Sunday, November 27, 2022

How To Tell If You Have Pneumonia Or Not

Why Is Pneumonia Dangerous What Are The Possible Complications Of Leaving This Condition Untreated

I Don’t Know If I Have Bronchitis or Pneumonia

Pneumonia can usually be treated successfully without leading to complications. However, complications like the ones listed below can develop in some patients, especially those in high-risk groups.

Fluid or pus could get accumulated between the covering of the lungs and the inner lining of the chest wall this is called a pleural effusion . A chest tube may be needed to drain the fluid/pus.

Pus might collect in the lung area infected with pneumonia . Rarely this may require surgery.

Bacteria can spread to the bloodstream and other organs. This is a serious complication since the infection can cause the blood pressure to be dangerously low.

Although most people recover from pneumonia, it can be fatal in some cases. Approximately 5 to 10 percent of patients admitted to a general medical ward, and almost 30 percent of patients with severe infection admitted to an intensive care unit can die.

How Do You Treat Pneumonia

Treatment for pneumonia depends on the cause. If pneumonia is caused bya bacterial infection, antibiotics will be prescribed to kill the harmfulbacteria. If pneumonia is caused by a viral infection, time and restare best for recovery. Fever reducing medications and cough medicationscan help relieve symptoms and aid sleep.

Can You Have Pneumonia Without A Fever

The short answer is yes. Yes, you can have pneumonia without a fever.

I strongly recommend that you read the rest of the article for the long answer because it is a very important question and you need more information to understand the specific situations.

As a practicing MD, my patients and their families have asked this question many times. In the last 15 years, I have treated thousands of very sick patients hospitalized with pneumonia and many of them did not have a fever. I have put this article together to explain why it is important to understand when you can have pneumonia without a fever and what that means.

The presence of a fever with pneumonia doesnt always mean you are more likely to have a worse outcome. The absence of a fever does not necessarily mean that your pneumonia is not serious. In fact, some research has suggested that the opposite may be true. You may actually have a worse outcome if you have pneumonia without a fever in certain specific situations.

The presence of a fever with pneumonia doesnt always mean you are more likely to have a worse outcome. The absence of a fever does not necessarily mean that your pneumonia is not serious. In fact, some research has suggested that the opposite may be true. You may actually have a worse outcome if you have pneumonia without a fever in certain specific situations.

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S To Prevent Walking Pneumonia

Since walking pneumonia is often spread by coughing and sneezing, you can help prevent the transmission of germs by covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing, whether with a tissue or your upper sleeve.

In order to stay healthy, you should also:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.
  • Dont smoke .
  • Take steps to help boost your immune system by getting adequate sleep, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly.
  • Avoid exposure to others who are sick.

In particular, people who have underlying lung disease should be careful and have a heightened awareness of what steps to take to prevent walking pneumonia. Dont downplay a cough. If you need expert care, we are here for you at your neighborhood ER.

Why Do Some People Have Pneumonia Without A Fever And Others Have One With A Fever

How to Determine if You Have Pneumonia: 12 Steps (with Pictures)

A fever is a type of immune reaction. It is one of the ways your body tries to fend off an invasion by disease-causing germs. Pneumonia is a type of infection where the invading germs settle down in your lungs. To have a fever with pneumonia, the following sequence of events must happen inside your body.

  • Invading germs produce certain specific chemicals capable of triggering a fever.
  • Your immune system recognizes those chemicals as signs of an invasion by disease-producing germs, and pulls the trigger to start a fever.
  • Your immune system works to magnify the signal and produce the right chemical to send the signal to a specific part of the brain.
  • The part of the brain that controls your body temperature resets your internal thermostat to produce a fever.
  • The thermostat releases chemicals that affect your metabolisman energy-consuming series of chemical reactions.
  • Your body uses more energy to produce heat until you reach the temperature set by your brains thermostat
  • Any defect in the steps can result in pneumonia without a fever.

    There are certain viruses that dont produce fever-causing chemicals. There was a research article published in the Cambridge University Press where they identified such viruses. . Some people have defects in the immune system that causes it fail to recognize the specific triggers. Some people have defects in producing the signal-magnifying chemicals, and are unable to tell the brain to reset the thermostat to start a fever.

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    Symptoms During The Red Hepatization Phase

    As you move into more advanced stages of pneumonia, you may be increasingly weak or tired as your body tries to fight the infection. You may start to see sputum production or coughing decrease as swelling in the alveoli increases. When this happens, you may become short of breath or have difficulty breathing.

    Trouble In Breathing Due To Inflammed Air Sacs Or Alveoli

    You may experience a steady drop in your breathing rate or an unexplained rise in your breathing counts. One may also notice that there is sudden trouble which one may notice every time he/she breathes. This condition is also known as laboured breathing. “The patient may notice that the breathing rate post-COVID recovery has drastically changed. It is either rapid or shallow. One can also find him/herself becoming breathless even while resting,” Dr. Mukherjee told TheHealthSite.com.

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    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.

    How Is Pneumonia Diagnosed

    Pneumonia A Serious Condition to be Taken Seriously

    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.

    Medical history

    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

    Physical exam

    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.

    Diagnostic Tests

    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.

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    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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    When To Call The Doctor

    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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    How Is Walking Pneumonia Treated

    Walking pneumonia is usually mild, does not require hospitalization and is treated with antibiotics . Several types of antibiotics are effective. Antibiotics that are used to treat walking pneumonia caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae include:

    • Macrolide antibiotics: Macrolide drugs are the preferred treatment for children and adults. Macrolides include azithromycin and clarithromycin . Over the past decade, some strains of Mycoplasma pneumoniae have become resistant to macrolide antibiotics, possibly due to the widespread use of azithromycin to treat various illnesses.
    • Fluoroquinolones: These drugs include ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin . Fluoroquinolones are not recommended for young children.
    • Tetracyclines: This group includes doxycycline and tetracycline. They are suitable for adults and older children.

    Often, over-the-counter medications can also be taken to help relieve symptoms of nasal congestion, cough and loosen mucus buildup in the chest. If you have a fever:

    • Drink more fluids

    What Are The Warning Signs Of Pneumonia

    How to Determine if You Have Pneumonia: 12 Steps (with Pictures)

    The signs and symptoms of pneumonia may include: Cough , which may produce greenish, yellow or even bloody mucus. Fever , sweating and shaking chills. Shortness of breath. Rapid, shallow breathing. Sharp or stabbing chest pain that gets worse when you breathe deeply or cough . Loss of appetite , low energy, and fatigue .

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    How Long Does It Take To Recover From Pneumonia

    “Pneumonia is a serious illness that can take quite a toll on a person’s lungs and body. It can take anywhere from a week to several months to fully recover from it,” says Dr. Rayman Lee, pulmonologist at Houston Methodist.

    The length of time it takes for you to recover from pneumonia is influenced by:

    • Your age
    • The severity of your illness
    • Whether you have other health conditions
    • The type of pneumonia

    If you’re generally healthy and have only a mild case of pneumonia, your symptoms should begin to improve one to two days after starting treatment.

    “Most people with mild pneumonia are able to return to their everyday activities in a week, although fatigue and cough can linger for an entire month,” says Dr. Lee.

    Recovery timelines become more murky for people who have severe pneumonia.

    “For more serious cases that require hospitalization, we’re not only focused on clearing the infection, we’re also focused on preventing or treating complications that can develop including difficulty breathing, fluid buildup in the lungs, sepsis, acute respiratory distress syndrome and lung abscesses,” warns Dr. Lee.

    Pneumonia and its complications can wreak havoc on a person’s lungs and body. And, it can take anywhere from one to six months for a person to recover and regain strength after being hospitalized for pneumonia.

    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

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    Is Pneumonia Treated Any Differently In Children

    Essentially no. Just like adults, bacterial causes of pneumonia in children may be treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics are not used to treat pneumonia caused by viruses. Flu-related pneumonia may be treated with antiviral medicine if caught early in the course of illness. Most cases of pneumonia are treated with comfort care measures that ease symptoms. These may include:

    • Drinking more fluids.
    • Getting more rest.
    • Taking over-the-counter medicines for cough and acetaminophen for fever. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about giving medicines to your child.
    • Using a cool mist humidifier in your childs room.

    Whats The Outlook For People With Pneumonia

    A doctor explains the difference between pneumonia and the coronavirus

    The time that it takes to recover from pneumonia can vary by individual. Some may find that they can go back to their normal routine in about a week. Others may need some additional time to recover. Sometimes tiredness and fatigue can linger for several weeks.

    Illness may also be more severe in at-risk groups like young children, older adults, and people with underlying conditions. These groups often require hospitalization and close monitoring through their treatment and recovery.

    What about the different causes of pneumonia? The time until symptoms improve can also depend on whats causing your infection.

    In bacterial pneumonia, you may begin to feel better after several days of antibiotic treatment. Viral pneumonia typically improves in while fungal pneumonia may require taking antifungal medications for weeks or even months.

    what to do while recovering

    Remember, the germs that cause pneumonia can be contagious. While youre recovering, be sure to do the following:

    • limit contact with others
    • cover your nose and mouth when you cough
    • wash your hands frequently
    • throw away any used tissues promptly in a covered container

    Be sure to speak to your doctor about when you can go back to your normal activities. Your doctor may also want to schedule a follow-up chest X-ray to make sure that your infection has completely cleared.

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    When To See A Doctor If You Think You Have Pneumonia

    It can be difficult to tell the difference between any type of cold or respiratory infection and pneumonia in the early stages. Many respiratory infections can cause a cough thats either wet or dry and begins to clear in 2 to 3 weeks. If your cough is lasting longer, or becoming more severe during that time even with medication, you may want to see a doctor.

    Medical emergency

    If you begin to experience signs of more severe infection like a fever above 102°F or confusion, or if you start to have trouble breathing, you should see a doctor right away.

    If you cant quickly make an appointment quickly with a doctor or you have severe breathing trouble, seek care immediately at an emergency department.

    How you are treated for pneumonia will depend on the infection that triggered it and how sick you become. Antibiotics are typically used to treat pneumonia, but viral and fungal pneumonia may require alternative treatments.

    Tips For Regaining Your Strength After Severe Pneumonia

    • Get plenty of rest
    • Slowly start moving around once you’re ready but don’t overdo it
    • Complete any treatments prescribed by your doctor
    • Eat a nutritious diet
    • Quit smoking and avoid second-hand smoke
    • Limit exposure to throat irritants, including pollution and alcohol
    • Perform deep breathing exercises
    • Consult with your doctor before returning to exercise

    Aim to slowly work back into your usual routine and be sure to take note of any signs that the infection may be coming back.

    “Pneumonia can be incredibly taxing and there’s no one-size-fits-all to recovery. Some people feel better in about six weeks, but it can take several months for others to feel better after severe pneumonia,” adds Dr. Lee. “Most importantly, be patient with your body.”

    If your recovery is prolonged, a specialized program focused on pulmonary rehabilitation may help get you back on track.

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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.
  • Viral pneumonia: Get a flu vaccine once every year. Flu vaccines are prepared to protect against that years virus strain. Having the flu can make it easier to get bacterial pneumonia.
  • 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.

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