you take a deep breath or cough
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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 Can I Do To Feel Better If I Have Pneumonia
- Finish all medications and therapies prescribed by your doctor. Do not stop taking antibiotics when you start feeling better. Continue taking them until no pills remain. If you dont take all your antibiotics, your pneumonia may come back.
- If over-the-counter medicines to reduce fever have been recommended , take as directed on the label. Never give aspirin to children.
- Drink plenty of fluids to help loosen phlegm.
- Quit smoking if you smoke. Dont be around others who smoke or vape. Surround yourself with as much clean, chemical-free air as possible.
- Use a humidifier, take a steamy shower or bath to make it easier for you to breathe.
- Get lots of rest. Dont rush your recovery. It can take weeks to get your full strength back.
If at any time you start to feel worse, call your doctor right away.
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