How Dangerous Is Double Pneumonia
How Dangerous Is Double Pneumonia?
Pneumonia is an infection of the lung that is triggered by a virus, bacterium, parasite or fungus. When pneumonia affects both the lungs, it is a case of double pneumonia. The air sacs in your lungs called alveoli swell up and fluids accumulate in them. This limits your oxygen intake and as a result, less oxygen is infused in your blood. In turn, your whole body starts experiencing oxygen deprivation and you might face acute breathing problems. The intensity and danger level of pneumonia depend on how many segments of the lobes of your lungs have fallen prey to the infection. So, how dangerous is double pneumonia? Double pneumonia infects many of the segments, which is why it can be quite life-threatening unless the right measures are adopted.
Pnemonia: How It Happens
Most of the time, your body filters germs from the air to protect your lungs. Coughing also helps keep them out. If they do get in, your immune system usually fights them off before they make you sick. But if the germ is really strong or your body cant do its part, your lungs can get infected. When your immune system sends cells to attack the germs, your lungs get inflamed, and that leads to pneumonia.
Favorite Orgs That Can Help Fight Pneumonia
Those over age 65 have a higher risk of getting pneumonia than younger adults. They may be especially susceptible to community-acquired pneumonia, spread among large populations of elderly people in settings such as assisted living facilities. This organization, devoted to finding the best products and services for seniors, publishes advice on how older adults should handle prevention and care.
Influenza is a common cause of pneumonia. Several national healthcare organizations and the CDC are collaborating in an effort called United Against the Flu to stress the importance of getting immunized. The groups website supplies resources and details on the vaccination.
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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.
How Long Does It Take For Pneumonia To Go Away
The length of time that it takes for the symptoms of pneumonia to disappear depends on the type of lung infection you have and its severity.
Dr. Carol DerSarkissian says that you may not start feeling better for up to 3 weeks while recovering from pneumonia. However, some factors can also mean that it takes longer than usual to completely recover from pneumonia. Some of these factors can include:18
- Age and strength of immune system. If you are already ill or are a senior person, your symptoms of pneumonia can be more severe and take longer to go away. If you are elderly, you should see a doctor as soon as possible when you develop the first signs of pneumonia.
- Type of infectious pneumonia. Usually, bacterial pneumonia causes more severe symptoms and complications and takes longer to treat.
- Home care for pneumonia. Its important to get plenty of rest to allow your body to recover quicker from a lung infection. Making sure you avoid irritating your lungs and drinking plenty of fluids are good ways to make pneumonia go away quicker.
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How Serious Is Double Pneumonia
Pneumonia in any form is usually more serious for children under the age of five, adults over the age of 65, people with certain conditions like heart failure, diabetes, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , or people who have weakened immune systems, the NHLBI says.
Typically, double pneumonia is more serious for anyone, says Raymond Casciari, M.D., a pulmonologist at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Calif. If you have one good lung, it can meet all of your bodys needs until your other lung recovers. But, if both lungs are involved, youre in a fragile situation, he explains.
That said, it depends on the person and how their body reacts. One small area of the lungs thats affected by pneumonia can be life-threatening if its extensive, says Reynold Panettieri, M.D., a lung specialist and vice chancellor for translational medicine and science at Rutgers University. Sometimes, double pneumonia is well tolerated.
What Is Double Pneumonia
This condition simply means that both lungs are affected regardless of the site where the pneumonia has developed. Pneumonia is a medical condition where in a portion of the lung is filled with liquid by products of inflammation. Commonly it is the right lung that is infected. Chances of double pneumonia in the elderly are more due to the weak immune system in the old age. The bacteria streptococcus pneumoniae is the most common cause.
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Can Pneumonia Go Away On Its Own
Mild forms of walking pneumonia may go away on their own without the use of medication. According to doctors at the Cleveland Clinic, some mild respiratory bacterial infections often clear up by themselves after a few weeks. However, you need to see a doctor if your symptoms of pneumonia become severe.16
Usually, the symptoms of viral pneumonia are less severe and should clear up on their own. Dr. Carol DerSarkissian on WebMD says that no medication is usually prescribed to treat the symptoms of viral pneumonia and the infection has to run its course. With viral pneumonia, a person should stay at home for at least a few days to get plenty of rest and drink plenty of fluids.17
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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What Are The Treatment Options For Double Pneumonia
Pneumonia in two lungs is treated the same way as it is in one lung.
The treatment plan will depend on the cause and severity of the infection, and your age and general health. Your treatment may include over-the-counter drugs to relieve pain and fever. These could include:
Your doctor may also suggest a cough medicine to help manage your cough so that you can rest. According to Mayo Clinic, coughing helps move fluid from your lungs, so you dont want to eliminate it entirely.
You can help yourself have a smoother recovery. Take your prescribed medication, rest, drink plenty of fluids, and dont push yourself to get back to your regular activities too soon.
Specific treatments for different types of pneumonia include:
What We’ve Learned About Managing Covid
How we now treat COVID-19 pneumonia compared to 12 months ago makes a significant difference to survival.
Since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers have made significant advancements in effectively managing COVID-19 induced pneumonia.
“When the COVID-19 outbreak first occurred, we were seeing catastrophic outcomes in patients who were admitted to hospital with rapidly progressive pneumonia. Unfortunately, the treatments that were used empiricallyinitiallywere not effective, and really had no modifying effect on the evolution of COVID-19 pneumonia,” said Conjoint Professor at UNSW Medicine & Health Christine Jenkins.
Professor Jenkins, who is Head of the Respiratory Group at the George Institute for Global Health, explained most people at that time died from respiratory failure. No matter what strategy was implemented, it was not possible to get enough oxygen into the individual’s system and maintain it.
“That’s because when people developed severe pneumonia from COVID-19, their lungs become filled with fluid and inflammatory cells, and some blood vessels developed clots, so the oxygeneven when it was driven in by mechanical ventilationjust couldn’t get through that inflammatory process. The membranes in the lung were very swollen, so people died from respiratory failure.
What we now know about managing COVID-19 pneumonia
Lung disease and COVID-19 pneumonia
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Is Pneumonia Contagious After Antibiotics
The answer to the question: is pneumonia contagious after antibiotics? depends on the type of pneumonia that is causing your cough.
Doctors often prescribe antibiotics for bacterial infections of the lungs or for viral pneumonia that has turned into bacterial pneumonia. Doctors from the National Health Service say that usually pneumonia is no longer infectious about 24 hours after taking antibiotics. However, the length of time a person is infectious can vary.15
For example, some antibiotics take longer to work in some people than other people. This means that you could still spread bacterial pneumonia to another person more than 24 hours after starting antibiotics. Or, if you have viral pneumonia together with bacterial pneumonia, you may still pass on viral infections even though you are taking antibiotics.
How Do You Spread Pneumonia
Pneumonia is spread through contact with infected respiratory fluid that enters your mouth, eyes, or nose. This means that you can easily catch pneumonia from someone else if you touch infected surfaces and then touch your own mouth or nose.
According to doctors from the National Health Service, pneumonia also spreads through being in close contact when a person coughs or sneezes. Droplets of infected fluid can land on or near your mouth or nose, and the respiratory infection can find its way into your lungs.7
Staff from the Mayo Clinic report that pneumonia that spreads between people is often referred to as community-acquired pneumonia. This is when viral, bacterial, or fungal pneumonia gets transmitted between people outside of a hospital or medical facility . This can cause mild to severe symptoms of lung infections that last from a few days to several weeks.8
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Is Viral Pneumonia Contagious
You are usually contagious with viral pneumonia for as long as your symptoms last. Usually, sputum, saliva, or mucus that you cough up will contain infectious germs that can spread from person to person.
Dr. Charles Patrick Davis says that viral pneumonia is infectious for as long as you have a fever. However, depending on the type of respiratory viral infection, your pneumonia may still be spreadable for up to a week after symptoms have gone. A cough in itself isnt a sign that viral pneumonia is still contagious.6
Complications Of Pneumonia In Elderly Adults
Older adults are at risk for complications of pneumonia, including:
- Bacteremia, a potentially fatal infection that enters the bloodstream from the lungs and can spread to other organs
- Pleurisy, an inflammation of the membrane that covers the lungs . Pleurisy may require surgery or drainage of the infected fluid in the lungs
- Lung abscess, a pus-filled cavity that can develop in the infected lung area
- Acute respiratory distress syndrome , which occurs when pneumonia severely injures the lungs, leading to respiratory failure. ARDS may require the use of a mechanical ventilator to help with breathing
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Who Is At Higher Risk For Developing The Infection
While anyone can develop pneumonia, some people are at higher risk than others. These include:
- The elderly
- People who recently had a cold or influenza
- Having a respiratory illness, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Exposure to certain inhaled toxins
- Recent surgery
- People in intensive care units
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.
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Does Pneumonia Really Walk And Is Double Pneumonia Just Double Talk
Before answering the above questions, I want the reader and myself to be on the same initial page and agree that the basic subject about to be presented is pneumonia. Pneumonia is a disease of the lung tissue that involves inflammation of the alveoli . Although bacteria and viruses cause the majority of pneumonias, there can be other causes such as fungi, parasites, chemicals, and physical injury to the lung tissue. Pneumonias can result in fluid accumulation in alveoli and produce the typical signs and symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, and often fever and chest pain, especially when coughing.
Pneumonia is not bronchitis , and it’s not pleurisy , although both can produce some symptoms similar to pneumonias. Please note the use of the word “pneumonias” it’s plural and, in my view, has many different words used in both the lay and medical literature to identify subsets of the disease. Unfortunately, this can lead to confusion because there is a considerable amount of imprecision and overlap with these modifiers. We in the medical professions are guilty of developing and then using them I don’t see any evidence that the terminology will improve, so I’ll try at least to indicate what several of the prominent pneumonia modifiers mean and answer the questions asked above in the title.
When To See A Doctor
Pneumonia can develop into a serious respiratory infection that causes unpleasant complications. Usually, using home remedies to treat chest infections at the first signs of a viral or bacterial chest infection help to prevent pneumonia becoming worse.
In some cases, you may need to visit your doctor to get your lung infection symptoms checked out. Dr. Laurence Knott on Patient.info recommends seeing a doctor for pneumonia in the following circumstances:19
- The symptoms of pneumonia get worse despite using home remedies.
- You start to cough up thick phlegm or mucus that is yellow, green, brown, or has streaks of blood.
- You get no relief from a chesty cough after 4 weeks.
- You frequently have bouts of bronchitis or other chest infections.
- You have shortness of breath, dizziness, fast breathing, or chest pains.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Double Pneumonia
The symptoms of double pneumonia are the same as for pneumonia in one lung.
The symptoms are not necessarily more severe because both lungs are infected. Double pneumonia does not mean double seriousness. You can have a mild infection in both lungs, or a serious infection in both lungs.
Symptoms can vary, depending on your age, general health, and the type of infection you have.
Pneumonia symptoms include:
Treatment And Medication Options For Pneumonia
A lot of treatment aspects, as well as outcome, depend on the person, as well as the type of pneumonia they have, says Dr. Barron. Sometimes youll be fine just resting, but if you have things like trouble breathing, you should get to a doctor right away.
Your doctor will outline a plan that’s specific to you, considering the type of pneumonia you have, the severity of the condition, your age, and your overall health. From there, you’ll know whether you can be treated at home or need to go to the hospital, and whether you require antibiotics.
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