When To Seek Non
Many times, a COPD exacerbation can be effectively managed at home, under the care of your physician. However, there are times that you will need to alert your doctor to changes in your condition that could indicate that your COPD is worsening. Keep careful track of your symptoms and note anything that is new or that seems to be more severe. Report any of the following warning signs to your physician within 24 hours:
- Worsening shortness of breathShortness of breath is typical with COPD, but shortness of breath that has worsened or occurs more frequently than usual is one of the hallmark symptoms of COPD exacerbation. Contact your physician if:
- Youre unable to walk as far as you normally do
- Youre breathlessness causes you to sit upright or prop yourself up on pillows while sleeping
- The work of breathing tires you out
- You need to use your rescue inhaler or do breathing treatments more often
- Shortness of breath awakens you from sleep more than once during the night
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.
How To Prevent Pneumonia
The bottom line? Check in with your doctor as soon start experiencing symptoms of pneumonia, especially if those symptoms start getting worse.
Even better than treatment is prevention, which comes in the form of immunization, says Dr. Niederman. Make sure you get your flu shot every year, and if youre someone suffering from chronic illness or youre over the age of 65, ask your doctor about the pneumococcal vaccine, which protects your body against the streptococcus bacteria. And once a coronavirus vaccine is available to you, get vaccinated.
And the same advice weve all been following to prevent the spread of COVID works for all types of pneumonia: Wearing a mask, washing your hands regularly , disinfecting your phone and counters, finding time to unwind from the days stress, getting plenty of sleep, and eating a healthy diet full of immunity-supporting foods all work toward keeping malicious bugs out of your system.
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What To Expect By Age And Health
Here is how age can affect your recovery from pneumonia:
- Infants under the age of 6 months are typically hospitalized for pneumonia out of an abundance of caution.
- Children over the age of 6 months are more likely to be treated at home, provided they are typically healthy.
- Older adults may take longer to bounce back from pneumonia since our immune system naturally weakens the older we get, especially if you have a preexisting health condition. Its also more common for the elderly and chronically ill to be hospitalized for pneumonia since the rate of complications and mortality increases for those over the age of 65.
Pneumonia After Recovering From Covid
Now, we already know how both Pneumonia and COVID-19 damages the lung cells and disrupt the complete breathing process of an individual. However, the risk of developing pneumonia increases as and when the body gets infected by the deadly COVID-19 virus. Why? it is so because the lung cells at this point are already damaged with the COVID virus.
To understand the complication further, TheHealthSite.com spoke to cardiologist M.K Mukherjee, Max Hospital, Saket. According to the doctor, two things raise the risk of developing pneumonia in COVID recovered patients weak lungs, poor habits while and after recovering from COVID. “The COVID-19 virus causes severe inflammation in the lungs. It damages the cells and tissue that line the air sacs in the lungs. These sacs are where the oxygen one breathes is processed and gets delivered to the blood, which carries it to the other body parts. The damage causes tissue to break off and thus clog the lungs. The walls of the air sacs thus get inflamed, making it very hard for a person to breathe.”
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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.
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.
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What Is Pneumonia Exactly
Pneumonia is an infection in the gas-exchanging units of the lung , says Michael Niederman, M.D., clinical director of pulmonary and critical care medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York. Translation: the air sacs in your lungs become inflamed or even fill with fluid or pus, which interferes with your bodys ability to deliver oxygen to your blood.
About half the time, its due to bacteria, says Dr. Edelman. The other half the time, its due to viruses. The most common type of pneumonia is caused by the bacteria streptococcus pneumoniae, in the same family of bacteria that causes strep throat. Influenza is also a key virus that can spur pneumonia, and fungi can be a culprit, too. The novel coronavirus, of course, can also cause pneumonia, albeit one with a longer incubation period than, say, the flu, says Dr. Dasgupta.
Pneumonia develops if the organism overwhelms the patients host defenses, says Dr. Niederman. This basically means that a foreign bug takes over your immune system, even if youre generally healthy. Thats because certain organisms, like those associated with the flu, can be particularly hostile or invade your body in large numbers.
Diagnostic Tests And Procedures
If your doctor thinks you have pneumonia, he or she may do one or more of the following tests.
- Chest X-ray to look for inflammation in your lungs. A chest X-ray is often used to diagnose pneumonia.
- Blood tests, such as a complete blood count to see whether your immune system is fighting an infection.
- Pulse oximetry to measure how much oxygen is in your blood. Pneumonia can keep your lungs from moving enough oxygen into your blood. To measure the levels, a small sensor called a pulse oximeter is attached to your finger or ear.
If you are in the hospital, have serious symptoms, are older, or have other health problems, your doctor may do other tests to diagnose pneumonia.
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.
Limit Contact With Others
One of the best things you can do when recovering from pneumonia is to limit your contact with others. As weve learned throughout the COVID-19 pandemicwhich can cause viral pneumoniastaying at least six feet away from others reduces the amount of viral or bacterial content they are exposed to as you breathe or talk.
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Why Does It Take So Long To Recover From Pneumonia
You can’t see the damage pneumonia causes, but you certainly feel it.
The air sacs in your lungs become inflamed during pneumonia, leading to soreness and pain. If the infection and inflammation progress, your lungs may fill with fluid and dead lung tissue, leading to the green, yellow or even bloody mucus you cough up. This fluid may also affect how well oxygen is able to transfer into your bloodstream, leading to difficulty breathing.
“Once the infection is cleared with treatment, your body still has to deal with removing all of the fluid, damage and debris left behind in your lungs. This can take a few weeks, resulting in a lingering cough and reduced lung capacity,” explains Dr. Lee. “During this time, you may find physical exertion more tiring than usual.”
A more severe case of pneumonia can cause even more damage to your lungs, which can be significant and even permanent in some cases.
“After severe pneumonia, lung capacity is reduced and muscles may be weak from being so ill. Significant weight loss can further contribute to weakness and other health conditions may be aggravated due to the stress placed on the body during illness. These are all things your body will need time to recover from,” says Dr. Lee.
In fact, it may take another several months for you to fully heal and regain strength.
Is There A Vaccine For Pneumonia
There isnt a vaccine for all types of pneumonia, but 2 vaccines are available. These help prevent pneumonia caused by pneumococcal bacteria. The first is recommended for all children younger than 5 years of age. The second is recommended for anyone age 2 or older who is at increased risk for pneumonia. Getting the pneumonia vaccine is especially important if you:
- Are 65 years of age or older.
- Have certain chronic conditions, such as asthma, lung disease, diabetes, heart disease, sickle cell disease, or cirrhosis.
- Have a weakened immune system because of HIV/AIDS, kidney failure, a damaged or removed spleen, a recent organ transplant, or receiving chemotherapy.
- Have cochlear implants .
The pneumococcal vaccines cant prevent all cases of pneumonia. But they can make it less likely that people who are at risk will experience the severe, and possibly life-threatening, complications of pneumonia.
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What Is Bacterial Pneumonia
Bacteria are the most common cause of pneumonia in adults.
Types of bacteria that cause pneumonia include:
- Streptococcus pneumoniae
- Chlamydophila pneumoniae
- Haemophilus influenzae type B
Streptococcus pneumoniae, also known as pneumococcus, is the most common cause of bacterial pneumonia in adults, called pneumococcal pneumonia.
It may be prevented by a vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends two pneumonia vaccines for adults 65 years and older: pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, or Prevnar 13 , and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, or Pneumovax 23 .
According to the CDC:
- You should receive a dose of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine first, followed at least one year later by a dose of the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine .
- If you’ve already received any doses of PPSV23, the dose of PCV13 should be given at least one year after the most recent PPSV23 dose.
- If you’ve already received a dose of the PCV13 at a younger age, another dose is not recommended.
Mycoplasma pneumoniae usually infects younger adults who work in crowded areas, such as schools, homeless shelters, or prisons.
Chlamydophila pneumoniae causes a mild pneumonia infection that usually affects people older than 60.
Other bacterial pneumonia symptoms include:
- High fever
- Sore throat
Follow Your Treatment Plan
It is important that you take all your medicines as your doctor prescribes. If you are using antibiotics, continue to take the medicine until it is all gone. You may start to feel better before you finish the medicine, but you should continue to take it. If you stop too soon, the bacterial infection and your pneumonia may come back. It may also become resistant to the antibiotic, making treatment more difficult.
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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.
What Other Problems Can Pneumonia Cause
Sometimes pneumonia can cause serious complications such as:
- Bacteremia, which happens when the bacteria move into the bloodstream. It is serious and can lead to .
- Lung abscesses, which are collections of pus in cavities of the lungs
- Pleural disorders, which are conditions that affect the pleura. The pleura is the tissue that covers the outside of the lungs and lines the inside of your chest cavity.
- Respiratory failure
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What Happens To Your Lungs When You Get Covid
COVID-19 virus infection is so far the worst battle that mankind has ever witnessed. It is a severe respiratory disease that mainly targets the lungs, leading to several serious symptoms such as drop-in oxygen levels, trouble in breathing, etc. So what exactly happens to your lungs when you catch the virus? According to the studies, the virus gets into the body through respiratory organs such as the mouth, nose, etc. After entering the body the virus comes in contact with the mucous membranes which are present in the respiratory tract innings. The virus then enters one healthy cell and the cell, in turn, makes new virus parts. This one cell then multiplies, and the new viruses then infect the other cells present nearby. The virus then splits into smaller and smaller branches in the lungs. Thus infecting the lungs and the alveoli slowly, leading to symptoms like breathing issues, cough, etc.
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.
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Covid Can Damage Your Lungs To A Great Extent Thus Taking Care Of This Organ Post
Written by Satata Karmakar | Updated : January 3, 2022 4:51 PM IST
Pneumonia, a common lung infection that can affect one or both the lungs and lead to inflammation in the air sacs called alveoli, is one of the most common symptoms of deadly coronavirus infection. COVID-19 causing SARS-CoV2 virus was first identified in China’s Wuhan in 2019, ever since then in the last two years, the virus has mutated and formed several virulent strains which mainly target the lungs. While some people experience only mild to moderate symptoms of the infection, others can end up fighting long-term health issues from the virus. Experts have also stated that the risk of developing a lung infection is higher among those who are infected or have recovered from COVID-19. With the arrival of another contagious strain Omicron, let’s know from the experts the various warning symptoms that the lungs of a COVID recovered patient may show to indicate pneumonia.