Sunday, October 1, 2023

When To Know If You Have Pneumonia

Warning Signs Your Lungs Are Trying To Give You Post

How do I know if I have pneumonia?

Your lungs can give you some signs which may signal that something is wrong within your body. Especially when it comes to pneumonia, there are certain signs which may help you spot the condition fast and start the treatment before it is too late for you to save your lungs. According to the experts, the onset of pneumonia can be quite sudden, as in without any prior signals. This is why it is important for you to track the actions of your lungs and understand the abnormalities going on inside your system. COVID-19 wrecks havoc on the lungs, and these conditions thereafter can lead to symptoms such as a phlegm-producing cough. Check out for these subtle, yet warning symptoms of pneumonia post-COVID recovery.

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.

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.

Also Check: How To Cure Pneumonia In Elderly

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

Complications And Risk Factors

How To Know If You Have Pneumonia After Flu

Pneumonia can sometimes cause serious complications and become life-threatening. Potential complications can include:

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.

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Signs And Symptoms Of Pneumonia In Babies

You should be careful from the moment you realize your child has caught cold.

Pneumonia often comes after cold. You might mistake the pneumonia signs as normal cold condition but they may not.

Remember, pneumonia symptoms may start within 2-3 days from the first cold attack.

Signs of pneumonia may show up depending on the type of virus or bacteria causing the infection.

Below are some common signs and symptoms of pneumonia in babies:

  • Cough and Difficulty Breathing

How Do The Lungs Work

Your lungs main job is to get oxygen into your blood and remove carbon dioxide. This happens during breathing. You breathe 12 to 20 times per minute when you are not sick. When you breathe in, air travels down the back of your throat and passes through your voice box and into your windpipe . Your trachea splits into two air passages . One bronchial tube leads to the left lung, the other to the right lung. For the lungs to perform their best, the airways need to be open as you breathe in and out. Swelling and mucus can make it harder to move air through the airways, making it harder to breathe. This leads to shortness of breath, difficulty breathing and feeling more tired than normal.

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When Can I Return To Work School And Regular Activities If I Have Pneumonia

You typically can resume your normal activities if your symptoms are gone, mild or improving and you do not have new or worsening:

  • Shortness of breath or tiredness
  • Chest pain
  • Mucus, fever or cough

If you are generally healthy, most people feel well enough to return to previous activities in about a week. However, it may take about a month to feel totally back to normal.

Whats The Outlook For People With Pneumonia

How do you know if you have walking Pneumonia? | Apollo Hospitals

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.

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Bacterial Vs Viral Pneumonia Symptoms

Bacteria and viruses are the most common causes of pneumonia. Fungi and parasites can sometimes cause it.

When the cause is bacteria, the illness can come on either slowly or quickly. It tends to be more serious than other types.

When a virus causes your pneumonia, youâre more likely to notice symptoms over several days. Early signs will look like the flu — such as fever, dry cough, headache, and weakness — but get worse in a day or two.

What Other Problems Can Pneumonia Cause

Sometimes pneumonia can cause serious complications such as:

  • Bacteremia, which happens when the bacteria move into the bloodstream. It is serious and can lead to .
  • Lung abscesses, which are collections of pus in cavities of the lungs
  • Pleural disorders, which are conditions that affect the pleura. The pleura is the tissue that covers the outside of the lungs and lines the inside of your chest cavity.
  • Respiratory failure

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What Are The Main Differences Between Bacterial And Viral Pneumonia

Common symptoms of pneumonia include3

  • cough
  • difficulty breathing
  • increased breathing rate

When a patient presents with these symptoms, the next step is to examine the lungs with a stethoscope. With pneumonia, decreased breath sounds, wheezing, or crackles on listening to the lungs, are all indications that can help point towards a diagnosis. The next step is to order a radiograph or X-ray if pneumonia is suspected.

The radiograph still remains the reference standard for a medical diagnosis of pneumonia, and also helps to differentiate between bacterial and viral pneumonia. However, a combination of clinical symptoms, exam findings, and imaging is the best way to uncover the most likely culprit.3,4

It Might Feel Like A Cold

How to Tell the Difference Between Bronchitis &  Pneumonia with Your 5 ...

Walking pneumonia is how some people describe a mild case of pneumonia. Your doctor might call it âatypical pneumoniaâ because itâs not like more serious cases.

A lung infection is often to blame. Lots of things can cause it, including:

  • Bacteria
  • Inhaled food

Walking pneumonia usually is due to bacteria called Mycoplasma pneumoniae.

You probably wonât have to stay in bed or in the hospital. You might even feel good enough go to work and keep up your routine, just as you might with a cold.

Recommended Reading: What Can Pneumonia Lead To

What Causes Bronchitis And Pneumonia

Bronchitis is an infection of the lining of bronchial tubes, which carry air to the lungs, explains Saba Hamiduzzaman, MD, a pulmonologist at Loma Linda University Health in Loma Linda, California.

Bronchitis can either be acute or chronic and often develops after someone gets a cold or other respiratory illness.

1. Acute bronchitis

Acute bronchitis, which is often caused by a virus, could last for a few weeks and resolve on its own. There is usually no long-term damage caused by acute bronchitis, notes Dr. Hamiduzzaman.

Acute bronchitis is always contagious, and when you cough or sneeze on your hands, the virus can spread onto surfaces near you where it can be carried to another individual if they touch those surfaces, she says.

2. Chronic bronchitis

Another type of bronchitis is chronic bronchitis, which happens in patients who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and a history of smoking.

3. Pneumonia

Pneumonia, meanwhile, is an infection of the alveoli, or the air sacs in your lungs that contain the air you breathe in. Pneumonia can become life-threatening, according to Mayo Clinic. Pneumonia is caused by bacterial organisms and rarely involves a virus, meaning it is usually not contagious, as the infection is in the lungs air sacs and does not transmit to your hands or surfaces with coughing, Dr. Hamiduzzaman explains.

Signs Of Pneumonia In Children

Pneumonia typically spreads from person to person. Because children spend more time indoors in cooler or cold weather, they may be more exposed to the illness during fall, winter, and early spring. The clothes your child wears or the temperature outside do not stop them from getting pneumonia.

The symptoms of pneumonia can vary from child to child. Your childâs symptoms and their severity can depend on whether bacteria or a virus caused the illness. Children infected by bacteria typically present symptoms like:

  • Fever
  • Lack of appetite
  • Unusual tiredness

Itâs often hard to tell whether bacteria or a virus causes your childâs pneumonia. If the cause is a virus, then breathing problems may come on more slowly. Your child may start wheezing and develop a worsening cough. Symptoms that often show up with viral pneumonia include:

  • Rapid or harsh breathing
  • Chills
  • General fussiness

Some parents mistake the initial signs of pneumonia as a cold or other illness. If your childâs symptoms get worse, take them in for medical treatment.

Also Check: Ways To Prevent Pneumonia In Elderly

What’s The Link Between Covid

A quick refresher first: COVID-19 is a serious respiratory illness caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2. It can lead to a range of intense symptoms, including a cough, fever, trouble breathing, and loss of taste or smell, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Pneumonia is an infection of the tiny air sacs in the lungs that can cause mild to severe illness in people, the CDC says.

Some patients with COVID-19 develop pneumoniain fact, the World Health Organization first called the virus -infected pneumonia , before shortening the name to COVID-19. The SARS-CoV-2 virus was also first identified in Wuhan, China due to cases of “pneumonia of unknown etiology,” or unknown cause, the WHO reported in January 2020.

It’s not uncommon to develop pneumonia as the result of any virus, Raymond Casciari, MD, a pulmonologist at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California, tells Health. In the case of COVID-19, the virus can damage your alveoli and cause fluid to build in your lungs as your body fights the infection, he explains. That can also lead to the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome , which is a serious form of respiratory failure that makes the alveoli fill with fluid. “The immune system starts attacking the lung itself, which results in ARDS,” Dr. Casciari says.

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What Are The Complications Of Pneumonia

How do you know if you have Bronchitis or Pneumonia? | Apollo Hospitals

Most people with pneumonia respond well to treatment, but pneumonia can be very serious and even deadly.

You are more likely to have complications if you are an older adult, a very young child, have a weakened immune system, or have a serious medical problem like diabetes or cirrhosis. Complications may include:

  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome . This is a severe form of respiratory failure.

  • Lung abscesses. These are pockets of pus that form inside or around the lung. They may need to be drained with surgery

  • Respiratory failure. This requires the use of a breathing machine or ventilator.

  • This is when the infection gets into the blood. It may lead to organ failure.

Read Also: How Long Can A Cough Last After Pneumonia

/4covid Pneumonia Is Different From General Pneumonia With Its Distinct Signs And Symptoms

COVID pneumonia is a serious health condition which can wreak havoc on the lungs. It is one of the severe cases of COVID attack which can be fatal. COVID pneumonia is different from pneumonia as in the former the coronavirus takes over both the lungs at the same time unlike in the latter in which the infection can either be one of the lungs or in both.

In COVID pneumonia the lungs fill with fluid, thus limiting their capacity to take in oxygen. This leads to shortness of breath and cough mostly.

It is pertinent to understand the various symptoms associated with COVID pneumonia so as to ensure it is diagnosed early and the patient receives timely medical assistance.

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
  • immunocompromised

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.

Read Also: How Often Should I Have Pneumonia Vaccine

How Can I Avoid Getting Pneumonia

To help prevent pneumonia, do the following:

  • Get the flu vaccination every year it can help prevent pneumonia caused by the flu virus. Read more about the flu vaccine.
  • Get a pneumococcal vaccination this vaccine is especially recommended for anyone at high risk of pneumococcal pneumonia. Read more about pneumococcal vaccine.
  • Stop smoking smoking damages your lung’s ability to fight infection. Read more about tips to quit smoking.
  • Wash your hands often or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
  • Stay rested and fit.
  • Stay home when you’re sick.
  • Avoid people who have a cold or the flu.

Spreading Pneumonia To Others

Diagnosis of Pneumonia

If your pneumonia is caused by a virus or bacteria, you may spread the infection to other people while you are contagious. How long you are contagious depends on what is causing the pneumonia and whether you get treatment. You may be contagious for several days to a week.

If you get antibiotics, you usually cannot spread the infection to others after a day of treatment.

Read Also: Left Upper Lobe Pneumonia Causes

What Happens To Your Lungs When You Are Diagnosed With Pneumonia

Pneumonia, as discussed above, is an infection in the lungs that mainly leads to inflammation in the air sacs called alveoli. Pneumonia leads to the formation of pus and fluid in the lungs, which hinders the breathing process of the individual. There are two categories of patients who are suffering from Pneumonia – Viral pneumonia, and Bacterial pneumonia. Both these types of Pneumonia are contagious and can spread easily from one infected person to another healthy body. In simpler words, Pneumonia damages the lungs by causing inflammation and jamming the way for the oxygen to enter and mix with the bloodstream. Thus Pneumonia can lead to serious breathing issues and death.

What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Bronchitis

Acute bronchitis often starts with a dry, annoying cough triggered by the of the lining of the bronchial tubes.

Other symptoms may include:

For people with chronic bronchitis:

  • It can take longer than usual to recover from colds and other common respiratory illnesses.
  • Wheezing, feeling short of breath, and coughing can happen every day.
  • Breathing can get harder and harder.

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