Friday, September 29, 2023

How To Get Better From Pneumonia

What Are The Symptoms

What else can I do to feel better if I have pneumonia?

Symptoms of pneumonia may include:

  • Cough. You will likely cough up mucus from your lungs. Mucus may be rusty or green or tinged with blood.
  • Fever, chills, and sweating.
  • Feeling very tired or very weak.

When you have less severe symptoms, your doctor may call this walking pneumonia.

Older adults may have different, fewer, or milder symptoms. They may not have a fever. Or they may have a cough but not bring up mucus. The main sign of pneumonia in older adults may be a change in how well they think. Confusion or delirium is common. Or, if they already have a lung disease, that disease may get worse.

Symptoms caused by viruses are the same as those caused by bacteria. But they may come on slowly and often are not as obvious or as bad.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Pneumonia

Pneumonia can look a lot like the common cold from the outside. Amongst its most common symptoms are:

  • Coughing
  • Chest pain during breathing or coughing
  • Increased phlegm thats green, grey, or yellow in color
  • Fever
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Fatigue

But the common cold will usually have other symptoms that pneumonia wont, like a sore throat or runny nose, says Jonathan Puchalski, M.D., director of interventional pulmonology at Yale Medicine. Those symptomsalong with the cough or fever you might be experiencingwill usually go away pretty quickly.

With pneumonia, on the other hand, theyll either remain consistent or become more severe. We all get colds and coughs, says Dr. Edelman. If it seems like an ordinary cold and theres a cough associated with it and youre otherwise not sick, I think you can wait a week before you see your doctor. If it gets worse, see your doctor immediately.

Getting worse could include symptoms like high fevers, bad headaches, and severe chest pain, says Dr. Edelman, which could imply a more serious bacterial pneumonia. If thats the case, you should head to the doctors office ASAP. The same goes if you believe you have COVID-19, and your symptoms get noticeably worse. When you have chest pain and you cant breathe and you know somethings really not right, the best place to be is in a monitored hospital setting, says Dr. Dasgupta.

How Do You Get Pneumonia

Pneumonia can be contracted tons of different ways, from inhalation of fumes to living in a moldy building. Overall, its divided into two different categories: community-acquired pneumonia and hospital acquired pneumonia, says Norman Edelman, M.D., senior scientific advisor to the American Lung Association.

Community-acquired pneumonia can be acquired anywhere, anytime. Bacterial and viral pneumonia are contagious, so you can pick it up from someones stray cough or sneeze, by sharing cups, or not washing your hands as often as you should.

Then there is hospital-acquired pneumonia, which is the kind you pick up while staying in the hospital or at a chronic care facility, like a nursing home or rehab center. We make that distinction because the bugs that cause these two types of pneumonia tend to be different and treated differently, says Dr. Edelman.

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Is Pneumonia In Cats Contagious

While there are some feline zoonotic diseases , pneumonia is not one of them. Cat flu is also not contagious, with the rare exception of avian or bird flu . However, cats can pass viral or bacterial pneumonia to other cats, dogs, and small animals in the house.

To prevent the spread of the disease, separate your sick cat from other pets in the house. You can put them in a warm room with a bowl of food and water. Be sure to check on them regularly. If you have multiple cats, you should place a towel or blanket at the bottom of the door to prevent cats from sniffing each other or touching paws under the door.

You should also clean anything they may have contaminated. For instance, wash their food and water bowls, clean their litterbox, and wipe down their toys. In addition, be careful to wash your hands after handling your patient to avoid transferring germs that way.

When To Call The Doctor

Pneumonia not getting better with antibiotics?

You should call your childs doctor if your child:

  • Has trouble breathing or is breathing much faster than usual
  • Has a bluish or gray color to the fingernails or lips
  • Is older than 6 months and has a fever over 102°F
  • Is younger than 6 months and has a temperature over 100.4°F.
  • Has a fever for more than a few days after taking antibiotics

When your child should stay home and return to school or childcare

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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.

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

As COVID-19 pneumonia progresses, more of the air sacs become filled with fluid leaking from the tiny blood vessels in the lungs. Eventually, shortness of breath sets in, and can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome , a form of lung failure. Patients with ARDS are often unable to breath on their own and may require ventilator support to help circulate oxygen in the body.

Whether it occurs at home or at the hospital, ARDS can be fatal. People who survive ARDS and recover from COVID-19 may have lasting pulmonary scarring.

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Types Of Antibiotics For Pneumonia

There are multiple types of antibiotics that work in slightly different ways. Some are more commonly used to treat pneumonia than others based on things like:

  • The bacteria causing infection
  • The severity of the infection
  • If youre in a patient group at greatest risk from pneumonia

The types of antibiotics that your doctor might typically prescribe for pneumonia include the following:

Antibiotics prescribed for children with pneumonia include the following:

  • Infants, preschoolers, and school-aged children with suspected bacterial pneumonia may be treated with amoxicillin.
  • Children with suspected atypical pneumonia can be treated with macrolides.
  • Children allergic to penicillin will be treated with other antibiotics as needed for the specific pathogen.
  • Hospitalized, immunized children can be treated with ampicillin or penicillin G.
  • Hospitalized children and infants who are not fully vaccinated may be treated with a cephalosporin.
  • Hospitalized children with suspected M. pneumoniae or C. pneumoniae infection may be treated with combination therapy of a macrolide and a beta-lactam antibiotic .
  • Hospitalized children with suspected S. aureus infections might be treated with a combination of Vancocin or clindamycin and a beta-lactam.

Causes Of Cat Pneumonia

What can I do to prevent getting pneumonia?

All cats are at risk for pneumonia, but it tends to be more common in very young kittens, senior cats, or cats with health conditions, since they may have a weakened immune system. Cats can contract pneumonia in a few different ways:

  • Infectious pneumonia This is the most common cause of pneumonia in cats. It is the result of a viral or bacterial infection in the lungs and airways.
  • Aspiration pneumonia Cats can get pneumonia by inhaling a foreign material, which irritates the sensitive lining of the lungs. This can happen if a cat breathes in things like a bit of liquid medication, a piece of plastic that came off a toy, or something as small and seemingly harmless as a seed. Aspiration pneumonia can also occur if a cat throws up and inhales some of the vomit.
  • Fungal pneumonia This type of pneumonia happens when a fungus, often found in soil or pigeon droppings, is breathed in through the mouth or nose and develops into an infection.

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What Does Covid Do To Lungs

COVID-19 can cause lung complications such as pneumonia and, in the most severe cases, acute respiratory distress syndrome, or ARDS. , another possible complication of COVID-19, can also cause lasting harm to the lungs and other organs.

As we have learned more about SARS-CoV-2 and resulting COVID-19, we have discovered that in severe COVID-19, a significant pro-inflammatory condition can result in several critical diseases, complications and syndromes, Galiatsatos says.

Drink A Cup Of Turmeric Tea

A 2020 review suggests that a compound called curcumin in turmeric has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial qualities that can help your body defend itself against pneumonia.

Another review from 2018 supported curcumins activity against pain, meaning that it might provide some relief for pneumonias sometimes intense chest pain .

You can buy turmeric tea at your local grocery or online. You can also make your own tea using turmeric powder.

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Ginger Or Turmeric Tea

A persistent cough can result in chest pain. Drinking warm tea made with fresh ginger or turmeric root may help reduce this pain.

The roots of both of these plants can have a natural anti-inflammatory effect in the body.

Chop up a thumb sized piece of either root and boil it in a pint or so of water. If a person prefers strong tea, they can boil it for longer or add more of the root. If the flavor is too sharp, they can try adding a spoonful of honey.

A Lukewarm Bath Or Compress

Why does it take so long to recover from pneumonia?

Soaking the body in lukewarm water may help cool it down.

If it is not possible to take a bath, apply towels or washcloths to the body after dunking them in lukewarm water and wringing them out. This may help the body cool. When the towels warm up, dip them in the water again and reapply.

Chills are often a secondary symptom of a fever. The following home remedies may help ease chills:

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How To Get Rid Of Stuff

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Lung problems are among the most common and dangerous disorders for kids and old people. Every air-breathing living thing needs the lungs in order to survive, their chief function being to transport oxygen into the bloodstream and release carbon dioxide from the bloodstream and into the atmosphere. This complex function is possible because the lungs have specialized cells that form millions of tiny, thin walled sacs called the alveoli. Without them, mammals would have difficulty breathing.

It is these alveoli that are affected when you have pneumonia. In pneumonia, these alveoli become inflamed and fill with fluid. Pneumonia can come in different kinds, from the mild to life-threatening. The most usual cause of this is a bacterial infection, although viruses, fungi, and other organisms are common culprits as well. While pneumonia affects all age groups, its elderly and the chronically ill people that are at most risk.

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.

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Ways To Get Rid Of Pneumonia

If youre suffering from pneumonia, it is imperative that you consult a physician right away. Here are some ways to recover faster from pneumonia:

  • Take the drugs prescribed by your doctor. Medicine will depend on the kind of pneumonia you have. Bacterial pneumonia is usually treated by antibiotics. Even if you start to feel better once youve taken them, dont stop and be sure that you complete the full course of antibiotics prescribed. Viral pneumonias are not curable by antibiotics, so they are usually treated like a serious case of flu-through rest and plenty of fluids. If your pneumonia is caused by a fungus, then antifungal medication is administered. Aside from these medications, the doctor may give you medicines to treat your fever, body aches, and cough.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water. Pneumonia comes with fever most of the time so you should keep yourself hydrated in order to reduce the risk of becoming dehydrated by the heat. Drinking lots of fluid also helps get the phlegm out, especially if you have a productive cough, as is often the case in bacterial pneumonia.
  • Get plenty of rest. Do not overexert yourself. You will only worsen the symptoms and your fatigue. As much as you can, get the proper dosage of sleep, at least 8 to 10 hours every night. Dont sleep too late preferably, sleep before 12 midnight. Avoid work that will put a strain on your lungs and breathing.
  • How Your Doctor Chooses

    Fight COVID-19 pneumonia for better breathing with secretion management techniques

    Your doctor will select the right antibiotic for you based on multiple factors, including:

    • Your age: People 65 and older have a greater risk of serious complications from pneumonia infections.
    • Your health history: A history of smoking, lung diseases, or other conditions may influence a person’s ability to fight off infections.
    • The exact infection you have: Your doctor may take a sample and test it for bacteria. They can then pick an antibiotic based on your specific infection.
    • Your previous experiences with antibiotics: Make sure to tell your doctor if you are allergic to any medications, had bad reactions to antibiotics in the past, or have developed an antibacterial-resistant infection.
    • The antibiotic sensitivity of the bacteria: The lab will test the bacteria causing your pneumonia to determine which antibiotics it is sensitive or resistant to.

    Doctors typically choose your antibiotics prescription based on what medicines they think will be most effective and cause the fewest side effects.

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    Diagnosing Pneumonia In Cats

    If you think your cat may have pneumonia, you should take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Your veterinarian will review your cat’s medical history and conduct an exam that will include listening to the heart and lungs with a stethoscope to detect any cardiac or breathing abnormalities.

    In addition, your veterinarian may perform diagnostic tests, such as blood work, chest X-rays, and a tracheal wash. During a tracheal wash, which is done under anesthesia, your veterinarian will use fluid to collect bacteria from the trachea for testing and identification. This allows them to prescribe the best antibiotic to clear the infection.

    When To Call A Doctor

    If you have trouble breathing or severe chest pain, see a doctor as soon as possible, or go to the emergency room.

    Pneumonia symptoms often resemble those of the flu or a cold. But if your symptoms are severe or last for more than three days, see a doctor. Untreated pneumonia can do permanent damage to your lungs.

    According to Dr. Wayne Tsuang, a lung specialist at the Cleveland Clinic, whether you get pneumonia in one lung or both lungs is largely due to chance. This is the case whether the infection is viral, bacterial, or fungal.

    In general, certain populations have a higher risk of getting pneumonia:

    • infants and toddlers

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