Can You Prevent Pneumonia
Pneumonia is caused by several types of germs, many of which are contagious. This means that they can be spread from person to person, potentially causing pneumonia.
You can inhale these organisms through airborne droplets that are generated when someone with the germs coughs or sneezes. You can also become infected by touching contaminated objects and then touching your face or mouth.
Fungal pneumonia typically isnt contagious. Instead, its acquired through inhaling spores present in the environment. However, infections due to P. jirovecii have been to spread between individuals.
To reduce your risk of becoming ill with pneumonia, follow the steps below.
- Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water isnt available.
- Get vaccinated. Some causes of pneumonia have vaccines available. These include vaccines for pneumococcal disease, influenza, and Haemophilus influenzae type b .
- Avoid smoking.Smoking can damage your lungs and lower their ability to fight off infections.
- Keep your immune system healthy. This can include doing things like eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise.
In order to diagnose pneumonia, your doctor will first take your medical history and perform a physical exam. During this exam, they may listen to your lungs for bubbling or rumbling sounds that could indicate pneumonia.
Additionally, there are several other tests that can be used to help diagnose pneumonia:
Can You Have Pneumonia Without Fever
A high temperature is a very common symptom of pneumonia however, it is possible to have the illness without a fever. This is more likely to be the case in babies and very young children, and in the elderly.
In people who are older or who have a weakened immune system, pneumonia may cause the body temperature to lower.
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.
Read Also: Things To Do When You Have Pneumonia
Pneumonia Symptoms In Adults
Pneumonia can feel very similar to other respiratory conditions such as the flu or a chest infection. The main symptom is coughing, which may bring up mucus that is green, yellow or bloody. Youll also feel generally unwell and tired.
Additionally, many people experience the following:
- Fever, accompanied by shivering and sweating
- Difficulty breathing and breathlessness even when resting
- Rapid heartbeat
- Chest pain, worsened by breathing or coughing
- Loss of appetite
Pneumonia Symptoms In Children
The main symptoms of pneumonia in children are a fever and rapid breathing, or difficulty breathing. Their breathing may be laboured, causing the muscles under their ribcage to pull inwards.
Your child might also have:
- A cough
- Pain in the chest and abdomen
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty feeding
- Less energy
If the pneumonia has affected the lower part of the lungs, your child may not have coughing, but rather fever, abdominal pain and vomiting.
Blue or grey lips or nails are a sign that your child is not getting enough oxygen, and that they need medical attention.
Don’t Miss: Can Pneumonia Cause A Rash
More Severe Cases May Also Cause:
- quick breathing
- rapid heartbeat
- nausea and vomiting
Some people get a sharp pain in their chest when they breathe in and out. This may be because the thin lining between the lung and ribcage, called the pleura, is infected and inflamed. This inflammation, called pleurisy, stops your lungs moving smoothly as you breathe.
The symptoms of pneumonia are often very similar to those of other chest infections, such as bronchitis, COPD flare-ups or bronchiectasis flare-ups. To get a proper diagnosis youll need to visit your GP.
If you feel unwell with these symptoms, see your GP or call 111. If you have chest pain, a rapid heartbeat, quick breathing, shivers or confusion, get urgent advice from your GP or call 999. Take extra care if youre over 65.
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
Also Check: Does Pneumonia Vaccine Make You Sick
When To Call Your Healthcare Provider Or 911
Its important to be vigilant about how you feel if you suspect you have pneumonia or have been diagnosed with it. Let your healthcare provider know if you experience:
- Chronic shortness of breath or breathing difficulties
- Persistent fever with heavy mucus production
- Unusually severe fatigue
In some cases, pneumonia can become dangerous and even lead to a medical emergency. Call 911 when you have:
- Shortness of breath or breathing difficulties even at rest
- Chest pain and discomfort that gets worse
- Confusion or cognitive difficulties
Can I Prevent Pneumonia
The routine vaccinations that most people receive as kids help prevent certain types of pneumonia and other infections. If you have a chronic illness, such as sickle cell disease, you may have received extra vaccinations and disease-preventing antibiotics to help prevent pneumonia and other infections caused by bacteria.
People should get a pneumococcal vaccination if they have diseases that affect their immune system , are 65 years or older, or are in other high-risk groups. Depending on the bugs that are likely to affect them, these people also may get antibiotics to prevent pneumonia, as well as antiviral medicine to prevent or lessen the effects of viral pneumonia.
Doctors recommend that everyone 6 months and older get an annual flu shot. That’s because someone with the flu could then come down with pneumonia. Call your doctor’s office or check your local health department to see when these vaccines are available.
Because pneumonia is often caused by germs, a good way to prevent it is to keep your distance from anyone you know who has pneumonia or other respiratory infections. Use separate drinking glasses and eating utensils wash your hands often with warm, soapy water and avoid touching used tissues and paper towels.
You also can stay strong and help avoid some of the illnesses that might lead to pneumonia by eating as healthily as possible, getting a minimum of 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night, and not smoking.
You May Like: Spot On Lung Pneumonia Or Cancer
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.
Can You Have Pneumonia Without A Fever Other Symptoms And
It is possible for a person to have pneumonia without a fever, 2020 Healthy Living Leave a comment 13, and those with weakened immune systems.Author: Nadine BrooksWith pneumonia, such as young children, you can have pneumonia without a fever, flu, Joined Dec 15, says But dont be fooled, and pneumonia may all have similar symptoms of cough and a stuffy nose, fever or chills, headache,Favorite Answer I have had both pneumonia and bronchitis with no fever, and even more important if youre experiencing any of the issues mentioned above, Symptoms may come on quickly or may worsen slowly over time.
You May Like: Do You Need Pneumonia Shot Every Year
Can Pneumonia Be Prevented Or Avoided
There are many factors that can raise your risk for developing pneumonia. These include:
People who have any of the following conditions are also at increased risk:
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- sickle cell disease
You can help prevent pneumonia by doing the following:
- Get the flu vaccine each year. People can develop bacterial pneumonia after a case of the flu. You can reduce this risk by getting the yearly flu shot.
- Get the pneumococcal vaccine. This helps prevent pneumonia caused by pneumococcal bacteria.
- Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Dont smoke. Smoking damages your lungs and makes it harder for your body to defend itself from germs and disease. If you smoke, talk to your family doctor about quitting as soon as possible.
- Practice a healthy lifestyle. Eat a balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables. Exercise regularly. Get plenty of sleep. These things help your immune system stay strong.
- Avoid sick people. Being around people who are sick increases your risk of catching what they have.
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.
Recommended Reading: How Often Should An Elderly Person Get A Pneumonia Vaccine
Can Pneumonia Be Prevented
Vaccinations can help prevent some types of pneumonia. Its a good idea to speak to your doctor about whether vaccination is recommended for you or for your children.
One vaccination that reduces the risk of pneumonia is the pneumococcal vaccine. Pneumococcal vaccines are free in Australia under the National Immunisation Program for some people .
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.
Don’t Miss: Signs Of Pneumonia After Surgery
What Is Walking Pneumonia
Walking pneumonia is a mild form of pneumonia . This non-medical term has become a popular description because you may feel well enough to be walking around, carrying out your daily tasks and not even realize you have pneumonia.
Most of the time, walking pneumonia is caused by an atypical bacteria called Mycoplasma pneumoniae, which can live and grow in the nose, throat, windpipe and lungs . It can be treated with antibiotics.
Scientists call walking pneumonia caused by mycoplasma atypical because of the unique features of the bacteria itself. Several factors that make it atypical include:
- Milder symptoms
- Natural resistance to medicines that would normally treat bacterial infections
- Often mistaken for a virus because they lack the typical cell structure of other bacteria
Things You Should Know About Pneumonia
- By Stephanie Watson, Executive Editor, Harvard Women’s Health Watch
Pneumonia is an infection that causes the air sacs in the lungs to fill up with fluid or pus, which makes it harder to breathe. The most common symptoms are cough that may be dry or produce phlegm, fever, chills and fatigue. Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and pain in the chest. and shortness of breath. Signs that indicate a more severe infection are shortness of breath, confusion, decreased urination and lightheadedness. In the U.S., pneumonia accounts for 1.3 visits to the Emergency Department, and 50,000 deaths annually.
With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to affect people around the world, pneumonia has become an even larger health concern. Some people infected with the COVID-19 have no symptoms, while others may experience fever, body ache, dry cough, fatigue, chills, headache, sore throat, loss of appetite, and loss of smell.
The more severe symptoms of COV-19, such as high fever, severe cough, and shortness of breath, usually mean significant lung involvement. The lungs can be damaged by overwhelming COVID-19 viral infection, severe inflammation, and/or a secondary bacterial pneumonia. COVID-19 can lead to long lasting lung damage.
Here are other important facts you should know about pneumonia:,
Read Also: Symptoms Of Pneumonia In Your Lungs
What Is Pneumonia Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment And Prevention
Pneumonia is a lower respiratory lung infection that causes inflammation in one or both lungs.
Air sacs in your lungs called alveoli can then fill up with fluid or pus, causing flu-like symptoms that can persist for weeks or cause rapid deterioration of breathing leading to hospitalization. Pneumonia doesn’t respond to over-the-counter cold and sinus medicines.
Pneumonia comes in different forms and is caused primarily by bacteria or viruses, which are contagious, and less commonly by fungi or parasites.
The type of germ contributes to how serious the illness can become and how its treated. The severity of an infection depends on many factors, including your age and overall health, as well as where you may have acquired the illness.
Can Valley Fever Be Prevented
Unfortunately, its hard to avoid breathing in Coccidioides fungal spores if you live in an area where they are common. While you may not be able to prevent Valley fever completely, you can take steps to reduce your risk for developing it.
- Avoid areas where you will be exposed to dirt or dust, if possible. If you must be in these areas, use an N95 respirator mask to help filter fungal spores out of the air you breathe.
- Close your windows and stay inside during dust storms.
- Avoid activities like gardening, digging, or other yard work that can expose you to fungal spores.
- Use air filters indoors.
- If you have a cut or scrape on your skin, be sure to clean the injury well with soap and water. This can help you avoid possible skin infection.
Read Also: How Often Do You Have To Take A Pneumonia Shot
What Can I Do At Home To Feel Better
In addition to taking any antibiotics and/or medicine your doctor prescribes, you should also:
- Get lots of rest. Rest will help your body fight the infection.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Fluids will keep you hydrated. They can help loosen the mucus in your lungs. Try water, warm tea, and clear soups.
- Stop smoking if you smoke and avoid secondhand smoke. Smoke can make your symptoms worse. Smoking also increases your risk of developing pneumonia and other lung problems in the future. You should also avoid lit fireplaces or other areas where the air may not be clean.
- Stay home from school or work until your symptoms go away. This usually means waiting until your fever breaks and you arent coughing up mucus. Ask your doctor when its okay for you to return to school or work.
- Use a cool-mist humidifier or take a warm bath. This will help clear your lungs and make it easier for you to breathe.
What Causes Valley Fever
There are two forms of Coccidioides immitis. One form grows beneath the hot desert sands and soils. Disturbing the sand causes the tiny branches of the fungus to break apart and release individual spores . These microscopic spores are then inhaled and settle into the branching system of the lungs. The spores then transform into thick walled spherules, within which, on maturity, thousands of endospores develop . It is the yeast forms in tissue that allow the diagnosis of Coccidioides immitis to be made.
Although the spores are very infectious, Valley fever is not contagious it cannot spread from person to person.
Don’t Miss: Pneumonia Vaccine After 65 Years Old