What Is Chronic Cough
A cough is a natural reaction to an infection or blockage that irritates the passage from the lungs to the trachea, pharynx, larynx, or nasal passages. An acute cough that accompanies a cold or a respiratory virus clears up within a month. If the cough persists for longer than 4 weeks, it could mean a much more severe underlying issue.
Studies indicate that coughs caused by acute respiratory infections settle within 25 days in 90% of children. Therefore a cough that continues for more than a month is considered chronic and needs to be checked by a doctor.
Getting Treatment For Pneumonia
Once youve been diagnosed, your doctor can begin treating your pneumonia. In most cases, you can be treated at home. However, your doctor may choose to hospitalize you if youre risks of getting worse are high or your symptoms are severe. Common treatment for pneumonia includes:
- Antibiotics, which target and treat bacterial infections. More than one type of antibiotic may be needed to treat your pneumonia.
- Cough medicine to help reduce coughing and allow for more rest.
- Pain reliever/fever reducer to help bring down your fever and pain symptoms. Most over-the-counter medications should work, but your doctor may recommend specific medications.
If you have pneumonia signs or symptoms, dont wait too long before you contact your doctor. Getting the right treatment will help you feel better more quickly.
What About Recurrent Pneumonia
If you are treated, get well and then the pneumonia recurs, it might be a sign that your immune system or lungs have a problem. You are advised to take immunity tests if you have a case of recurrent pneumonia.
Symptoms of recurrent pneumonia may vary depending on the type. There are three different types of pneumonia – that is viral, bacterial and mycoplasmal. The intensity of the infection could also vary the symptoms of pneumonia. Most people experience a range of symptoms ranging from flu symptoms to severe medical conditions.
Bacterial infections cause bacterial pneumonia. These bacteria are found in the throat and due to weak immunity they spread to the lungs. When it gets to the lungs the air sacs get infected – meaning they get pus and produce excess mucus making breathing difficult. Treatment of this type of pneumonia is done using antibiotics.
Most pneumonia cases are as a result of viral pneumonia. Examples of virus include chickenpox, measles and influenza. Viral infections are not exactly treatable by use of antibiotics. Instead, they resolve with time.
Other causes of pneumonia include:
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Is Constant Coughing With Phlegm Production Causing Problems It Could Be Pneumonia Here Are The Signs And Symptoms Of The Respiratory Problem You Should Not Ignore
Written by Editorial Team | Updated : December 16, 2021 11:36 AM IST
Are you unable to concentrate on your work owing to constant coughing with phlegm production often blood-stained, fever, breathlessness and nausea? Is there shortness of breath? Then, you will immediately have to consult a doctor as it can be pneumonia. Pneumonia can be seen in people of any age group. Thus, it is imperative to recognize the early signs of pneumonia and take appropriate care. Read on to know more about this, and manage it promptly.
Cases of pneumonia are on the rise all over the world. It causes the highest morbidity and mortality rates amongst infections. Pneumonia is termed as an infection of one or both of the lungs. The air sacs that are present in the lungs tend to get filled with fluid or pus.
How Is Pneumonia Diagnosed
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.
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
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.
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 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.
Coronavirus Update: How To Contact A Gp
It’s still important to get help from a GP if you need it. To contact your GP surgery:
- visit their website
Treatment will depend on the cause of your chest infection.
It will either be caused by:
- a virus this usually clears up by itself after a few weeks and antibiotics will not help
- bacteria a GP may prescribe antibiotics
Antibiotics are only used to treat bacterial chest infections. They’re not used for treating viral chest infections, like flu or viral bronchitis. This is because antibiotics do not work for viral infections.
A sample of your mucus may need to be tested to see what’s causing your chest infection.
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Treatment At Florida Medical Clinic
Most healthy people can recover from either bronchitis or pneumonia within a few weeks of treatment. However, complications can arise from either a cold or the flu. In these cases, its important to see your doctor as soon as possible to prevent your condition from worsening. The sooner that you seek treatment, the shorter your recovery time will be!
Atypical Signs And Symptoms In Adults
For older adults and people with underlying health conditions, a cough may not be the primary symptom of pneumonia. These people may instead experience atypical signs and symptoms, such as:
- lower-than-normal body temperature
someone develops pneumonia, such as at the hospital, on dialysis, or in long term nursing care, helps doctors differentiate the cause of the infection and devise appropriate treatments.
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Telltale Signs Of Walking Pneumonia
Walking pneumonia symptoms typically come on slowly and include sore throat, headache, malaise and low-grade feverwhich tend to be less severe than they are with pneumonia. In fact, symptoms of walking pneumonia may be so mild that they dont affect your ability to carry out your day-to-day routine.
A wet or dry cough usually follows these early symptoms. Some people may also experience chest pain caused by inflammation in the lining of the lungs, which gets worse when they take a deep breath.
There are several possible reasons why people may develop a chronic cough, but if you have walking pneumonia, you may find yourself coughing so much that your chest becomes sore. And unlike a cold that resolves in a matter of days, the nagging cough associated with walking pneumonia could persist for weeks. Over time, symptoms could get worse. You might develop a higher fever. Your dry cough could also become wet, causing you to cough up discolored phlegm.
With a virus, symptoms typically run their course in about three to four daysfive days at the most. Then you start to notice that symptoms improve, explains Dr. McClune. However, with walking pneumonia, symptoms linger.
How To Know If Your Wet Cough Is Bronchitis
Bronchitis is a very common cause of a wet cough, and it happens when the lining of your bronchial tubes becomes inflamed. Most times, bronchitis develops at the tail-end of a cold or other infection, and when this happens, it is called acute bronchitis.
Bronchitis can also be chronic, however, and this can entail repeated instances of bronchitis or one instance of bronchitis that is prolonged.
In cases of acute bronchitis, symptoms include a wet cough, production of mucus, fatigue, shortness of breath, and chest discomfort. You may also experience cold symptoms like headaches or body aches. Typically, the bulk of the symptoms will resolve in a week or so, but the cough from acute bronchitis can linger for several weeks.
Cases of chronic bronchitis are characterized by periods of time where the cough or other symptoms worsen, and your productive cough may last anywhere from three months to two years. Alternatively, you may experience repeated cases of bronchitis for those two years, and this is still a sign that you are dealing with chronic bronchitis.
Antibiotics or other medicine will not always be necessary, though. Most cases of bronchitis will actually go away on their own within a couple of weeks. Even still, you should talk to your doctor if you think you have bronchitis, because, as mentioned above, antibiotics are sometimes needed if your infection is being caused by bacteria.
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How Can I Help Pneumonia Cough
First of all, it is important to understand that coughing helps end pneumonia faster. It is important to keep coughing and clearing your airway, especially in the first few days of pneumonia.
Instead of trying to suppress the cough, it is better to try to make your cough more effective so that your airway clears faster. When your airway starts to clear up, your cough will naturally get better.
Most people can simply cough to get rid of phlegm. Others may benefit from learning simple techniques to help make their cough more effective. One such technique is called forced expiratory technique, or FET, also known as huff cough.
Here are the steps:
Too many coughs can be stressful, and may cause some problems in some people. It is understandable that people want to reduce their cough under certain situations. Here are some potential but uncommon complications of too many coughs:
What Is Viral Pneumonia
Viruses are responsible for about one-third of all pneumonias, and they’re the most common cause of pneumonia in children younger than age 5.
Viral pneumonias tend to clear up in about one to three weeks, but they can increase your risk for bacterial pneumonia.
Viral pneumonia is usually less serious than bacterial pneumonia.
At first, the symptoms of viral pneumonia may be similar to symptoms often associated with the flu, except you may experience a dry cough that does not produce phlegm. You may also develop a fever and headache.
But within a couple of days, these symptoms typically get worse.
Adults with viral pneumonia can also expect to develop:
- Sore throat
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle pain
The flu virus is the most common cause of viral pneumonia in adults, which tends to be more serious in people with heart or lung disease, senior citizens, and pregnant women.
Not only can influenza cause pneumonia, it can also predispose people to bacterial pneumonia yet another good reason to get the yearly flu shot.
Respiratory syncytial virus pneumonia is usually a mild infection that clears up in about a week or two. It can be more severe and is more common in young children and older adults. In fact, RSV is the most common cause of pneumonia in children younger than 12 months.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Bacterial Versus Viral Pneumonia In Adults
Symptoms of pneumonia can range from mild sometimes called walking pneumonia to severe. How serious your case of pneumonia depends on the particular germ causing pneumonia, your overall health, and your age.
Bacterial pneumonia: Symptoms of bacterial pneumonia can develop gradually or suddenly. Symptoms include:
- High fever
Additional symptoms appearing about a day later include:
- Higher fever
- Shortness of breath
Beware Of Chronic Chest Pains
Never ignore a mild to moderate chest pain post-COVID recovery, as you may not realise when it can turn into a severe symptom and lead to hospitalisation. One of the most common Long-COVID symptoms is chest pain. This can happen due to a lot of reasons, but patients suffering from pneumonia will experience the worst of it. “one may develop chest pain, which can get worse when breathing or coughing. Take this seriously and make sure to get tested for pneumonia without delay,” says Dr. Mukherjee.
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What Is Fungal Pneumonia
Three types of fungi living in soil are known causes of pneumonia:
- Coccidioides immitis and Coccidiodes posadasii are two related fungi common to the American Southwest. Both can cause coccidioidomycosis, also known as cocci or valley fever.
- Histoplasma capsulatum is found in the central and eastern United States, especially areas around the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys, and causes a disease called histoplasmosis.
- Cryptococcus is a fungi found in soil and bird droppings all across the country.
Most people who inhale these fungi don’t get sick, but if your immune system is weak, you may develop pneumonia.
Another fungus, Pneumocystis jirovecii, can generate an infection in premature, malnourished infants, and in people with a weakened immune system, such as those who have HIV or AIDS.
The symptoms of pneumonia that are caused by fungi are often similar to those of other forms of pneumonia, including a fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue.
But because this type of pneumonia usually affects people with weakened immune systems, symptoms tend to develop faster, and people often experience a high fever.
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.
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What Happens To Your Lungs When You Get Covid
COVID-19 virus infection is so far the worst battle that mankind has ever witnessed. It is a severe respiratory disease that mainly targets the lungs, leading to several serious symptoms such as drop-in oxygen levels, trouble in breathing, etc. So what exactly happens to your lungs when you catch the virus? According to the studies, the virus gets into the body through respiratory organs such as the mouth, nose, etc. After entering the body the virus comes in contact with the mucous membranes which are present in the respiratory tract innings. The virus then enters one healthy cell and the cell, in turn, makes new virus parts. This one cell then multiplies, and the new viruses then infect the other cells present nearby. The virus then splits into smaller and smaller branches in the lungs. Thus infecting the lungs and the alveoli slowly, leading to symptoms like breathing issues, cough, etc.
Additional Ways To Manage Your Symptoms
Research has shown that speech therapy may be effective in lowering the severity of a chronic cough. Your doctor can provide you with a referral to this a speech therapist.
To control your cough, you could try a cough suppressant. Over-the-counter cough medicines that contain dextromethorphan relax the cough reflex.
Your doctor might prescribe a medicine such as benzonatate if over-the-counter medicines dont help. This numbs the cough reflex. The prescription medication gabapentin , an antiseizure medicine, has been found to be helpful in some individuals with chronic cough.
Other traditional cough medicines often contain the narcotic codeine or hydrocodone. Though these medicines can help calm your cough, they also cause drowsiness and may become habit forming.
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