Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Smoking is considered to be the main cause of COPD. Smoking can also worsen other conditions that cause wheezing.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a progressive lung disease which makes breathing difficult. This can happen because the walls of your air sacs or the walls between air sacs get damaged , or the lining of your airways is constantly irritated leading to the formation of thick mucus , or both.11 Smoking is considered to be the main cause of COPD. Long-term exposure to other things that can irritate your lungs like chemical fumes, air pollution etc. can also lead to COPD. In some cases, people who are genetically deficient in a protein known as alpha-1 antitrypsin can also develop this condition. COPD is usually observed in middle-aged or elderly people.
Other symptoms that indicate COPD include coughing with or without phlegm, shortness of breath that worsens with activity, and fatigue
What to do: COPD causes permanent damage to your lungs, however, there are some measures which can stop this condition from getting worse and help to ease symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe medicine and inhalers that can help you breathe better. Pulmonary rehabilitation exercises can also be helpful in teaching you to breathe better.12
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.
Insect Stings And Medications
Insect stings which cause an allergic reaction are likely to cause wheezing. Wheezing can also be a side effect of certain medicines like aspirin. Do check with your doctor whether any medicine that youre taking can be responsible for making you wheeze.
What to do: If you start wheezing or experience other symptoms like nausea, a fast heart rate, dizziness, trouble swallowing, or confusion after an insect bite do seek immediate medical help as you could be experiencing a severe allergic reaction.14 Wheezing that occurs immediately after taking a new medicine also needs urgent medical attention.
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What Is The Treatment For Pneumonia
Antibiotic medications are the treatment of choice for pneumonia caused by bacterial and fungal infections. The exact choice of medications depends on many factors, including the following:
- The organism responsible for the infection
- The likelihood that the organism is resistant to certain antibiotics
- The patient’s underlying health condition
About 80% of cases of CAP can be managed at home with the patient taking oral antibiotics. There are numerous treatment regimens available. Initial treatment is called empiric treatment and is based upon the organisms most likely to be responsible for the illness. Once the exact organism has been identified in the laboratory and susceptibility testing performed to determine which antibiotics are effective, the treatment regimen can be further individualized. Over-the-counterpain and fever-reducing medications may be recommended for some people in addition to antibiotics or antiviral drugs for symptom relief. Do not take cough or cold medications when suffering from pneumonia without a doctor’s approval.
In around 20% of cases, CAP must be managed in the hospital, typically with intravenous antibiotics initially. HAP care is managed in the hospital, typically with intravenous antibiotics.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- I have a chronic condition. Am I at higher risk for pneumonia?
- Do I have bacterial, viral, or fungal pneumonia? Whats the best treatment?
- Am I contagious?
- How serious is my pneumonia? Will I need to be hospitalized?
- What can I do at home to help relieve my symptoms?
- What are the possible complications of pneumonia? How will I know if Im developing complications?
- What should I do if my symptoms dont respond to treatment or get worse?
- Do we need to schedule a follow-up exam?
- Do I need any vaccines?
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Ratio Of Inspiration To Expiration
As noted, the relationship between inspiration and expiration can vary depending on where you listen. This is calculated as a ratio that compares one to the other. The normal ratio of inhalation to exhalation in bronchial breath sounds is 1:2 at rest and while sleeping. This means it takes twice as long to exhale as it takes to inhale. After exercising, the ratio is 1:1, which means the time it takes for each is the same.
A change in this ratio may indicate that there’s a problem. For example, with obstructive lung diseases such as emphysema, the ratio may instead be 1:4 or even 1:5.
Causes Of Walking Pneumonia
Walking pneumonia can be caused by viruses or bacteria. According to the American Lung Association, most cases are caused by M. pneumoniae, a common type of bacteria that usually affects children and adults under the age of 40. M. pneumoniae infections tend to peak in summer and early fall but can happen throughout the year.
Chlamydophila pneumoniae can also cause walking pneumonia. Infections from this type of bacteria are common in all four seasons. It often spreads in crowded environments, like college dorms and long-term care facilities.
Adults and children can also contract walking pneumonia from viruses. Respiratory syncytial virus is a frequent cause of walking pneumonia in young kids, while adults tend to get the viral form of the disease from the influenza virus.
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Which Types Of Doctors Treat Pneumonia
In some cases, primary care physicians, including pediatricians, internists, and family medicine specialists, may manage the care for patients with pneumonia. In more severe cases, other types of specialists may be involved in treating the patient with pneumonia. These include infectious-disease specialists, pulmonologists, critical care specialists, and hospitalists.
Good Hygiene And Preventing Transmission
The best way to prevent serious respiratory infections such as pneumonia is to avoid sick people and to practice good hygiene.
Colds and flu are spread primarily from infected people who cough or sneeze. People commonly transmit a cold when they shake hands. Washing hands frequently can prevent the spread of viral respiratory illnesses. Always wash your hands before eating and after going outside. Using ordinary soap is sufficient. Alcohol-based gels are also effective for everyday use, and may even kill cold viruses. If extreme hygiene is required, use alcohol-based rinses.
Antibacterial soaps add little protection, particularly against viruses. Wiping surfaces with a solution that contains 1 part bleach to 10 parts water is very effective at killing viruses.
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Data Extraction And Quality Assessment
Two authors independently extracted data via a standardized form, including data on the fundamental characteristics of the studies and their outcomes. The fundamental characteristics included the name of the first author, publication year, study design, mean age of the study population, sample size, and male/femal percentage. The outcomes were the numbers of true positives, true negatives, false positives, and false negatives. The data that were collected from each study were evaluated using the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies criterion. This standardized approach rates the quality of studies included in systematic reviews of diagnostic accuracy.
What Are Complications Of Pneumonia
There are a number of potential complications of pneumonia. The infection that causes pneumonia can spread to the bloodstream, causing . Sepsis is a serious condition that can result in lowering of blood pressure and failure of oxygen to reach the tissues of the body, resulting in the need for intensive care management. Another complication is the accumulation of fluid in the space between the lung tissue and the chest wall lining, known as a pleural effusion. The organisms responsible for the pneumonia may infect the fluid in a pleural effusion, known as an empyema. Pneumonia can also result in the formation of an abscess within the lungs or airways.
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Breathing In A Foreign Object
If a foreign object is inhaled into your nose or respiratory tract it can get stuck and make it difficult for you to breathe. Children between the ages of 1 and 3 are most likely to breathe in foreign objects. Examples of things that might be inhaled include foods like nuts and seeds, and other small objects like buttons, beads, and marbles. This can cause choking, coughing and wheezing. It might also lead to infection and inflammation.5
What to do: If your child is having trouble breathing her airways might have become completely blocked and she might need immediate medical attention. And if symptoms like choking and coughing have gone away keep a look out for signs of infection.
Symptoms Of Acute Bronchitis
You may have various problems with breathing, such as:
- Chest congestion, where your chest feels full or clogged
- Coughing — you may cough up a lot of mucus thatâs clear, white, yellow, or green
- Shortness of breath
- Wheezing or a whistling sound when you breathe
You may also have some of the typical cold or flu symptoms, such as:
- Body aches
Even after the other symptoms are gone, the cough can last for a few weeks as your bronchial tubes heal and the swelling goes down.
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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.
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.
How Many Pneumonia Vaccines Do You Need
PCV13 or Prevnar 13, is currently recommended for all children younger than 2 years of age, all adults 65 years of age or older, and people 2-64 years of age with certain medical conditions.
PPSV23 is currently recommended for all adults 65 years of age or older and for people who are 2 years of age or older and at high risk for pneumococcal disease . PPSV23 is also recommended for use in adults 19-64 years of age who smoke cigarettes.
There is no evidence about the safety of PCV13 or PPSV23 vaccine use in pregnancy. Women who need the vaccine should be vaccinated before a pregnancy, if possible.
Some people may be recommended to receive both the PCV13 and PPSV23 vaccines. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends two pneumococcal vaccines for all adults 65 years or older. The PCV13 and PPSV23 should not be given at the same time. When both vaccines are recommended, a dose of the PCV13 should be given first, followed by a dose of PPSV23 at another visit to a health care provider.
Seasonal influenza vaccines are available yearly and are recommended to decrease the chance of contracting influenza. Vaccines against the measles virus and varicella virus, two viruses that can also cause pneumonia, are also available. The common side effects of these vaccines are similar to those listed below for the pneumonia vaccine.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Bacterial Versus Viral Pneumonia In Adults
Symptoms of pneumonia can range from mild sometimes called walking pneumonia to severe. How serious your case of pneumonia depends on the particular germ causing pneumonia, your overall health, and your age.
Bacterial pneumonia: Symptoms of bacterial pneumonia can develop gradually or suddenly. Symptoms include:
- High fever
Additional symptoms appearing about a day later include:
- Higher fever
- Shortness of breath
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When Should I Go To The Emergency Room
If your skin, mouth or nails are turning blue, then you arent getting enough air into your lungs. This is a medical emergency and you should have a family member or friend take you to the nearest urgent care or emergency room. If youre alone, call 911 and describe your breathing.
If you suddenly start wheezing after a bee sting, after you take a new medication or eat a new food, that could indicate an allergic reaction and you should go to the emergency room immediately.
Whatever the cause of your wheezing, there are things you can do to get relief. Follow your healthcare providers directions, dont smoke, take all medications as prescribed and run a vaporizer or humidifier to moisten the air. Doing all of these things will help you breathe easier.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/24/2020.
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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When Should Wheezing Be Treated By A Healthcare Provider
See your healthcare provider if your wheezing is new, if it keeps coming back, or if its accompanied by any of the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath.
- Chest tightness or chest pain.
- Unexplained swelling of your feet or legs.
- Loss of voice.
- Swelling of the lips or tongue.
- A bluish tinge around your skin, mouth or nails.
Treatment Of Viral Infections
There are not as many choices for treating viral pneumonia. Oseltamivir , zanamivir , and peramivir have been the recommended drugs for influenza A or B infections, but some strains of influenza A are resistant to them. Generally, the use of these drugs is only recommended if they can be started in the first 48 hours of symptoms. Taken early, these medications may be effective in reducing the severity and duration of illness. However, treatment initiated even after 48 hours may benefit children with severe disease.
Intravenous immunoglobulins may be used in immunodeficient children who develop some viral pneumonias, as they have been shown to improve outcomes.
People with viral pneumonias are at risk for what are called “superinfections,” which generally refers to a secondary bacterial infection, usually caused by S pneumoniae, S aureus, or H influenzae. Doctors most commonly recommend treatment with amoxicillin-clavulanate, cefpodoxime, ceftriaxone, cefuroxime, or a newer fluoroquinolone if these secondary infections occur.
People with pneumonia caused by varicella-zoster and herpes simplex viruses are usually admitted to the hospital and treated with intravenous acyclovir for 7 days.
No antiviral drugs have been proven effective yet in adults with RSV, parainfluenza virus, adenovirus, metapneumovirus, coronaviruses, or hantavirus. Treatment is largely supportive, with people receiving oxygen and ventilator therapy as needed.
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How Soon After Treatment For Pneumonia Will I Begin To Feel Better
How soon you will feel better depends on several factors, including:
- Your age
- The cause of your pneumonia
- The severity of your pneumonia
- If you have other at-risk conditions
If you are generally healthy, most symptoms of bacterial pneumonia usually begin to improve within 24 to 48 hours after starting treatment. Symptoms of viral pneumonia usually begin to improve within a few days after starting treatment. A cough can last for several weeks. Most people report being tired for about a month after contracting pneumonia.
What Can I Do At Home To Treat Wheezing
There are a number of ways you can improve your wheezing:·
- Breathing exercises have been shown to help relax your airways if youre asthmatic. Practice yoga breathing preferably in a moist, humid environment. If youre not familiar with prayanama breathing, any slow, deep breathing exercises will help expand your lung capacity and relax your airways.
- Drink hot herbal tea. The warmth and moisture of the tea will help relax your bronchial tubes. Some studies show green tea to have antibacterial properties as well.
- Dont smoke. Smoking irritates your lungs and inflames your airways. Avoid second-hand smoke as well.
- Use an air purifier with a HEPA filter to eliminate potential allergens in your home.
- Vaporize your air with a vaporizer or humidifier.
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