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.
Three Factors In Coronavirus Lung Damage
Galiatsatos notes three factors that affect the lung damage risk in COVID-19 infections and how likely the person is to recover and regain lung function:
Disease severity. The first is the severity of the coronavirus infection itself whether the person has a mild case, or a severe one, Galiatsatos says. Milder cases are less likely to cause lasting scars in the lung tissue.
Health conditions. Galiatsatos says, The second is whether there are existing health problems, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or heart disease that can raise the risk for severe disease. Older people are also more vulnerable for a severe case of COVID-19. Their lung tissues may be less elastic, and they may have weakened immunity because of advanced age.
Treatment. Treatment is the third factor, he says. A patients recovery and long-term lung health is going to depend on what kind of care they get, and how quickly. Timely support in the hospital for severely ill patients can minimize lung damage.
Walking Pneumonia Vs Bronchitis Symptoms
Both bronchitis and walking pneumonia have similar symptoms, but the two diseases are not the same. Bronchitis affects the bronchial tubes, not the small airways of the lungs.
Bronchitis symptoms may include:
- runny, stuffy nose
- shortness of breath
The main difference is that the recovery time tends to be shorter with acute bronchitis than with pneumonia. But recovering from chronic bronchitis may take a long time.
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Complications And Risk Factors
Pneumonia can sometimes cause serious complications and become life-threatening. Potential complications can include:
- breathing difficulties or even respiratory failure, which can require being placed on a ventilator in order to get oxygen
- worsening of chronic lung conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- fluid accumulation in the lungs, which can become infected and may need to be drained
- lung abscess, which is the formation of a pocket of pus in your lung
- bacteremia, when bacteria spread into your bloodstream, possibly leading to
People that may be at risk for more serious symptoms or complications include:
- children under 2 years old
- adults over 65 years old
There are several types of pneumonia. They can be classified by how you get the infection.
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
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When Should I See My Doctor
Pneumonia can be life-threatening if left untreated, especially for certain at-risk people. You should call your doctor if you have a cough that wont go away, shortness of breath, chest pain, or a fever. You should also call your doctor if you suddenly begin to feel worse after having a cold or the flu.
Back Pain From Pneumonia
Back pain is a common symptom of pneumonia. In the last 15 years, I have personally treated thousands of patients hospitalized with pneumonia. Many of them had back pain. I am writing this article based on my personal experience as well as a review of relevant medical journals.
In this article, I will describe:
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Whats The Connection Between The New Coronavirus And Pneumonia
Infection with SARS-CoV-2 begins when respiratory droplets containing the virus enter your upper respiratory tract. As the virus multiplies, the infection can progress to your lungs. When this happens, its possible to develop pneumonia.
But how does this actually happen? Typically, the oxygen you breathe into your lungs crosses into your bloodstream inside the alveoli, the small air sacs in your lungs. However, infection with SARS-CoV-2 can damage the alveoli and surrounding tissues.
Further, as your immune system fights the virus, inflammation can cause fluid and dead cells to build up in your lungs. These factors interfere with the transfer of oxygen, leading to symptoms like coughing and shortness of breath.
People with COVID-19 pneumonia can also go on to develop acute respiratory distress syndrome , a progressive type of respiratory failure that occurs when the air sacs in the lungs fill up with fluid. This can make it hard to breathe.
Many people with ARDS need mechanical ventilation to help them breathe.
What Is The Outlook For Pneumonia
People who are otherwise healthy often recover quickly when given prompt and proper care. However, pneumonia is a serious condition and can be life-threatening if left untreated and especially for those individuals at increased risk for pneumonia.
Even patients who have been successfully treated and have fully recovered may face long-term health issues. Children who have recovered from pneumonia have an increased risk of chronic lung diseases. Adults may experience:
- General decline in quality of life for months or years
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What Increases Your Risk Factors For Walking Pneumonia
Like pneumonia, the risk for developing walking pneumonia is higher if you are:
- over age of 65 years old
- 2 years old or younger
Since walking pneumonia tends to be mild, some people with the illness choose not to get a formal diagnosis. But other serious diseases can cause symptoms that look like walking pneumonia. If symptoms continue to worsen after a few days, consider checking in with a healthcare professional for a diagnosis and treatment.
Treatment for walking pneumonia depends on whats causing the disease. Walking pneumonia from bacteria can be treated with antibiotics. A healthcare professional may use antiviral medications to treat cases caused by viruses.
For very mild cases of walking pneumonia, treatment may simply involve managing symptoms at home and resting.
Bronchitis Vs Pneumonia: How To Tell
Youre coughing, youve got a fever, and your chest feels like its clogged with mucus. Do you have bronchitis or pneumonia? Both are lung infections with similar symptoms, so it can be hard to tell the difference.
The big difference between these two conditions and you might not be able to feel it is which part of the respiratory system is affected.
- Bronchitis affects the bronchial tubes that carry air to your lungs.
- Pneumonia affects the air sacs, called alveoli, where oxygen passes into your blood. Pneumonia causes these air sacs in the lungs to fill with fluid or pus.
In addition, bronchitis comes in two forms:
- Acute bronchitis. Acute bronchitis is an infection caused by viruses and sometimes bacteria.
- Chronic bronchitis. Chronic bronchitis is a long-term inflammation in your lungs.
Sometimes, bronchitis can turn into pneumonia.
Keep reading to learn more about the symptoms, causes, and treatment for these two conditions.
It can be difficult to tell bronchitis and pneumonia apart based on congestion and cough alone. However, these two conditions have very different causes, symptoms, and treatments.
The big difference in symptoms involves severity. Pneumonia symptoms are usually more severe than bronchitis, and pneumonia usually looks more like a body-wide infection with a fever or chills.
Both pneumonia and bronchitis can develop from bacteria or viruses that cause respiratory infections.
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What Are The Complications Of Pneumonia
Anyone can experience complications from pneumonia. However, people in high-risk groups are more likely to develop complications, including:
- Breathing difficulties: Pneumonia can make breathing difficult. Pneumonia plus an existing lung disorder can make breathing even more difficult. Breathing difficulties may require a hospital stay to receive oxygen therapy or breathing and healing assistance with the use of a breathing machine .
- Fluid buildup in the lungs : Pneumonia can cause a buildup in the fluid between the membranes that line the lungs and the inside of the chest cavity. It is a serious condition that makes breathing difficult. Pleural effusion can be treated by draining excess fluid with a catheter, chest tube or by surgery.
- Bacteria in the bloodstream : The bacteria that cause pneumonia can leave your lungs and enter your bloodstream, spreading the infection to other organs. This condition is treated with antibiotics.
- Lung abscess. A lung abscess is a pus-filled cavity in the lung that is caused by a bacterial infection. It can be treated by draining the pus with a long needle or removing it by surgery.
I Felt Like I Was 80 Years Old
Australian Bridget Wilkins, 29, was diagnosed with COVID-19 in early March after flying from London to Brisbane, via Singapore, for her best friends wedding but she never made it to the ceremony.
Speaking to ABCs 7.30, Wilkins said she initially found the symptoms to be no worse than a headache or sore throat and she believed she could just be jetlagged.
She went to the doctor for a general health checkup and discovered she had the coronavirus. Its not known where Wilkins picked up the virus, but she said doctors think it couldve been at Heathrow or Singapore Changi Airport.
Wilkins has spent 13 days in isolation at a Brisbane hospital.
Ill be honest, the first question I asked the doctor on the phone was, am I going to die? Which sounds a bit dramatic but at that stage, two weeks ago, I didnt really know what coronavirus was, she told 7.30.
She said she felt only mildly sick, but around days eight to 10 her condition deteriorated.
I became very, very fatigued and I had quite intense headaches and a level of chest pain, Wilkins said.
I felt like I was 80 years old. I thought of my grandmother at that moment.
I recognised how hard it may be for her generally but also if she was to have a condition like coronavirus.
During those worst days, Wilkins struggled to sit up, get out of bed and do all the basic things that we probably all take for granted.
Watch: Mamamias Claire Murphy breaks down your most asked questions about COVID-19. Post continues below.
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What Are The Chances Of Dying From Pneumonia
Yes, pneumonia can killbut its rare. We see so many more people that have pneumonia that survive, Dr. Bhowmick says.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , every year there are around 1 million Americans sent to the hospital with pneumonia, and about 50,000 die from the disease.
What Are The Symptoms Of Pneumonia
Pneumonia symptoms can vary from so mild you barely notice them, to so severe that hospitalization is required. How your body responds to pneumonia depends on the type germ causing the infection, your age and your overall health.
The signs and symptoms of pneumonia may include:
- Cough, which may produce greenish, yellow or even bloody mucus
- Fever, sweating and shaking chills
- Sharp or stabbing chest pain that gets worse when you breathe deeply or cough
- Loss of appetite, low energy, and fatigue
- Nausea and vomiting, especially in small children
- Confusion, especially in older people
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How To Regain Strength After Pneumonia
If you have pneumonia, the first priority is clearing the infection causing it.
This means following your doctor’s treatment plan very closely. Yes, getting plenty of rest. And, yes, taking every single pill in the bottle of antibiotics your doctor prescribed you if your pneumonia is bacterial in nature.
But, even after your primary symptoms fade away, you may be left feeling lousy, with low energy and/or dealing with a cough that just won’t quit. In some cases, you may feel weak for months.
Can Coronavirus Patients Lessen The Chance Of Lung Damage
There are things patients can do to increase their chances for less severe lung damage, Galiatsatos says.
If you have a health issue that puts you at higher risk, make sure youre doing everything you can to minimize the chance of contracting the virus. Also, make sure that your chronic health conditions are managed as well as they can be. For example, people living with diabetes, COPD or heart disease should be especially careful to manage those conditions with monitoring and taking their medications as directed.
Galiatsatos adds that proper nutrition and hydration can also help patients avoid complications of COVID-19. Staying well fed is important for overall health. Proper hydration maintains proper blood volume and healthy mucous membranes in the respiratory system, which can help them better resist infection and tissue damage.
Coronavirus: Smoking, Vaping, Wildfire Smoke and Air Pollution
Our expert, Panagis Galiatsatos, M.D., M.H.S. discusses how smoking, vaping and air pollution might increase the severity of COVID-19. Learn about how each of these could affect a COVID-19 diagnosis.
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Whats The Outlook For People With Pneumonia
The time that it takes to recover from pneumonia can vary by individual. Some may find that they can go back to their normal routine in about a week. Others may need some additional time to recover. Sometimes tiredness and fatigue can linger for several weeks.
Illness may also be more severe in at-risk groups like young children, older adults, and people with underlying conditions. These groups often require hospitalization and close monitoring through their treatment and recovery.
What about the different causes of pneumonia? The time until symptoms improve can also depend on whats causing your infection.
In bacterial pneumonia, you may begin to feel better after several days of antibiotic treatment. Viral pneumonia typically improves in while fungal pneumonia may require taking antifungal medications for weeks or even months.
what to do while recovering
Remember, the germs that cause pneumonia can be contagious. While youre recovering, be sure to do the following:
- limit contact with others
- cover your nose and mouth when you cough
- wash your hands frequently
- throw away any used tissues promptly in a covered container
Be sure to speak to your doctor about when you can go back to your normal activities. Your doctor may also want to schedule a follow-up chest X-ray to make sure that your infection has completely cleared.
What An Omicron Infection Feels Like Say Doctors
The COVID surge experts warned about is here thanks in part to Omicron, which is pushing hospital cases towards record highs. “What we’re seeing with the Omicron variant is that it tends to be milder person by person, but given how large the numbers are that we’re seeing more and more cases come into the hospital,” said CDC Chief Dr. Rochelle Walensky Sunday on Fox News Sunday. Omicron may not be as deadly as Delta “on a person by person basishowever, given the volume of cases that we’re seeing, we very well may see death rates rise dramatically.” Currently, the U.S. is setting grim milestones for infection rates and Eat This, Not That! Health talked to doctors about what it feels like to have COVID and what patients can expect. Read onand to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss theseSure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.
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Tips For Regaining Your Strength After Severe Pneumonia
- Get plenty of rest
- Slowly start moving around once you’re ready but don’t overdo it
- Complete any treatments prescribed by your doctor
- Eat a nutritious diet
- Quit smoking and avoid second-hand smoke
- Limit exposure to throat irritants, including pollution and alcohol
- Perform deep breathing exercises
- Consult with your doctor before returning to exercise
Aim to slowly work back into your usual routine and be sure to take note of any signs that the infection may be coming back.
“Pneumonia can be incredibly taxing and there’s no one-size-fits-all to recovery. Some people feel better in about six weeks, but it can take several months for others to feel better after severe pneumonia,” adds Dr. Lee. “Most importantly, be patient with your body.”
If your recovery is prolonged, a specialized program focused on pulmonary rehabilitation may help get you back on track.
What Does Pneumonia Feel Like
Not everyone feels the same when they have pneumonia, but there arecore signs you can look out for, such as feeling like you’re out of breath,generally feeling tired or sleepy and sharp, stabbing chest pain. Note, however,that “walking pneumonia” might not have obvious symptoms or justsymptoms of a common cold.
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