Pneumonia generally refers to lung infections that can be caused by some Infectious agents such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. Symptoms of the illness can in form of fever, chills, shortness of breath, coughing that produces phlegm, and chest pain.
Mild Pneumonia can be treated at home with antibiotics and other natural remedies but some chronic cases of pneumonia may require a prompt medical attention. Vaccines can be used to combat some of the popular infectious agents that cause pneumonia.
There many ways to combat pneumonia. But whichever treatment employed depends on some certain conditions such as, the cause of pneumonia, how strong is the symptoms, age of the affected individual and overall health history. Though pneumonia is known to be a deadly illness but most people recover from pneumonia within 1 to 3 weeks.
Pneumonia can be diagnosed using the following method:
- Physical examination: the doctor will use a stethoscope to listen to your lungs, to check for signs like bubbling, crackling, wheezing and rumbling sounds when you breathe in.
- Chest X-ray this may be required to confirm a case of pneumonia in your lungs and usually, this comes after a physical
Some other tests that may be needed include:
- Blood test to check out the white blood cell count and to try to confirm presence of germ in your blood
- Arterial blood gases to check if lungs are pumping enough blood to your blood
- CAT (CT) usually needed to scan and have a better view of the lungs
- Sputum tests to check for the type of organism causing your symptoms
- Pleural fluid culture to know if there is a presence of fluid in the space around the lungs
- Pulse oximetry to measure how much oxygen is pumped into your bloodstream, and its carry out by simply attaching a small clip to your finger for a brief time
- Bronchoscopy, a measure used to check into the lungs’ air passage, this will be performed if antibiotics is not working for you
Treatment for Pneumonia
Pneumonia treatment depends on the type of pneumonia you have and how chronic it is. While most people can respond well to home treatment others while have to be taken to a medical doctor for proper treatment.
For mild pneumonia the following tips can be of great help to alleviate the symptoms:
- Drink lot of fluids as this helps to loosen secretions and produce more phlegm.
- Rest more; get other to help you do the household chores.
- Take Paracetamol, ibuprofen, naproxen or acetaminophen. To get rid of fever
- Take enough antibiotics as prescribed
Types of Pneumonia
Pneumonia can be caused by either bacteria or viruses in a case where it is caused by viruses its called viral pneumonia and where it is caused by bacteria, it is referred to as bacterial pneumonia
Antibiotics usually don’t work for viral pneumonia, however, your doctor may employ some antiviral medication to make you feel better. Viral pneumonia usually reduces within 1 to 3 weeks.
People with mild pneumonia mostly look healthy and are sometimes treated with oral macrolide antibiotics (azithromycin, clarithromycin, or erythromycin) to cure the symptoms.
The following steps can help to prevent pneumonia:
- Ensure you Breastfeed your baby for more than four months to help boost their immune system
- Keep you kid away from second hand smoke
- Ensure your home is well ventilated and warm
- Get your kids vaccinated against pneumococcal disease, Haemophilus influenza type b, whooping cough, and influenza
- Encourage regular and thorough hand-washing
- Avoiding contact with people who are suffering from flu, colds, or other infections