Pneumonia is an infection in either one or both of the lungs. It can be very dangerous and can either be mild or deadly. In the US alone, in a years time one million people are treated for this disease and 50,000 will die from it. This infection inflames the air sacs in your lungs and fills them with fluid or pus.
This makes it very difficult to even breathe. Some cases are different than others. Children, adults, and elders all take this infection differently and can develop different symptoms. It is overall very important to live a healthy lifestyle and try your best to prevent this. Take precaution and if any of these signs develop seek your doctor immediately.
How Do You Know if You Have Pneumonia?
It is better to catch the early stages of this disease so that it can be treated before it gets severe. Catching this early is more beneficial and that’s why you should learn more about this infection.
The common symptoms are:
- Coughing which produces mucus
- high fever which occurs in the first 12-36 hours
- the chills
- shortness of breath
- chest pain
But younger children may have different ones. Younger children have fevers, fast breathing, lack of energy, trouble eating and drinking, and even vomiting. The severity of the infection varies due to age and the health status of the patient.
Treating this quickly is very important because it can be a very serious infection. Most treatment can be done at home. Your treatment really depends on the type and how severe your case is. The majority of these cases are treated in 1-3 days at home by using oral antibiotics. Some doctors treat it with antibiotics, antivirals, and anti-fungal drugs. The doctors will also sometimes prescribe some ibuprofen, aspirin, or Tylenol to help relieve the pain and fever. Some doctors may also prescribe some cough medicine to help calm the severity of it. But coughing can be good to get some of the fluid out of your lungs so it won’t take it away completely. In the treating process it is important to follow the direct orders from the doctor, In the healing process, you are supposed to drink plenty and keep hydrated, get rest, and take your prescription as it was prescribed. Now if your case is more severe you will have to be hospitalized and your treating process will be different.
Severe cases have a different approach in the treating process. Instead of oral antibiotics, you will be treated with intravenous antibiotics that are injected into the vein. Some have to have a respiratory type therapy which is when you are taught some breathing exercises to increase your oxygen. And lastly, there is oxygen therapy which helps you maintain oxygen levels in the bloodstream.
Pneumonia Can be Prevented
One way to prevent this serious infection is by a vaccination. There are two different vaccinations that can help prevent this bacteria. The first vaccination is called the Prevnar 13, which fights against 13 pneumococcal bacteria. This vaccination is recommended for children under the age of two and for adults ages 65 and over. The second vaccination is called the Pneumovax 23, which fights against 23 different types of pneumococcal bacteria. This vaccination is recommended for adults the age of 65 and older, adults 19-64 that smoke, and for children 2 and under with chronic conditions
Other Ways to Prevent Pneumonia:
- Another prevention is to wash your hands frequently.
- cover your sneezes and your cough.
- Smoking can increase your risk for this and make it more severe so try to quit.