How Is Pneumonia In The Elderly Treated
For most adults, antibiotics are used to treat pneumonia. For those who are more fragile or who have other health issues, inpatient treatment is required. This can mean being admitted to the ICU, being intubated and placed on a respirator, and having advanced breathing treatments with pneumonia-specific medications. It can also mean all of these treatment options.
How Do You Get Pneumonia
Have you ever been told to bundle up to avoid catching pneumonia? Or told a friend or family member not to walk outside with wet hair because he or she could get it? It might surprise you to find out that neither cold weather nor wet hair can cause you to catch pneumonia. In fact, pneumonia in itself isnt contagious, so you cant really catch it at all.
If you are wondering how do you get pneumonia, or have any other questions about this condition, FastMed can help. We are open 365 days a year to provide treatment for non-life-threatening illness and injuries, as well as ready to answer all of your health related questions.
What Is The Recovery Time For Pneumonia In The Elderly
A simple Google search for that question makes us think that an elderly person can recover from pneumonia in in as little as two weeks but it may take two months or longer to recover completely.
A study that appeared in the Patient Related Outcome Measures Journal shed some light on the vast difference between a short recovery and a long one.
They begin by understanding the health status of the elderly person who is afflicted with pneumonia. For those that are in good health, expect a recovery time of about three weeks. In that period, shortness of breath, weakness, and fatigue are common. If the elderly person has existing health conditions, especially those that involve the respiratory system, such as COPD the recovery period can take as long as 60 or more days and be far more challenging.
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A Study Explains Why Covid
Compared to traditional forms of pneumonia, pneumonia from the novel coronavirus develops over a longer period of time and lasts longer, according to a study in Nature. Researchers from Northwestern University School of Medicine compared lung cell samples from more than 85 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 pneumonia to more than 200 hospitalized patients with pneumonia from other sources. Combining these results with foundational studies, they believe SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen that causes COVID-19, burrows deep in the lungs of people who develop severe respiratory infections from the virus. Once there, SARS-CoV-2 appears to take over immune function. White blood cells and immune helpers that rush to infection sites to coordinate recovery appear to instead ferry SARS-CoV-2 to neighboring lung cells. The researchers believe this altered immune response explains why COVID-19 pneumonia takes longer to develop and extends hospital stays. In this study, the average length between a patient feeling sick from COVID-19 and requiring breathing support was 6-12 days. For people with similar complications from the flu, the range was 1-3 days or shorter.
To accelerate recovery from severe COVID-19 lung infections, the researchers will test treatment to restore immune function. The research was supported by the NHLBI.
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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Are Vaccines Available To Prevent Pneumonia
Yes, there are two types of vaccines specifically approved to prevent pneumonia caused by pneumococcal bacteria. Similar to a flu shot, these vaccines wont protect against all types of pneumonia, but if you do come down with pneumonia, its less likely to be as severe or potentially life-threatening especially for people who are at increased risk for pneumonia.
- Bacterial pneumonia: Two pneumonia vaccines, Pneumovax23® and Prevnar13®, protect against the most common causes of bacterial pneumonia.
- Pneumovax23® protects against 23 different types of pneumococcal bacteria. It is recommended for all adults 65 years of age and older and children over 2 years of age who are at increased risk for pneumonia.
- Prevnar13® protects against 13 types of pneumonia bacteria. It is recommended for all adults 65 years of age and older and children under 2 years of age. Ask your healthcare provider about these vaccines.
If you have children, ask their doctor about other vaccines they should get. Several childhood vaccines help prevent infections caused by the bacteria and viruses that can lead to pneumonia.
How To Recover From Pneumonia
This article was medically reviewed by Luba Lee, FNP-BC, MS. Luba Lee, FNP-BC is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner and educator in Tennessee with over a decade of clinical experience. Luba has certifications in Pediatric Advanced Life Support , Emergency Medicine, Advanced Cardiac Life Support , Team Building, and Critical Care Nursing. She received her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Tennessee in 2006.There are 10 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. This article received 52 testimonials and 92% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 445,548 times.
What Are The Factors Which Play A Role In Getting Rid Of Pneumonia
The time taken to get rid of pneumonia depends on certain factors. How severe the pneumonia is and how long it takes to get rid of pneumonia depends on:
The Health & Age Of The Individual: Individuals who are aged, suffer from ill-health and who are recuperating from illness are more susceptible to acute Pneumonia and hence it takes relatively longer for them to get rid of pneumonia and get their health back in shape after the pneumonia bout. The aftermath of such cases may result in medical complications, such as septicaemia or in the bloodstream . A young and healthy adult or adolescent whose immunity system is stronger recovers faster than other pneumonia patients.
The Cause of Pneumonia: Bacteria or Virus: A study has revealed that viral pneumonia is less life threatening than bacterial pneumonia and is less severe too. So getting rid of viral pneumonia is relatively easier.
How Fast the Pneumonia was Treated: As in the case of general illness, it is advisable to get pneumonia treated at the earliest, preferably at the point when its symptoms are first discovered to get rid of it sooner.
Patientâs Immune System: The level of immunity in an individualâs body is also a major factor on which the recoverability of pneumonia depends. The stronger the immune system, better the chances are for a quicker recovery from pneumonia.
Ways On How To Get Rid Of Pneumonia Naturally & Fast
Pneumonia is a respiratory problem characterized by inflammation of your lungs. It is caused by bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitical infections and the inhalation of chemicals or toxic gasses.
Normally, when you breathe, the sacs in your lungs fill with air however, during a circumstance of pneumonia, they will fill with pus and fluid, making it more difficult to breathe. It can also become more difficult for your vital organs to take the required oxygen to function correctly, which means that pneumonia may affect many of the systems of your body. Symptoms of pneumonia include fever, cold, cough, shortness of breath, diarrhea, shaking chills, loss of appetite, headache, fatigue, sweating, vomiting and nausea, chest pain, muscle pain, and tiredness.
Pneumonia often lasts 2 to 3 weeks, but for people over 65, young children, and others with the weak immune systems, it may become chronic or even fatal. If you have symptoms of pneumonia, you should see a doctor to have an accurate diagnosis as well as determine the severity of this case. If it is not severe, you can be able to avoid your doctor and even hospital bills by curing it at home.
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Will Covid Pneumonia Go Away
While the majority of people recover from pneumonia without suffering any long-term lung damage, the pneumonia associated with COVID-19 can be severe and need hospitalization. Even when the sickness has passed, lung damage can result in breathing difficulties that might last for months before they are resolved completely.
What Is The Recovery Time For Covid Pneumonia
Dr. Lee: Regardless of what causes it, regaining strength after pneumonia can take quite a long time from several weeks to many months.
During COVID pneumonia recovery, your body first has to repair the damage caused to the lungs then it has to deal with clearing leftover fluid and debris and, finally, scarring until the tissue is fully healed over all of which come with unpleasant symptoms.
For the 15% of infected individuals who develop moderate to severe COVID-19 and are admitted to the hospital for a few days and require oxygen, the average recovery time ranges between three to six weeks.
For the 5% who develop severe or critical illness, recovery can take much longer.
Everyone’s recovery is unique and depends on:
- Your overall health
- Whether you have preexisting conditions
- The severity of your infection
If you are recovering from COVID pneumonia and experiencing persistent problems, I recommend seeing your doctor for a follow-up evaluation. If your recovery is prolonged, he or she may recommend a specialized program, such as pulmonary rehabilitation, to help get you back on track.
In some cases, patients will have lingering symptoms after the initial COVID-19 infection, often called post-COVID syndrome. These “long haulers” can have variety of problems, since the virus can attack not only the lungs, but also the heart, kidneys and brain. Your doctor can also help you manage these lingering symptoms.
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How Long Will It Take Me To Recover From Aspiration Pneumonia
Most people recover from aspiration pneumonia in a week or so with treatment. Although you might be ready to return to work or school, you might still be tired for some time after a week. Many people are still tired up to a month into recovery.
Recurrent aspiration due to underlying medical or neurological conditions can be difficult to treat and needs expert care from a multidisciplinary team.
Can An 80 Year Old Survive Pneumonia
As a matter of fact, pneumonia is the second most common reason for Medicare members to be admitted to the hospital, and the majority of individuals who die from pneumonia each year are over the age of 65, according to the American Lung Association . The mortality rate among older persons suffering from severe pneumonia might be as high as 20%.
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Relief For Your Symptoms
Pneumonia wonât go away overnight. You might need anywhere from a week to a month to get better. Depending on the kind of pneumonia you have, your doctor may prescribe a drug that fights bacteria or a drug that fights viruses to help you get better. While youâre waiting for that to work, there are a bunch of ways you can ease the coughing, aches, and fever.
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.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Pneumonia In The Elderly
As with many diseases and illnesses, the signs and symptoms vary from one person to the next and may mimic other disorders too. In general terms, the following are common signs and symptoms of pneumonia in the elderly.
As mentioned, the symptoms of pneumonia vary from one person to the next and change based on the health level of the person who is inflicted. Those with chronic disease have the hardest time, but pneumonia can be deadly even in the healthiest of our elders.
Drink Plenty Of Water
If you are suffering from any bacterial or viral infection, one of the best ways for quick recovery is drinking plenty of water. Drinking good amounts of water throughout the day can help in keeping your body hydrated and clearing the infection patches from your lungs. You can also drink other healthy liquids such as coconut water and milk.
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How Is Aspiration Pneumonia Diagnosed
Generally, the first thing your provider will do in any situation is take a complete medical history and perform a physical examination. Theyll ask you about your current signs and symptoms. One thing that is a little tricky about aspiration pneumonia is that often no one actually sees you breathe in an object or food or saliva.
In addition to taking note of your symptoms, your provider will order tests such as:
- Chest X-ray and/or a computed tomography scan. In cases of aspiration pneumonia, inflammation is often seen at the bottom of your lungs.
Take Something For The Aches
If aches or fever are wearing you down, a pain reliever might help, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Be sure you follow the instructions on the label for how much to take and how often. Speaking of taking medicine: If your doctor gives you an antibiotic, take every dose of it, even if you start to feel good again before you use it up. When you quit too soon, the pneumonia could come back.
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When Should I See My Healthcare Provider About Aspiration Pneumonia
If you have worrisome symptoms like chest pain, fever and difficulty breathing, call your provider or seek emergency medical help. Pneumonia can get worse more quickly than you realize.
If you often feel like you are choking, or have difficulty swallowing, see your provider. You may need to see a specialist who can help you find out why you are choking or having problems swallowing. You may need to change what and how you eat and drink.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Pneumonia is an infection in your lungs. One of the ways you can get this infection is by inhaling saliva, food, stomach contents or even foreign objects into your lungs, which is called aspiration pneumonia. This type is more common among certain people, including people with nerve disorders or swallowing issues. Aspiration pneumonia is generally treated with antibiotics. Treatment is successful for most people. Make sure you contact your healthcare provider if you have chest pain, fever and difficulty breathing. As with most conditions, the best outcomes happen when aspiration pneumonia is found early.
Walking Pneumonia Recovery Time
Walking pneumonia is often caused by a type of bacterium that produces milder symptoms that come on more gradually than do those of other types of pneumonia. The illness often is brought home by young children who contract it at school. Family members of infected children typically begin having symptoms two or three weeks later. This kind of pneumonia can be treated with antibiotics. Recovery time is usually 5-10 days, but maybe longer.
Over the past decade, some strains of mycoplasma have become resistant to macrolides due to the widespread use of azithromycin to treat infections. People with Legionnaires disease often require hospitalization, and complete recovery may take up to 4 months. During recovery, the doctor will advise you to take your medication, rest, drink clear fluids, and eat healthily.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Pneumonia
The symptoms of bacterial pneumonia include:
Bluish color to lips and fingernails
Confused mental state or delirium, especially in older people
Cough that produces green, yellow, or bloody mucus
Mycoplasma pneumonia has somewhat different symptoms, which include a severe cough that may produce mucus.
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.