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What Are The First Signs Of Pneumonia

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What are the symptoms of pneumonia?

When you have pneumonia, the alveoli – tiny air sacs where oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged – fill with fluid.

It affects around eight in 1,000 adults a year, and it’s more common in autumn and winter.

While it can severely affect people of any age, it’s more likely and can be more serious among the young or elderly.

While pneumonia symptoms are similar to other illnesses, such as a chest infection – they can develop in as fast as 24 hours.

The infection’s development can also depend on the age of the sufferer.

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Atypical or walking pneumonia is prevalent among school-age children. They may not feel ill enough to demand a day off school, but they could be tired, suffering from headaches, a minor fever or a dry cough.

Mycoplasma pneumoniae is responsible for up to 20 per cent of adult pneumonia cases.

While it is rare, if you are struggling to shake your Omicron infection and feeling it’s getting worse, pay attention to if you have some of the listed symptoms below.

If you do, don’t worry but call for help and an expert can assess you quickly.

People who develop pneumonia often make a full recovery without any extra complications.

Common symptoms include a dry or phlegm-y cough – and breathing may be rapid and shallow, you may feel breathless all the time, and experience chest pain.

Fever, sweating and shivering, loss of appetite and a rapid heartbeat are all also symptoms.

Cough That Can Produce Phlegm

Coughing is another symptom that appears during the consolidation stage. A patient with viral infection may not cough up any phlegm, while a patient with a bacterial infection will often cough up colored phlegm. In fact, a cough that produces mucus is the most common symptom. A patient with a bacterial infection should call their doctor, as an untreated bacterial infection can cause lung damage.

What Health Complications Can Pneumonia Lead To

If you have flu-like symptoms that persist or worsen despite treatment, talk to your doctor.

Your doctor can monitor your lungs while you inhale, listening for crackling sounds that are audible only with a stethoscope.

In order to confirm the diagnosis and identify the specific germ causing the illness, you may get a chest X-ray as well as a blood test, depending on your medical history and physical exam, if your doctor suspects that you have pneumonia.

If left untreated, pneumonia can become severe.

People with severe pneumonia experience higher fevers along with GI symptoms, such as vomiting and diarrhea, as well as:

  • Difficulty breathing

Read Also: How To Get Tested For Pneumonia

Medical History And Physical Exam

Your doctor will ask about your signs and symptoms and when they began. Your doctor will also ask whether you have any risk factors for pneumonia. Your doctor also may ask about:

  • Exposure to sick people at home, school, or work or in a hospital
  • Flu or pneumonia vaccinations
  • Exposure to birds and other animals
  • Smoking

During your physical exam, your doctor will check your temperature and listen to your lungs with a stethoscope.

Doctors Reveal The Causes And First Signs Of Pneumonia

Pneumonia: Overview and More

Pneumonia is a common infection that causes inflammation in the air sacs of one or both lungs. The inflammation causes mucus and other fluids to accumulate in the air sacs.

Pneumonia can be relatively mild, but it can also be deadly. The infection is particularly dangerous to people who are under two years old or over 65 years old. It is too dangerous for people with weakened immune systems or other health problems.

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Viral Vs Bacterial Pneumonia Symptoms

Although viral and bacterial pneumonia symptoms can be very similar, there are some key differences between the two. The section below outlines some examples.

  • Lungs affected: Bacterial pneumonia tends to affect one particular part, or lobe, of a lung, whereas viral pneumonia typically affects both lungs.
  • Symptom onset: The symptoms of bacterial pneumonia can develop either suddenly or gradually, whereas symptoms of viral pneumonia typically develop over several days.
  • Symptoms: People with bacterial pneumonia usually experience a higher temperature and a wet cough, whereas people with viral pneumonia

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.

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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How Can I Help Prevent Pneumonia In My Child

Pneumococcal pneumonia can be prevented with a vaccine that protects against 13 types of pneumococcal pneumonia. Doctors recommend that children get a series of shots beginning at age 2 months. Talk with your childs healthcare provider about this vaccine. Another vaccine is available for children older than 2 years who are at increased risk for pneumonia. Talk with your child’s healthcare to see if it is recommended for your child. Also make sure your child is up-to-date on all vaccines, including the yearly flu shot. Pneumonia can occur after illnesses such as whooping cough and the flu.

You can also help your child prevent pneumonia with good hygiene. Teach your child to cover their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing. Your child should also wash their hands often. These measures can help prevent other infections, too.

Your child can be vaccinated against pneumococcal pneumonia. There are 2 types of vaccines that can help prevent pneumococcal disease. The vaccine that is right for your child depends on their age and risk factors. Talk with your child’s healthcare provider about which vaccine is best for your child and when they should get it.

How Can I Tell If I Have Pneumonia Versus The Common Cold Or The Flu

pneumonia symptoms in adults

Do I have a cold or could it be the flu or even pneumonia? Its tough to tell the difference but critical to know when to seek medical care

Watch for these ongoing symptoms that occur in pneumonia:

  • Serious congestion or chest pain.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • A fever of 102 or higher.
  • Coughing that produces pus.

Pneumonia symptoms last longer than cold and flu. If your symptoms arent severe, its okay to try such home remedies as getting more rest, drinking more fluids and taking some over-the-counter medicines and see what happens. But if you dont see improvement in your symptoms after three to five days, or if you are experiencing more serious symptoms such as dizziness or severe difficulty breathing, see your healthcare provider. Dont let it go. Pneumonia-like symptoms in very young children or in adults older than 65 are a cause for concern. Also, pneumonia can cause permanent lung damage if left untreated for too long. And always seek immediate care if you experience chest pain or have breathing difficulties.

Read Also: How Does Pneumonia Start Out

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:

  • Cough. Look out for a cough that does not clear up. Some types of pneumonia lead to mucus build-up in the lungs. This can cause one to cough up a greenish, yellow or even bloody substance.
  • Fever . Most people with pneumonia will have a fever. However, it is not unusual for people over 65 and a weak immune system to have a cooler body temperature instead of a fever.
  • Chest pain. The infection in the lungs can cause pain when breathing or coughing. This can feel like a sharp stabbing pain in the chest with deep breathing or coughing.
  • Fatigue. Fighting off an infection saps the body of energy. Your loved one may feel exhausted and depleted.
  • Confusion. Exhaustion and infection can lead to temporary confusion and slips in mental awareness. This is often seen in the elderly.
  • Shortness of breath. The air sacs in the lungs can fill with fluid or pus. This causes a cough but also difficulty breathing. You will especially notice this when your loved one needs to move quickly. For example, trying to rush to answer the phone or climbing stairs.
  • How Long Does Pneumonia Last

    The time it takes for your little one to start feeling better can depend on lots of things, including the type of pneumonia, and how severe the infection is.

    Pneumonia can clear up in one or two weeks with proper treatment, although a cough may linger for a few more weeks. Keep in mind, though, that fully recovering from pneumonia can take longer in more severe cases.

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    Pneumonia Vs Cold And Flu Symptoms

    Itâs tricky, because pneumonia can be a complication of colds and flu. This happens when the germs that cause those common illnesses get into your lungs. You might be feeling better, but then you start getting symptoms again — and this time, they can be a lot worse.

    Cold symptoms tend to start slowly. Youâre more likely to sneeze and have a runny nose and sore throat than with either the flu or pneumonia. Colds donât usually cause a fever in adults.

    The top clue that you have the flu is that the symptoms come on strong, seemingly out of nowhere. You may have:

    • Fever above 100.4 F

    How Is Pneumonia Diagnosed In A Child

    PNEUMONIA  Treatment, Care and Future Trends  Witan World

    Your childs healthcare provider can often diagnose pneumonia with a full health history and physical exam. He or she may include these tests to confirm the diagnosis:

    • Chest X-ray. This test makes images of internal tissues, bones, and organs.

    • Blood tests. A blood count looks for signs of an infection. An arterial blood gas test looks at the amount of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the blood.

    • Sputum culture. This test is done on the mucus that is coughed up from the lungs and into the mouth. It can find out if your child has an infection. Its not routinely done because it is hard to get sputum samples from children.

    • Pulse oximetry. An oximeter is a small machine that measures the amount of oxygen in the blood. To get this measurement, the provider tapes a small sensor onto 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.

    • Chest CT scan. This test takes images of the structures in the chest. It is very rarely done.

    • Bronchoscopy. This procedure is used to look inside the airways of the lungs. It is very rarely done.

    • Pleural fluid culture. This test takes a sample of fluid from the space between the lungs and chest wall . Fluid may collect in that area because of the pneumonia. This fluid may be infected with the same bacteria as the lung. Or the fluid may just be caused by the inflammation in the lung.

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    Why Is Pneumonia Dangerous For The Elderly

    Even if your loved one is able to recover from a case of pneumonia, he or she may suffer from long-term effects from the illness. Survivors may be weak mentally and physically. He or she may also have increased symptoms of cardiovascular disease. Overall, the elderly patients quality of life may decline after fighting pneumonia.

    Which Children Are At Risk For Pneumonia

    A child is more likely to get pneumonia if he or she has:

    • Weak immune system, such as from cancer

    • Ongoing health problem, such as asthma or cystic fibrosis

    • Problems with the lungs or airways

    In addition, children younger than 1 year old are at risk if they are around secondhand tobacco smoke. This is especially true if their mother smokes.

    Read Also: How Can You Prevent Getting Pneumonia

    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.

    How Is Pneumonia Spread From Person To Person

    Pneumonia Explained! Symptoms, Diagnosis, Labs, Treatment

    Pneumonia is spread when droplets of fluid containing the pneumonia bacteria or virus are launched in the air when someone coughs or sneezes and then inhaled by others. You can also get pneumonia from touching an object previously touched by the person with pneumonia or touching a tissue used by the infected person and then touching your mouth or nose.

    Also Check: Does The Pneumonia Vaccine Have Side Effects

    Healthy Diet And Lifestyle

    The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health recommends a healthy diet, being physically active, managing psychological stress, and getting enough sleep.

    Consistently meeting scientific guidelines of 150+ minutes per week of exercise or similar physical activity was shown to be associated with a smaller risk of hospitalisation and death due to COVID-19, even when considering likely risk factors such as elevated BMI.

    A meta-analysis, published online in October 2021, concluded that Vitamin D supplementation in SARS-CoV-2 positive patients has the potential to positively impact patients with both mild and severe symptoms. The largest observational study on the subject using online questionnaires, with over 6 000 participants and a dosage regime near the RDI, is set to conclude in July 2021.One of the collaborators in the study is Synergy Biologics Ltd, a manufacturer of vitamin D3 supplements.

    How To Prevent Pneumonia In Your Baby

    You may not be able to completely rule out the possibility of your baby getting pneumonia, but there are plenty of things you can do to lower the risk.

    Here are some ideas for how you can help prevent your baby from getting pneumonia:

    Sickness is one of those challenges that you’re bound to face from time to time as a parent, but of course it’s still natural to worry about what to do if your child gets a condition like pneumonia.

    With any luck, knowing a bit more about this condition and how effectively it can be treated will put your mind at ease, and help you to recognize the warning signs so that your little one receives the best possible treatment as soon as possible.

    In most cases, it won’t be long before your baby’s back to his usual self and you’ll be able to get on with enjoying the adventure that is parenthood.

    And part of the parenting adventure, of course, is changing diapers. You’ll want to choose a well-fitting diaper to keep your baby comfy and to prevent leakages and blowouts.

    Our Diaper Size and Weight Chart will help you find the snuggest fitting diaper for your newborn, baby, or toddler. Those diapers could also be earning you gifts, coupons, and cash back. Download the Pampers Club app to get started.

    • See all sources

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    Pneumonia In Babies And Children

    When your little one comes down with pneumonia, it’s natural to feel worried. Fortunately, with proper treatment this illness is no longer as dangerous as it might have been in your grandparents’ day. Most babies now make a full recovery.

    So what is pneumonia exactly? And what signs should you look out for? Read on to learn all about the different types of pneumonia, what treatment options there are for babies, and how you can help prevent your baby from getting pneumonia in the first place.

    Things You Should Know About Pneumonia

    Nursing Care Plan for Pneumonia

    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:,

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