Friday, September 29, 2023

How To Prevent Bronchitis From Turning Into Pneumonia

If There Is Any Chance You Could Have Covid

Bronchitis & Pneumonia (Summary) â Respiratory Medicine | Lecturio

Even though the symptoms of COVID-19 can be very mild or even unnoticeable, the underlying virus is still highly contagious. Therefore, you should take every precaution and act as though you are infected if there is any chance you might be. For instance, if you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19 or if you develop COVID-19 symptoms, you should contact a health care provider for guidance on your next steps, which may include COVID-19 testing. Currently, the only way to confirm a diagnosis of COVID-19 is to be tested, although many people do not require testing in order to determine when it is safe to be around others.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , if you are confirmed to have COVID-19 or you think you might have COVID-19, you should stay home and avoid contact with others. For how long? If you have symptoms, wait until 10 days after your symptoms first appeared or 24 hours after your fever breaks, whichever is later. If you had close contact with someone who had COVID-19 but do not have any symptoms yourself, wait until 14 days after your last exposure to that person. It is essential to take these steps in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Researchers believe that infected people may be contagious approximately two days before their symptoms develop and for up to 10 days afterward.

How Long Does Bronchitis Last

Typically, acute bronchitis may last for 10-14 days or up to 3 weeks depending on individual care and treatment. Chronic bronchitis may last for up to 3 months with proper antibiotic administration and healthy lifestyle. But people with weak immune system may carry the chronic bronchitis condition throughout their lives.

What Causes Maternal Pneumonia

Pregnant women may catch pneumonia due to weak immune system. Besides their lung capacity may reduce because of the expansion of their uterus.

Following are some common causes of pneumonia during pregnancy:

1. Bacterial Pneumonia

Pregnant women may develop bacterial pneumonia in one of their lungs or a part of their lung. Common bacteria that cause the pregnant womans lung having pneumonia are haemophilus influenza, streptococcus pneumonia, and mycoplasma pneumonia.

2. Viral Pneumonia

It is common to get your lung infected by viral pneumonia during pregnancy. Viruses that cause pneumonia are Influenza virus, acute respiratory syndrome, and varicella.

3. Fungal Pneumonia

Most rarely, in the third trimester, women may catch fungal pneumonia caused by fungus Coccidioidomycosis.

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Bronchitis And Pneumonia At The Same Time

Can you have pneumonia and bronchitis at the same time?

Yes, it is. Bronchitis and pneumonia at the same time can happen if the infection spreads from the bronchial tubes to the lungs or a secondary infection occurs. If you have symptoms of bronchitis, and it stays for more than 3 weeks it is better to see a doctor.

How Doctors May Treat Bronchitis That Turns Into Pneumonia

How to tell if Bronchitis is Turning into Pneumonia

Treatment of pneumonia that has developed after bronchitis can vary depending on factors like age, severity of symptoms, and medical history. If your symptoms are severe, your doctor may recommend hospitalization, says Holguin.

If youre not experiencing breathing difficulties or other serious symptoms and your pneumonia is determined to be bacterial, you may be prescribed an oral antibiotic.

Your doctor may also test you for other infections, such as the flu, and depending on your symptoms and test results, recommend an antiviral medication, says Holguin.

If your doctor determines that your pneumonia can be treated at home, they may suggest the following:

  • Drinking plenty of fluids, which can help loosen phlegm and clear it out of your body
  • Getting lots of rest
  • Taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen for fever or chest pain

If hospitalized for pneumonia, you may be given these treatments:

  • Oxygen therapy and other breathing treatments
  • Fluids
  • Antimicrobial agents

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How Is Acute Bronchitis Diagnosed

Healthcare providers can often diagnose acute bronchitis by taking a medical history and doing physical exam. Tests may be done to rule out other diseases, such as pneumonia or asthma. Any of these tests may be used to help confirm a diagnosis:

  • Chest X-rays. A test that uses invisible radiation beams to make images of internal tissues, bones, and organs, including the lungs.
  • Arterial blood gas. This blood test is used to analyze the amount of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the blood.
  • Pulse oximetry. An oximeter is a small machine that measures the amount of oxygen in the blood. To get this measurement, a small sensor is taped or clipped on a finger or toe. When the machine is on, a small red light can be seen in the sensor. The sensor is painless and the red light does not get hot.
  • Cultures of nasal discharge and sputum. Testing the sputum you cough up or swab from your nose may be done to find and identify the microorganism causing the infection.
  • Pulmonary function tests. These are tests that help to measure the ability of the lungs to move air in and out of the lungs. The tests are usually done with special machines that you breathe into.

Beware Of Cough Medicines

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has recommended that over-the-counter cough medicines should not be given to children under the age of 6.

Children aged 6 to 12 should only use them on the advice of a doctor or pharmacist.

As an alternative to an over-the-counter cough medicine, try making your own mixture of honey and lemon, which can help soothe a sore throat and ease your cough.

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Check If You Have A Chest Infection

Chest infections often follow colds or flu.

The main symptoms are:

  • a chesty cough you may cough up green or yellow mucus
  • wheezing and shortness of breath
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • aching muscles
  • tiredness

These symptoms can be unpleasant, but they usually get better on their own in about 7 to 10 days.

The cough and mucus can last up to 3 weeks.

Living With Acute Bronchitis

Acute bronchitis or pneumonia?

Most cases of acute bronchitis go away on their own in 7 to 10 days. You should call your doctor if:

  • You continue to wheeze and cough for more than 2 weeks, especially at night when you lie down or when you are active.
  • You continue to cough for more than 2 weeks and have a bad-tasting fluid come up into your mouth. This may mean you have GERD. This is a condition in which stomach acid gets into your esophagus.
  • Your cough produces blood, you feel weak, you have an ongoing high fever, and you are short of breath. These symptoms may mean you have pneumonia.

The risk of developing complications from acute bronchitis, such as pneumonia, is greater in some people. These include:

  • Young children

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How To Avoid Getting Bronchitis

Its not always possible to prevent acute bronchitis, particularly cases that can follow a viral infection like a cold, but you can take steps to minimize your risk. Heres how:

  • Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face to reduce your exposure to viruses and bacteria. The germs that cause colds, the flu, and other respiratory infections are highly contagious. The best way to reduce your risk of getting bronchitis is to avoid getting sick in the first place. Of course, when you are sick, take care not to spread the illness to other people. Stay at home, wash your hands frequently, and always cough or sneeze into your inner elbow.
  • Avoid standing near people who are coming down with an illness or are visibly fighting cold or flu symptoms.
  • Avoid cigarette smoke. Stop smoking, and be sure you are not exposed to secondhand smoke.

Are There Treatments For Covid

Pneumonia may need treatment in a hospital with oxygen, a ventilator to help you breathe, and intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration.

Clinical trials are looking into whether some drugs and treatments used for other conditions might treat severe COVID-19 or related pneumonia, including dexamethasone, a corticosteroid.

The FDA has approved the antiviral remdesivir for treatment of patients hospitalized with COVID. The drug was origininally developed to treat the Ebola virus.

The agency rescinded an emergency use authorization for the anti-malarials chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine amid serious concerns about their safety and how well they worked against the virus.

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Acute Bronchitis Symptoms May Be Annoying But Theyll Help You Heal

Symptoms of acute bronchitis coughing, a sore throat, and excess mucus and phlegm may be irritating, but theres a reason for them. Coughing is the bodys way of clearing irritants out of your airways to prevent infection, Holguin explains. Though annoying, it will help stop the infection from getting worse, as well as get rid of irritants that are attacking your body in the first place.

What about mucus and phlegm? When were healthy, mucus normally functions by trapping and preventing dust, bacteria, and other foreign invaders from entering the body. So, when we have an infection such as a cold , the sinuses, mouth, throat, and lungs make extra mucus in an effort to expel more germs out of the body.

Defensive Measures Against Sinusitis

Can Bronchitis Turn Into Pneumonia? Prevention and ...

Protect yourself from colds and the flu and follow these tips to reduce your chances of getting sinusitis:

  • Keep your nose clear. If you have a stuffy nose, use over-the-counter decongestants or nasal sprays , drink plenty of fluids, and use a humidifier to help drain your nasal passages.
  • Nix nasal annoyances. Smoke, dry air, perfumes, and dust can irritate sinuses, opening the door to infection.
  • Avoid allergens. Allergic reactions can cause sneezing and overproduction of mucus that can clog your nasal passages. Avoid things you know will set off your allergies.
  • Pass on the pool. Chlorine is a nasal irritant, and diving can push water into the sinuses. If you’re prone to sinus infections after swimming, maybe you should stay dry .
  • Take care in the air. Pressure changes during air travel can be hard on your sinuses. Using a decongestant nasal spray when you fly will keep you breathing easier during and after your flight.

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What Causes Chest Infections

A chest infection is an infection of the lungs or airways. The main types of chest infection are bronchitis and pneumonia.

Most bronchitis cases are caused by viruses, whereas most pneumonia cases are due to bacteria.

These infections are usually spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. This launches tiny droplets of fluid containing the virus or bacteria into the air, where they can be breathed in by others.

The infections can also be spread to others if you cough or sneeze onto your hand, an object or a surface, and someone else shakes your hand or touches those surfaces before touching their mouth or nose.

Certain groups of people have a higher risk of developing serious chest infections, such as:

  • babies and very young children
  • children with developmental problems

Read more about the causes of bronchitis and the causes of pneumonia

How To Prevent Having Bronchitis And Pneumonia

There is actually a vaccine that will help to protect you against bacterial pneumonia. You may not have heard about it because it is not heavily marketed and is mostly recommended for people over the age of 65, although some preexisting medical conditions may require that you take it before that age.

You should also take necessary steps to prevent the spread of infections by practicing proper hygiene. Always remember that bronchitis usually follows a common cold or flu, so you should practice washing your hands regularly, using hand sanitizes and eating food that enhances the function of your immune system.

Changes in lifestyle such as refraining from smoking cigarette can also help prevent the development of bronchitis. People who also have GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease should always treat their symptoms and flare-ups as it can lead to the irritation of their airways, making them prone to viruses and bacteria.

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What Causes Acute Bronchitis

Yes, acute bronchitis is usually caused by the same viruses that cause colds and the flu. The infection typically begins in the nose, the sinuses, or the throat and spreads to the bronchial tubes, where it causes inflammation when the body tries to fight the infection, Dr. Holguin explains.

So is it possible to stop the flu or a cold from turning into bronchitis? Not necessarily, Carlos Picone, MD, chairman of the pulmonary medicine division at Sibley Memorial Hospital, Washington, DC, recently told Everyday Health.

Its common for a cold or flu to be caused by an infection in the upper nasal respiratory epithelium, and theres nothing you can do to prevent that infection from spreading into the lower airways , because those airways are so close to one another, Dr. Picone explains. The two areas are very connected, he says.

Viruses can be spread through physical contact, for instance if an infected person touches an object, like a light switch or an office coffeepot, and then an uninfected person touches that same object and then touches her eyes, mouth, or nose. They can also be spread via germ-laden droplets of moisture that spread through the air as much as six feet away when an infected person sneezes or coughs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .

Exposure to irritants, like tobacco smoke, pollutions, dust, and fumes, can cause or exacerbate acute bronchitis, too. And in less common cases, bacteria can lead to acute bronchitis.

Treatment For Chest Infections

Bronchitis or Pneumonia How to Tell the Difference

Most people with bronchitis can be treated at home and make a full recovery. Assessment of the severity of pneumonia is complex. Some patients can be managed at home on simple antibiotics. Those assessed as severe may require admission to the intensive care unit and their illness may be life threatening.Treatment options include:

  • Your doctor will advise you about any medications you need to get over this attack.
  • Some people need to be admitted to hospital for further treatment, particularly young children and the elderly who are at greater risk of serious complications.
  • Review with your local doctor may be needed within 48 hours, especially if you are not improving, and again in six weeks to make sure that you have made a full recovery. A chest x-ray may be needed at this time.

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What Are The Symptoms Acute Bronchitis

The following are the most common symptoms of acute bronchitis. However, each person may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Back and muscle pain
  • Watery eyes
  • Wheezing

The symptoms of acute bronchitis may look like other conditions or medical problems. Talk with a healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

Can Acute Bronchitis Be Prevented Or Avoided

You can help prevent acute bronchitis by staying healthy and avoiding germs. Wash your hands with soap often to kill any contagious viruses.

If you smoke, the best defense against acute bronchitis is to quit. Smoking damages your bronchial tubes and puts you at risk for infection. Smoking also slows down the healing process.

Other steps you can take to avoid acute bronchitis include:

  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when using lung irritants. These could include paint, paint remover, or varnish.
  • Ask your doctor if you should get a pneumonia shot, especially if you are over age 60.

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How Is Bronchitis Treated

Doctors won’t prescribe an antibiotic for bronchitis caused by a virus. Antibiotics work only against bacteria, not viruses.

Home care helps most kids with bronchitis feel better. The doctor will recommend that kids and teens:

  • drink lots of liquids
  • get plenty of rest

For some older kids or teens, doctors might say it’s OK to give an over-the-counter or prescription cough medicine to ease coughing. They also sometimes prescribe a bronchodilator or other medicines that treat asthma. These help relax and open the bronchial tubes and clear mucus so it’s easier to breathe. Kids usually get these medicines through inhalers or nebulizer machines.

A child or teen with chronic bronchitis should avoid being near whatever irritates their bronchial tubes. For people who smoke, that means quitting. Tobacco smoke causes more than 80% of all cases of chronic bronchitis. Smokers also take longer to recover from acute bronchitis and other respiratory infections.

Can Bronchitis Be Prevented

Is your bronchitis turning into pneumonia?

Washing hands well and often can help prevent the spread of many of the germs that cause bronchitis, especially during cold and flu season.

Encourage anyone in your family who smokes to quit. Protect kids with or without bronchitis from secondhand smoke. It can put them at risk for viral infections and increased congestion in their airways.

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Defensive Measures Against Pneumonia

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the best way to prevent pneumonia. That includes getting a flu vaccination each year, because the flu is a common precursor to pneumonia, as well as not smoking, eating a healthy diet, and getting plenty of exercise and rest. These actions will boost your immune system and keep your cold or flu from turning into something much more serious.

There is a vaccine available that fights off the bacteria-based pneumococcal pneumonia. This vaccine is effective in 80 percent of healthy adults and certainly helps high-risk groups lower their odds of developing pneumonia. If you are at high risk, or if you have a baby younger than 23 months, you should speak with your physician about this vaccine and the new pneumococcal vaccine for young children.

Sinusitis usually stems from a stuffy nose and can be caused by bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Go to the next page to learn more about sinusitis.

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