How Is Pneumonia Diagnosed
Pneumonia can sometimes be hard to diagnose because the symptoms are the same as for a bad cold or flu. If you think it could be pneumonia, you should see your doctor. Your doctor may diagnose pneumonia based on your medical history and the results from a physical exam. He or she will listen to your lungs with a stethoscope. Your doctor may also do some tests, such as a chest X-ray or a blood test. A chest X-ray can show your doctor if you have pneumonia and how widespread the infection is. Blood and mucus tests can help your doctor tell whether bacteria, a virus, or a fungal organism is causing your pneumonia.
For Shortness Of Breath
With pneumonia, your breathing may suddenly become rapid and shallow, or this symptom could develop gradually over the course of a few days.
You may even experience breathlessness while youre resting. Your doctor may prescribe medication or inhalers to help. Even as you try the suggestions below, make sure you keep up with your physicians instructions and dosages.
If the following suggestions dont help and your breath becomes even shorter, seek immediate medical care.
When To See A Doctor
Anyone who has difficulty breathing should seek medical help for diagnosis and treatment.
It is essential to follow any medical treatment plan that the doctor recommends and request additional help if the symptoms worsen or do not improve after a few days.
A doctor can also advise on some ways to prevent pneumonia from developing again.
It is not always possible to prevent pneumonia, but some lifestyle choices can reduce the risk of developing it or experiencing severe symptoms.
- avoiding air pollution, if possible
- managing stress levels and getting enough sleep
- practicing good hand-washing to reduce the risk of infection
- following any instructions the doctor recommends for staying healthy
In the case of COVID-19, experts advise physical distancing from other people to prevent the spread of the virus.
Healthful lifestyle habits can help strengthen the body to fight off infections, including those that lead to pneumonia.
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Covid Pneumonia: How Long Does Recovery Take
You’re likely familiar with the common, mild symptoms of COVID-19 including fever, dry cough and fatigue.
But, in more severe cases, COVID-19 can also cause serious complications, including pneumonia.
“We still have a lot to learn about COVID-19, particularly about the havoc it can wreak on the lungs and the pneumonia it causes, which is often now called COVID pneumonia,” says Dr. Rayman Lee, pulmonologist at Houston Methodist.
That being said, there’s still plenty that experts like Dr. Lee do know about COVID pneumonia, including about how long it can take to fully recover from it.
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.
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Things That You Can Do To Help Your Child At Home Are
- Control the fever with the proper medicine and right strength for the age of your child. Fevers lower than 101° F do not need to be treated unless the child is uncomfortable .
- Give your child plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
- See that your child gets lots of rest.
- Do not give over-the-counter cough medicines or other OTC medicines without asking the health provider first. The child needs to cough and bring up the phlegm. Coughing is the bodys way of clearing the infection from the lungs.
- Avoid exposing your child to tobacco smoke or other irritants in the air.
Diagnosing Pneumonia In Dogs
A veterinarian will perform a full physical examination on a dog after an owner notes symptoms that are characteristic of pneumonia. The vet will look for nasal discharge, coughing, take the temperature of the dog, and listen to the lungs using a stethoscope. If pneumonia is suspected, X-rays of the lungs will need to be taken to look for fluid and inflammation. Sometimes a bronchial lavage is also performed in order to check if bacteria is present in the lungs. A sample of the nasal discharge or lung fluid from the lavage may be sent out for a microbial culture or cytology to see what type of bacteria is causing the pneumonia. Finally, bloodwork is often checked to see if an infection is systemic by looking for an elevation in the white blood cell count.
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How Is Pneumonia Spread From Person To Person
Pneumonia is spread when droplets of fluid containing the pneumonia bacteria or virus are launched in the air when someone coughs or sneezes and then inhaled by others. You can also get pneumonia from touching an object previously touched by the person with pneumonia or touching a tissue used by the infected person and then touching your mouth or nose.
Why Is Pneumonia Cough Worse At Night
Some people find pneumonia cough especially worse at night. Some possible reasons for pneumonia cough worsening at night are:
There are no clear-cut ways to help reduce pneumonia cough at night. Sometimes, keeping your head higher with a propped pillow may help. If you have increased mucus, an antihistamine such as Benadryl may help. If you have other symptoms of acid reflux, you can try an OTC acid reducer. Call your doctor if your symptoms worsen.
In conclusion, coughs are a very important defense against pneumonia. You need to regularly cough to keep your airways clear so that you can recover from pneumonia. In certain situations, too many coughs can cause problems. There is no clear-cut solution to help pneumonia cough. Try a few options and see what helps you.
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Tea Tree And Eucalyptus Oils
Tea tree oil and eucalyptus oils are antibacterial. And for that reason, they are able to help fight your sickness.
They will help kill the germs that cause pneumonia. Eucalyptus oil also relieves congestion by breaking up mucus in the lungs.
- Boil water and stir in 5 drops of tea tree or eucalyptus oil.
- Pour the water into a bowl.
- Drape a towel over your head, lean over the bowl, and inhale the steam.
- Do this until Stopped getting oil fragrance.
- Now blow nose gently to clear the mucus which causes the problem.
- Repeat 3 times a day.
- You can use other essential oils for pneumonia like lavender, lemon or camphor essential oil in the place of tea tree oil or eucalyptus oil.
- Mix 20 drops of tea tree or eucalyptus oil with 1 tablespoon of almond or coconut oil.
- Before bed, rub the mixture on the neck and chest.
- Leave on overnight, then rinse in the morning.
- Repeat nightly.
- Note: Do not change quantities.
- Dip a cotton cloth in carrier oil or vegetable oil.
- Place it in oven at low temperature and warm the cloth.
- Pour 20 drops of tea tree or eucalyptus oil and rub cloth gently to spread evenly.
- Lie down and place the cloth on the chest.
- Leave it on 30 minutes.
- Repeat 2-3 times a day.
Taking Care Of Yourself At Home
If you have a bacterial chest infection, you should start to feel better 24 to 48 hours after starting on antibiotics. You may have a cough for days or weeks. For other types of chest infections, the recovery is more gradual. You may feel weak for some time and need a longer period of bed rest.Be guided by your doctor, but general self-care suggestions include:
- Take your medication as directed. Even if you feel better, finish the course of antibiotics.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Rest for a few days.
- Prop yourself up on a couple of pillows at night it will make it easier to sleep.
- Stop smoking, at least until you feel better, if you cant give up at this stage.
- Contact your local doctor if you have any concerns or questions.
- Go straight to your local doctor or the nearest hospital emergency department if you have trouble breathing, have a high fever or feel worse.
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What Happens If I Get Pneumonia
How your pneumonia is treated will depend on what type you have and how severe your pneumonia is. Pneumonia can affect just one section or lobe of your lungs, or every space of both lungs.
If your pneumonia was caused by a bacterial infection, or fluids that collect after aspiration become infected, antibiotics may be prescribed to you. Fungal pneumonias can also be treated with antifungal medications.
When your pneumonia is caused by a virus, antibiotics and antifungals wont help. For some viruses, like influenza, an antiviral medication may be used. Otherwise, supportive care maybe even in a hospital is the best way to treat viral pneumonia.
Severe cases of pneumonia regardless of what caused it may require treatment with more intense therapies like supplemental oxygen, breathing treatments, or even mechanical ventilation.
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.
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Diagnosis Of Pneumonia In Dogs
A veterinarian must be the one to provide a diagnosis of any form of pneumonia through a thorough exam. During the initial exam, the veterinarian listens to the lungs. In more severe cases of pneumonia, a veterinarian may hear the fluid in the lungs causing:
The vet may also order chest and lung X-Rays to determine how progressive a case of pneumonia may be.
Symptoms Of Chest Infections
Pneumonia is more common in winter and spring. It can strike suddenly or come on slowly over a few days. The symptoms will depend on your age, the cause and severity of the infection, and any other medical problems you may have. Symptoms include:
- Fast or difficult breathing
- Coughing with brown or green-coloured phlegm
- Blue colour around the lips
- Stomach pain
- A child may vomit, have diarrhoea and be irritable or lethargic.
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Bacterial Pneumonia In Dogs
Bacterial pneumonia is the most common diagnosis for dogs with severe respiratory disease, suggesting that there may be a more complicated relationship between the two.
Bacterial pneumonia is inflammation cells and fluid that accumulate in the lungs and airways, caused by pathogenic bacteria.
Although no one bacteria is fully responsible for bacterial pneumonia, some are more common than others.
What’s The Link Between Covid
A quick refresher first: COVID-19 is a serious respiratory illness caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2. It can lead to a range of intense symptoms, including a cough, fever, trouble breathing, and loss of taste or smell, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Pneumonia is an infection of the tiny air sacs in the lungs that can cause mild to severe illness in people, the CDC says.
Some patients with COVID-19 develop pneumoniain fact, the World Health Organization first called the virus -infected pneumonia , before shortening the name to COVID-19. The SARS-CoV-2 virus was also first identified in Wuhan, China due to cases of “pneumonia of unknown etiology,” or unknown cause, the WHO reported in January 2020.
It’s not uncommon to develop pneumonia as the result of any virus, Raymond Casciari, MD, a pulmonologist at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California, tells Health. In the case of COVID-19, the virus can damage your alveoli and cause fluid to build in your lungs as your body fights the infection, he explains. That can also lead to the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome , which is a serious form of respiratory failure that makes the alveoli fill with fluid. “The immune system starts attacking the lung itself, which results in ARDS,” Dr. Casciari says.
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Cough Medicine And Children
Never give this type of medicine to children under 4 years old, because it can have serious side effects. Ask your doctor before you give any of these products to children ages 4 to 6. They’re safe after age 6. For children 1 and up, try 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of honey to help them suppress their cough.
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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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 Causes Pneumonia Cough
The cough reflex is your bodys most important weapon against pneumonia. People who cant cough properly are at a higher risk of getting pneumonia in the first place.
You need three things for a cough:
Cough-triggering sensors are in the back of the throat, airways, stomach, diaphragm, and the lining of your heart. Pneumonia cough is mainly triggered by sensors in your upper and lower airways.
When you are suffering from pneumonia, your airways are inflamed. You have increased secretions in your airways caused by the immune system. You also have germs causing the pneumonia and dead cells that need to be replaced. All these things act as triggers for the cough sensors.
The cough reflex happens suddenly, and you cant stop it once it is triggered. Cough sensors activate the cough center in the brain, triggering three events in order:
Compressing air in the second step can produce a very high pressure, similar to that created by water 13 feet deep. The rapid release can blow air as fast as 500 miles per hour. This force can clear away germs and irritants.
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Keep Tabs On Your Symptoms
Remember, most people with coronavirus can recover at home. If your symptoms become severe, call your physician or 911. Be sure to let the dispatcher know you have coronavirus so that emergency responders can protect themselves.
These symptoms of COVID-19 are considered severe:
- Bluish face or lips
- Inability to arouse or new confusion
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- Trouble breathing
When To Call The Doctor
For a long-lasting cough, call your doctor if:
- You have a deep cough with lots of mucus.
- The mucus is bloody.
- Youâre wheezing, short of breath, or have a tight chest.
- You have a fever that doesnât go away after 3 days.
- Your child has the chills or nighttime coughing fits.
- Youâre still coughing after 7 days without getting better.
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