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.
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.
Birth Of A Sinus Infection
Most people dont give much thought to their sinuses. Yet these little air-filled facial chambers have an important job to do. When you breathe through your nose, your sinuses go to work filtering pollutants, allergens and other irritants. If your sinus cavities are swollen and inflamed due to a cold, mucus can become trapped and create a breeding ground for infection.
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Preventive Measures In Lifestyle To Prevent Pneumonia:
- Allow yourself to visit your doctors for regular check of your lungs condition. Dont neglect even the insignificant cold symptoms for this could lead to vitalizing of residual viruses and bacteria.
- If you are a chain-smoker or have weakness to alcoholism, you surely are at high risk of generating pneumonia symptoms in your lungs air sacs. So quit smoking and alcoholism. At best, start lowering the bad habits.
- Strengthen your immune system by taking nutritious diet as per your health experts instruction.
- Eat plenty of water to help your bloodstream carry more oxygen to your air passages smoothly.
- Eat vitamin C enriched foods to fight cold and flu.
- Take enough rest after work or other physical activities to keep your immune system active.
- Wash hands before eating with hygienic hand-wash or antiseptic soaps. Use hand sanitizer before and after visiting patients or kids. Keep a hand sanitizer in your home too if you are allergic to soaps.
- Do not allow dust or fumes enter your house or workplace. Wear mask and gloves when dusting your furniture or books. Keep your mask on as much as possible when you are at factories, shops, hospitals, playgrounds, swimming pools, or commuters.
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.
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When To See A Healthcare Provider
In severe cases, bronchopneumonia can lead to lung abscesses, the formation of pus-filled pockets in one area of the lung. At times, the infection spreads to the pleural space , filling it with pus and forming an empyema . Symptoms of emphysema may include:
- Dry cough
- Excessive sweating, especially night sweats
- General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling
- Unintentional weight loss
- Chest pain, which worsens on deep inhalation
If you experience one or more of these symptoms or your symptoms do not improve despite taking your medications as prescribed, seek immediate medical attention.
Differences Between Bronchitis And Pneumonia
The common symptoms of these two diseases cough, fever, fatigue and an aching chest are very similar. Bronchitis can even progress to pneumonia in some cases.
But these are two very different diseases affecting different parts of the lungs, says Dr. Tolle. Pneumonia symptoms also are usually much more serious and, in some cases, potentially life-threatening.
The bottom line? If you have symptoms that match either bronchitis and pneumonia and they dont improve within a week, or if the symptoms keep worsening, contact your healthcare provider.
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How Is Pneumonia Diagnosed
Sometimes pneumonia can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are so variable, and are often very similar to those seen in a cold or influenza. To diagnose pneumonia, and to try to identify the germ that is causing the illness, your doctor will ask questions about your medical history, do a physical exam, and run some tests.
Your doctor will ask you questions about your signs and symptoms, and how and when they began. To help figure out if your infection is caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi, you may be asked some questions about possible exposures, such as:
- Any recent travel
- Exposure to other sick people at home, work or school
- Whether you have recently had another illness
Your doctor will listen to your lungs with a stethoscope. If you have pneumonia, your lungs may make crackling, bubbling, and rumbling sounds when you inhale.
If your doctor suspects you may have pneumonia, they will probably recommend some tests to confirm the diagnosis and learn more about your infection. These may include:
- Blood tests to confirm the infection and to try to identify the germ that is causing your illness.
- Chest X-ray to look for the location and extent of inflammation in your lungs.
- Pulse oximetry to measure the oxygen level in your blood. Pneumonia can prevent your lungs from moving enough oxygen into your bloodstream.
- Sputum test on a sample of mucus taken after a deep cough, to look for the source of the infection.
Home Versus Hospital Care
Often, people who have pneumonia but are not very sick can stay at home and take antibiotics by mouth. Older people, infants, and those who are short of breath, are very sick, or have preexisting heart or lung disease are usually hospitalized and given intravenous antibiotics, antivirals, or antifungals to start. Those antibiotics are usually switched to oral ones after a few days. People who need to be hospitalized may also need supplemental oxygen and intravenous fluids. People who are very sick may need to be sedated and temporarily put on a breathing machine Mechanical Ventilation Mechanical ventilation is use of a machine to aid the movement of air into and out of the lungs. Some people with respiratory failure need a mechanical ventilator that pushes air in and out of the lungs via a tube inserted in the throat.
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
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.
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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.
Treatment For Acute Bronchitis
Antibiotics usually arenât helpful because acute bronchitis is almost always caused by a virus, which will not respond to antibiotics. Antibiotics are usually only needed if your doctor diagnoses you with whooping cough or pneumonia.
Medications called bronchodilators are used to open tight air passages in the lungs. Your doctor may prescribe this type of medicine if you are wheezing.
Your doctor will tell you to drink more fluids to help thin mucus in the lungs, rest and soothe your airways by increasing humidity in the air with a cool mist humidifier.
Symptoms will usually go away within seven to 14 days if you donât have chronic pulmonary disease. However, in some people it may take much longer for the cough to go away.
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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
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Pneumonia In Children
The signs and symptoms of pneumonia in children vary from child to child and also depend on your childs age, cause of the infection, and severity of their illness.
Usual symptoms include:
- Cry more than usual. Are restless or more fussy.
Adolescents have the same symptoms as adults, including:
- Difficulty breathing/shortness of breath.
- Chest pain.
Newborns are at greater risk of pneumonia caused by bacteria present in the birth canal. In young children, viruses are the main cause of pneumonia.
Pneumonia caused by bacteria tends to happen suddenly, starting with fever and fast breathing. Symptoms appear more slowly and tend to be less severe when pneumonia is caused by viruses.
Can Pneumonia Be Prevented Or Avoided
There are many factors that can raise your risk for developing pneumonia. These include:
People who have any of the following conditions are also at increased risk:
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- sickle cell disease
You can help prevent pneumonia by doing the following:
- Get the flu vaccine each year. People can develop bacterial pneumonia after a case of the flu. You can reduce this risk by getting the yearly flu shot.
- Get the pneumococcal vaccine. This helps prevent pneumonia caused by pneumococcal bacteria.
- Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Dont smoke. Smoking damages your lungs and makes it harder for your body to defend itself from germs and disease. If you smoke, talk to your family doctor about quitting as soon as possible.
- Practice a healthy lifestyle. Eat a balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables. Exercise regularly. Get plenty of sleep. These things help your immune system stay strong.
- Avoid sick people. Being around people who are sick increases your risk of catching what they have.
When Can I Return To Work School And Regular Activities If I Have Pneumonia
You typically can resume your normal activities if your symptoms are gone, mild or improving and you do not have new or worsening:
- Shortness of breath or tiredness
- Chest pain
- Mucus, fever or cough
If you are generally healthy, most people feel well enough to return to previous activities in about a week. However, it may take about a month to feel totally back to normal.
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Signs And Symptoms That Mean You Have Bronchitis
But a cough that wont go away even after your sore throat, fever, and other symptoms have gotten better, and thats accompanied by wheezing or shortness of breath, may indicate that youre dealing with something more serious, like bronchitis or pneumonia.
Given how many symptoms the two respiratory conditions share, its not surprising that bronchitis is often mistaken for pneumonia and vice versa. Bronchitis thats thought to have turned into pneumonia may actually have been pneumonia all along. Its also common for people to think that bronchitis can often turn into pneumonia, but in reality this is not the case for most people, explains Ralph Gonzales, MD, the associate dean for clinical innovation and chief innovation officer for the University of San Francisco Health and an internal medicine specialist. What we call bronchitis may sometimes be pneumonia, he says.
Know The Risk Factors
Pneumonia, especially the bacterial kind, can affect people of all ages. However, certain risk factors can increase your chance of developing the disease. These include:
- Being under the age of 4 or over 65
- COPD, asthma or chronic respiratory diseases
- Heart disease
- Recovering from a recent surgery
- A weakened immune system
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Chronic Bronchitis Is Contagious
The main characteristic of this long-term pathology is recurrent inflammation of the airway with secondary damage. As the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute explains, theres continuous coughing that lasts for several months. In addition, its recurrent, as it can come back for two or more consecutive years.
This type of bronchitis has nothing to do with pathogens. Sources such as the Mayo Clinic claim that up to 75% of cases have to do with tobacco smoking. Other risk factors could be asthma, cystic fibrosis, age, or genetic predisposition. Its also often part of a serious condition called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease .
According to the US National Library of Medicine, symptoms of chronic bronchitis are more severe and long-lasting than those of the acute variant. Among them:
- A continuous, frequent, and prolonged chesty cough
- Shortness of breath, especially during physical effort
- Pressure in the chest
Despite the fact that this pathology is usually associated with non-infectious agents, this isnt always the case. This type of bronchitis can also be due to microorganisms, such as Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, and Mycoplasma pneumoniae.
This risk of an added complication of respiratory tract infection occurs mainly in those who have undergone tracheostomies or in immunosuppressed patients.
Walking Pneumonia Or Bronchitis
These days I have been hearing a lot about walking pneumonia. But knowing if it is walking pneumonia or bronchitis, is a question faced by a number of people. Letâs find out what is the difference between the two â¦.
These days I have been hearing a lot about walking pneumonia. But knowing if it is walking pneumonia or bronchitis, is a question faced by a number of people. Lets find out what is the difference between the two .
Winters are the time when people are most affected with illnesses like, pneumonia, bronchitis, flu, etc. To be more precise, people suffer from respiratory disorders during winters. People with asthma suffer the most due to these conditions. Most people with visible symptoms wonder if they are suffering from walking pneumonia or bronchitis, as it is difficult to find out the exact difference between the two conditions.
Though walking pneumonia and bronchitis are not synonymous, the common thread between them is that both affect the lower respiratory system and if ignored, they can cause harm to pulmonary air passages. To be more precise, they both affect the airways that go towards the lungs.
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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