Going To The Hospital
If you have severe pneumonia, you may have to go to the hospital:
- In most cases of pneumonia you get in your daily life, such as at school or work , it is not necessary to go to the hospital.footnote 2
- About one-third of people with community-based pneumonia are age 65 or older.footnote 2 Older adults are treated in the hospital more often and stay longer for the condition than younger people.footnote 2 Pneumonia is more serious in this group, because they often have and may develop other medical problems.
How To Determine If You Have Pneumonia
This article was medically reviewed by Victor Catania, MD. Dr. Catania is a board certified Family Medicine Physician in Pennsylvania. He received his MD from the Medical University of the Americas in 2012 and completed his residency in Family Medicine at the Robert Packer Hospital. He is a member of the American Board of Family Medicine.There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 75,807 times.
Research shows that pneumonia is an infection of the air sacs in your lungs that can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the worlds leading hospitalsGo to source This infection is most dangerous for children, elderly people, and those with weakened immune systems, and it can become life-threatening. Experts note that if you recognize the symptoms and seek medical help right away, pneumonia can be treated effectively.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the worlds leading hospitalsGo to source
Focus On Your Breathing
Being more mindful of your breathing can help. Not sure how to do this? Try this exercise, which can be done by lying down or sitting up:
When breathing “properly,” the hand over your stomach should be moving more than the hand over your chest.
Using your abdomen when you are breathing means the diaphragm is doing its job and taking the workload off your lungs
Breathing in and counting for a few seconds, then out for few seconds while focusing on using your abdomen can help reduce some of your breathing difficulties. This breathing technique can also reduce the anxiety that sometimes comes with difficulty breathing.
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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.
Recognizing The Signs Of Pneumonia And How To Prevent It
Respiratory infections are much more common in the wintertime. Although the majority of respiratory illnesses arent life threatening, some certainly can be. Pneumonia is one that falls into this category. It can be caused by a virus, bacteria, or fungi. In many cases, pneumonia is also associated with another infection or aspiration of a foreign substance into the lungs. Since pneumonia can be deadly if left untreated, understanding its signs and symptoms is crucial. Likewise, knowing how to prevent pneumonia could help save the life of you or a loved one. In this article, well look at some of the most common symptoms and signs of pneumonia, what causes it, and how you can prevent it.
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What Can I Do At Home To Feel Better
In addition to taking any antibiotics and/or medicine your doctor prescribes, you should also:
- Get lots of rest. Rest will help your body fight the infection.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Fluids will keep you hydrated. They can help loosen the mucus in your lungs. Try water, warm tea, and clear soups.
- Stop smoking if you smoke and avoid secondhand smoke. Smoke can make your symptoms worse. Smoking also increases your risk of developing pneumonia and other lung problems in the future. You should also avoid lit fireplaces or other areas where the air may not be clean.
- Stay home from school or work until your symptoms go away. This usually means waiting until your fever breaks and you arent coughing up mucus. Ask your doctor when its okay for you to return to school or work.
- Use a cool-mist humidifier or take a warm bath. This will help clear your lungs and make it easier for you to breathe.
Pneumonia Prevention And How To Care For Your Child
During the winter, the flu isnt the only illness were at risk forpneumonia is a culprit too. In fact, weve seen the topic of pneumonia in the media lately because former First Lady Barbara Bush was hospitalized for the illness, according to the New York Times. Pneumonia is more serious than a regular cold, which is what inspired my RN Remedies blog post, Signs, Symptoms and Treatment of Pneumonia and this post. Continue reading for prevention tips and how to care for your child if they become ill with pneumonia.
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Peppermint Eucalyptus And Fenugreek Tea
Many warm herbal teas can help soothe a scratchy throat, but herbs may be more beneficial.
A 2011 study found that herbs, including peppermint and eucalyptus, had a soothing effect on the throats of people with upper respiratory tract infections. These herbs may help break up mucus and ease the pain and inflammation caused by pneumonia.
A review from 2018 notes that fenugreek seeds might help break down mucus. A tea made from ground fenugreek seeds may therefore ease a persistent cough.
Eucalyptus and tea tree oils may also help relieve coughs. People can use these in a diffuser. However, they should try limiting their exposure at first, to ensure that the use of oils does not worsen their symptoms.
What Is The Treatment For Pneumonia
Mild cases of pneumonia can be treated at home with rest, antibiotics and drinking plenty of fluids. However, pneumonia can be severe and require hospital admission or intensive care unit admission. It can lead to death particularly in those who are older or with other health problems. Hospital admission is often recommended for babies, young children and older adults and for those with severe disease. It is important to take your treatment and see a doctor if you or child is not improving or you or your child develop severe symptoms.
Antibiotics can be used to treat pneumonia caused by bacteria but are not effective if it is caused by a virus. However, it is difficult to tell if pneumonia is caused by bacteria or a virus, so antibiotics are usually prescribed if pneumonia is diagnosed.
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Is Pneumonia Treated Any Differently In Children
Essentially no. Just like adults, bacterial causes of pneumonia in children may be treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics are not used to treat pneumonia caused by viruses. Flu-related pneumonia may be treated with antiviral medicine if caught early in the course of illness. Most cases of pneumonia are treated with comfort care measures that ease symptoms. These may include:
- Drinking more fluids.
- Getting more rest.
- Taking over-the-counter medicines for cough and acetaminophen for fever. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about giving medicines to your child.
- Using a cool mist humidifier in your childs room.
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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Tips To Prevent Pneumonia
Pneumonia isnt a contagious disease, though it usually happens after a respiratory infection, like a cold or the flu. These diseases are caused by viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms. Fortunately, some preventive measures can be key to avoiding the development of this disease.
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Pneumonia Vs Cold And Flu Symptoms
Itâs tricky, because pneumonia can be a complication of colds and flu. This happens when the germs that cause those common illnesses get into your lungs. You might be feeling better, but then you start getting symptoms again and this time, they can be a lot worse.
Cold symptoms tend to start slowly. Youâre more likely to sneeze and have a runny nose and sore throat than with either the flu or pneumonia. Colds donât usually cause a fever in adults.
The top clue that you have the flu is that the symptoms come on strong, seemingly out of nowhere. You may have:
- Fever above 100.4 F
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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.
Are There Treatments For Covid
Pneumonia may need treatment in a hospital with oxygen, a ventilator to help you breathe, and intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration.
Clinical trials are looking into whether some drugs and treatments used for other conditions might treat severe COVID-19 or related pneumonia, including dexamethasone, a corticosteroid.
The FDA has approved the antiviral remdesivir for treatment of patients hospitalized with COVID. The drug was origininally developed to treat the Ebola virus.
The agency rescinded an emergency use authorization for the anti-malarials chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine amid serious concerns about their safety and how well they worked against the virus.
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In Older Adults And Children
Older adults may have different, fewer, or milder symptoms, such as having no fever or having a cough with no mucus . The major sign of pneumonia in older adults may be a change in how clearly they think or when a lung disease they already have gets worse.
In children, symptoms may depend on age:
- In infants younger than 1 month of age, symptoms may include having little or no energy , feeding poorly, grunting, or having a fever.
- In children, symptoms of pneumonia are often the same as in adults. Your doctor will look for signs such as a cough and a faster breathing rate.
Some conditions with symptoms similar to pneumonia include bronchitis, COPD, and tuberculosis.
Sleep Well To Prevent Pneumonia
Sleeping well is crucial for treating any illnesses caused by a weakened immune system. While you rest, mechanisms are activated that are key to fighting against viruses and bacteria.
So, to prevent pneumonia its important to take enough time to rest, especially when you have a respiratory infection.
Is it hard for you to sleep? If so, try the following:
- Meditate a little before going to bed.
- Prepare the room before going to bed
- Drink tea with sedative properties .
- Read or listen to relaxing music.
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Caring For A Child Battling Pneumonia
If you think your child has pneumonia, schedule an appointment with their pediatrician promptly. In most cases, pneumonia can be treated at home after your child sees their doctor, but in more serious cases children require hospitalization.
Tips for caring for your child at home:
I hope this information is helpful. Remember, pneumonia prevention is key and that involves your family staying healthy. Remind your child to wash their hands frequently and practice good hygiene, keep them away from those that are sick, feed them healthy and nutritious food and make sure they get vaccinated. I always think that parent instincts are spot-on, so if you are worried that your child may have pneumonia, make sure they are evaluated promptly by the pediatrician.
Medical History And Physical Exam
Your provider will ask about your symptoms and when they began. They will also ask whether you have any risk factors for pneumonia. You may also be asked about:
- Exposure to sick people at home, school, or work or in a hospital
- Flu or pneumonia vaccinations
- Past and current medical conditions and whether any have gotten worse recently
- Recent travel
- Exposure to birds and other animals
During your physical exam, your provider will check your temperature and listen to your lungs with a stethoscope.
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Southern Cross Medical Library
The purpose of the Southern Cross Medical Library is to provide information of a general nature to help you better understand certain medical conditions. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. This information is not intended to relate specifically to insurance or healthcare services provided by Southern Cross. For more articles go to the Medical Library index page.
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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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Get Help Straight Away If:
- your child develops a chest infection after a cold or the flu children can become very sick very quickly if they develop pneumonia
- you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as rapid breathing or difficulty breathing, chest pain or confusion, persistent fever or if a bluish tinge develops in your skin, lips and nail beds.
Preventing Pneumonia And Its Complications
Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to help prevent pneumonia and reduce the risk of serious complications:
- Immunize against pneumonia, if you are 65 or older, by speaking with your healthcare provider about getting both the pneumococcal vaccine that protects against 23 strains of pneumococcus bacteria and the other vaccine that protects against 13 strains,* advises the Ontario Lung Association.
- Get your annual flu shot to prevent influenza because many people contract pneumonia after having the flu,* says NHLBI.
- Wash your hands often to protect against respiratory infections that can lead to pneumonia,* says Mayo Clinic
- Stay away from people who have infectious illnesses, and dont share their cups or eating utensils,* advises the Canadian Lung Association
- Keep your immune system strong by eating healthy foods, being physically active and getting plenty of rest,* suggests NHLBI.
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Be Aware Of Your General Health
- Since pneumonia often follows respiratory infections, be aware of any symptoms that linger more than a few days.
- Good health habitsa healthy diet, rest, regular exercise, etc.help you from getting sick from viruses and respiratory illnesses. They also help promote fast recovery when you do get a cold, the flu or other respiratory illness.
If you have children, talk to their doctor about:
- Hib vaccine, which prevents pneumonia in children from Haemophilus influenza type b
- A drug called Synagis , which is given to some children younger than 24 months to prevent pneumonia caused by respiratory syncytial virus .
If you have cancer or HIV, talk to your doctor about additional ways to prevent pneumonia and other infections.
Here Are Precautions One Must Take To Prevent Pneumonia During The Pandemic Listed By Dr Jeenam Shah Chest Physician And Interventional Pulmonologist
Reported By:| |Source: DNA webdesk |Updated: May 20, 2021, 02:43 PM IST
Pneumonia a lung infection, usually caused by bacteria or virus or fungus. Pneumonia affects the lungs’ air sacs called alveoli. Alveoli are filled with pus, fluid or making difficulty in breathing.
COVID is one of the possible factors contributing to pneumonia, there are many other causes as well. In most cases, the microorganisms overcome the body’s natural defences and go into the lungs and get multiply.
When respiratory droplets containing the virus enters the upper respiratory tract infection of SARS-CoV-2 beings. As the virus multiplies, infections keep increasing in the lungs which possibly results in developing pneumonia. The oxygen that we breathe into the lungs get mixed into the bloodstream inside the alveoli, which is the air sacs in the lungs. Hence, infection with SARS-CoV-2 may damage the alveoli and the tissues around them.
As the immune system fights with the virus, inflammation may cause dead cells and fluid to build up the lungs. These factors get restrict with the transfer of oxygen, resulting in the symptoms like coughing and shortness of breath. Hence people with COVID19 pneumonia can develop acute respiratory distress syndrome a respiratory failure that occurs when the air sacs in the lungs filled up with fluid which makes breathing hard. Many people with ARDS need the support of a ventilator to help them breathe.
– Wash your hands with soap or sanitiser at least for 20secs
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