What Are The Symptoms Of Pneumonia
Because pneumonia often occurs when a person already has a respiratory infection, itâs hard to tell when sickness has progressed to the point of pneumonia.
However, any trouble breathing should be a sign to contact a doctor.
Signs and symptoms of pneumonia may include:
Â· High fever or sweating
Â· Chills or shaking
Â· A productive cough
Â· Shortness of breath
Â· Chest pain when breathing or coughing
Â· Fatigue or feeling sapped of energy
Â· Feeling very sick shortly after recovering from a cold or flu
Â· Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea during a respiratory infection
Â· A lack an appetite
Â· Confusion or delirium
Signs Of Pneumonia In Elderly Adults
If any of the following symptoms present in a senior, it is crucial to see a doctor as soon as possible. However, its important to note that older individuals may experience different symptoms of infection compared to younger individuals.
- Green, yellow or bloody sputum that comes up when coughing
- Feeling lethargic
- Suddenly feeling worse following a recent cold or bout of flu
- Confusion or changes in behavior
- Loss of appetite
- Blue lips or fingernails due to a drop in blood oxygen level
Be aware that it is possible for seniors to contract a milder version of pneumonia . Symptoms of walking pneumonia can be so mild that a senior or their caregiver may not even notice them.
Stages Of Pneumonia In Elderly
Pneumonia has four stages, namely consolidation, red hepatization, grey hepatization and resolution.
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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.
Stages Of Pneumonia In Seniors
Anyone can get pneumonia with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Seniors may be more likely to get pneumonia and experience serious complications. Due to these higher risks, senior care providers need to recognize early pneumonia symptoms in seniors.
They also should understand the four stages of pneumonia so they can seek prompt treatment from a qualified healthcare provider.
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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.
Besides Vaccination What Else Can I Do To Prevent Bacterial And Viral Pneumonia
Receiving all recommended vaccinations is one of the best ways to prevent pneumonia. Additionally, there are several other ways to prevent pneumonia, including:
- Quitting smoking, and avoiding secondhand smoke. Smoking damages your lungs.
- Washing your hands before eating, before handling food, after using the restroom, and after being outside. If soap is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoiding being around people who are sick. Ask them to visit when they are feeling better.
- Not touching or sharing objects that are shared with others. Germs can be transferred from object to you if you touch your nose or mouth without washing or sanitizing your hands first.
- Eating a healthy diet, exercise, and get enough rest. Healthy habits keep your immune system strong.
- Getting treated for any other infections or health conditions you may have. These conditions could weaken your immune system, which could increase your chance of infections.
- Avoiding excessive consumption of alcohol.
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Pneumonia Symptoms In Elders
Pneumonia is an infection of your lungs. There can be swelling or fluid in the air sacs. This can cause trouble with breathing as well as affect energy levels and overall health.
If your loved one is sick, the signs of pneumonia include:
Prognosis Of Patients With Pre
A paper in the Journal of General Internal Medicine states: Thirty-day mortality from pneumonia was 24.4% among heart failure patients vs. 14.4% among other pneumonia patients.
The paper adds, We identified 33,736 patients with a first-time hospitalization for pneumonia, of whom 3,210 had a previous diagnosis of heart failure. The median age was 73 years
In addition: We were able to adjust for a wide range of prognostic factors assumed to be important for pneumonia, including cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease, liver cirrhosis, and renal disease.
The paper also says that Our data indicated that pneumonia mortality increased with preadmission heart failure severity. treatment
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. Shes also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.
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What Causes Pneumonia In Elderly Adults
Pneumonia is caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other organisms. In the U.S., pneumonia in the elderly is usually caused by bacteria or a virus.
Pneumococcal pneumonia is the most common type of bacterial pneumonia, affecting more than 900,000 Americans each year, according to the ALA. This type of pneumonia is caused by a germ called Streptococcus pneumoniae. It can occur on its own or after someone has a cold or the flu.
These groups are at increased risk for bacterial pneumonia:
- Adults 65 and older
- People with a weakened immune system
- Patients recovering from surgery
- People with other respiratory conditions or viral infections
Viruses can also cause pneumonia. The influenza virus is the most common cause of viral pneumonia in adults. Pneumonia caused by the influenza virus can be severe and even deadly, especially in people with other health conditions such as heart or lung disease.
Coronavirus disease 2019 can also cause a severe type of double pneumonia that may lead to long-lasting lung damage. It may take several months to recover. Pneumonia associated with COVID-19 can sometimes be fatal, especially in high-risk populations like elderly adults.
How Long Youll Take Them
A course of antibiotics for uncomplicated pneumonia treatment is usually for five to seven days. One course will usually be enough to cure your pneumonia. In some cases, you may need more than one course of antibiotics if your infection doesnt start improving or it seems like its not responding to the medications.
Stay in touch with your doctor to ensure your infection is clearing up. Youll likely start to feel better and have some symptom relief one to three days after you start your pneumonia treatment, but it may take a week or more for your symptoms to go away completely.
Taking your medication as prescribed, especially for antibiotics, is incredibly important. Even if youre feeling better, you need to take the entire course.
Do not stop taking antibiotics early, even if your symptoms improve, as the infection would not be fully treated and could become antibiotic-resistant. This will make treatment more complicated. If youre experiencing side effects, talk to your doctor. Only stop your medication if your doctor tells you its OK to do so.
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Therapeutic Strategies To Manage Cap In Elderly Patients
Antimicrobials are the cornerstone of therapy for CAP in any population, including the elderly. In addition, some nonantibiotic strategies may be important when treating CAP in elderly populations. In older patients, the pneumonia process often extends beyond the lung parenchyma, presenting as a systemic disease with higher severity of illness. This is supported by the finding that many elderly CAP patients present with primarily nonpulmonary symptoms, such as mental status changes or renal dysfunction. Owing to this fact, the following discussion will focus on both the antibiotic and nonantibiotic therapies for elderly patients with CAP. The therapeutic strategies reviewed next are an update from our prior work published in Aging Health, and the discussion is designed to serve as a review of the most relevant literature since the initial publication in 2006 .
Preventing Pneumonia In The Elderly
- Wash their hands frequently: Everyone knows this piece of advice, but not everyone follows it. They should though, because frequent handwashing can greatly lower the risk of infections, including pneumonia.
- Get vaccinated: Getting the pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine lowers seniors risk of getting bacterial pneumonia. Doctors recommend people get a first dose in their 50s, a second dose at age 65 and an additional dose every five years. An annual flu vaccine can also lower risk of pneumonia, because pneumonia sometimes develops as a complication of the flu.
- Avoid people who have a cold or the flu: It may feel rude, but safety comes first. Make plans to see them when theyre feeling better. If you must be around people who are sick, wear a medical face mask to protect yourself.
- Keep their teeth clean: Infected teeth are a prime place for a pneumonia infection to strike. Practice good oral hygiene and visit the dentist regularly to prevent that from happening.
- Keep their homes clean: Dust, mold and mildew can hurt the lungs and increase risk of pneumonia. Seniors may need help from a loved one or a professional cleaning service to keep their homes free from these irritants.
- Live a healthy life: Some of the practices used to treat pneumonia, like getting lots of rest, eating healthy and staying hydrated, can also help fend off illness in the first place. Getting regular exercise and choosing not to smoke cigarettes is also important.
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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.
General Characteristics And Underlying Diseases
From January 1 1997 to December 31 1997, 503 elderly patients with CAP admitted to 16 Spanish hospitals were studied. The general characteristics and underlying diseases of these patients are shown in table1. The mean age was 76.3±7.3yrs, with 169 of the patients being 80yrs of age. A total of 329 showed good physical activity established by the Karnofsky index 80. A further 430 had one or more underlying disease and 127 had received some antibiotic treatment prior to hospital admission.
Multivariate analysis of prognostic factors influencing patient outcome
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Complications Caused By Pneumonia
Pneumonia can sometimes have complications. They include:
- pleurisy where the pleura, the thin linings between your lungs and ribcage, become inflamed, leading to chest pain. If you have pleurisy, you are more likely to develop fluid on the lungs.
- fluid on the lungs – about 1 in 10 people with pneumonia develop fluid around the lung, called a pleural effusion which can become infected. This may require a sample of the fluid to be taken by inserting a needle between the ribs under local anaesthetic, and if infected is likely to need a longer course of antibiotics. Occasionally, a tube is inserted into the lung to remove fluid as well.
- a lung abscess a rare complication thats mostly seen in people with a serious pre-existing illness or history of alcohol misuse.
- blood poisoning, also called septicaemia – this is where infection spreads from the lungs to the blood stream. This can cause low blood pressure and a severe illness that might need intensive care treatment.
- respiratory failure this is where pneumonia causes low levels of oxygen in the blood even in people given oxygen. This might also require intensive care treatment.
The vast majority of people recover from pneumonia and return to good health. However, pneumonia can be very serious and some people with severe pneumonia dont survive, despite the best available care. Those who are elderly or have other health problems are most at risk of severe or fatal pneumonia.
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.
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Caring For Seniors With Pneumonia
If your loved one has been diagnosed with pneumonia, there are ways you can give them a better chance at regaining their health. Elderly people in particular will need a managed environment thatâs kept safe from stressors and anything that might make their condition worse
Here are some of the things CDPAP caregivers will need to do if a loved one has pneumonia:
– Monitor symptoms closely
Regardless of whether a patient is at home or temporarily in a healthcare facility, if you are the one who sees them the most often, you will usually be the first to notice any change in their symptoms. Monitor coughs and breathing closely in case a doctor needs to be alerted.
– Provide transportation to medical appointments and prescription pick ups
Those suffering from pneumonia, particularly the elderly, should not operate a motor vehicle on their own.
– Assist with household chores
Many caregivers do this anyway, but itâs particularly important to deep clean the homes of elderly pneumonia patients to be sure bacteria and viruses are killed and fungus doesnât make it way into the house. Houses should also be rid of all cigarette smoke and other air pollutants that can compromise breathing.
– Administer medication
It will often be up to a caregiver to set a medication schedule and make sure a patient sticks to it. This is very important in the event a patient is given antibiotics.
– Manage mealtime
– Manage oral hygiene