Pneumonia can develop as a result of a bacterial, viral, parasitic, or fungal infection. This is a pneumonia that can be fatal (especially in the elderly, smokers, and those with compromised immune systems), so hospitalization is required. Symptoms are similar to those of the flu and usually include fever and cough. Patients usually also experience shortness of breath and chest pain. Luckily, pneumonia is easy to treat.
At the doctor’s
See a doctor who will determine the proper diagnosis and treatment. In addition to regular check-ups, you will also need a chest X-ray and possibly a mucus test and blood tests. The type of treatment depends on the cause of the pneumonia.
Bacterial pneumonia and mycoplasma can be treated with oral antibiotics. Unfortunately, some bacteria are resistant to this drug. Penicillin is most commonly prescribed. If the patient is allergic to penicillin or if penicillin does not work, a cephalosporin is prescribed. Fluoroquinolones are also sometimes prescribed, but these drugs have more side effects than other antibiotics.
Viral pneumonia cannot be treated with antibiotics, but your doctor can prescribe an antiviral medication.
Fungal pneumonia can be treated with antifungal medications.
If you have bacterial pneumonia, start taking antibiotics. The doctor determines the right medication based on several factors (age, symptoms and intensity, need for hospitalization). The number of days you take antibiotics depends on your condition, the severity of your illness, and the type of medicine you take.
Experts disagree on recommendations for treating pneumonia, but generally the first antibiotics prescribed are drugs that kill a variety of bacteria. All antibiotics are effective in treating pneumonia.
If you don’t feel better after the first antibiotic, your doctor will prescribe another antibiotic to get rid of any remaining bacteria or send you for further tests to find out which organism it is.
If your condition doesn’t improve or your symptoms worsen, request a sensitivity test and bacterial culture. These tests allow the doctor to determine which bacterium is involved and whether it is resistant to the medication used.
More and more bacteria are now resistant to common antibiotics. An example is MRSA, a staphylococcus that is resistant to many penicillins. Ask your doctor how to use antibiotics to increase their effectiveness.
Find out if you don’t have varicella pneumonia. This disease is rare but can be cured with anti-inflammatory drugs. You will need to undergo tests to find out if you have this type of pneumonia.
Symptoms usually go away within a few weeks. If you have viral pneumonia, don’t worry. It is possible to heal it.
Rest as much as possible to heal faster. You may feel better a few days after starting treatment, but the tiredness may last for a month or more. People who are hospitalized must stay there for at least three weeks.
Treatment usually takes longer for smokers. If you smoke, you know it will take you longer to recover.
Drink lots of fluids. Water keeps your body hydrated and loosens mucus from your lungs. If you drink enough, you will feel better.
Do not stop taking the medicine. If you stop taking the medicine too soon, the bacteria in your lungs will start to multiply again and your pneumonia will return.
This step is very important. To make sure you get well from pneumonia, you need to take the medicine until it goes away.
You can return to work or school if you do not have a fever and cough. You have to be among people after a few hours from the start to avoid catching other diseases.
You may feel tired for a while. Just do what you feel – you may take longer to recover than you think.
If complications arise or you need an oxygen mask or intravenous antibiotics, you should go to the hospital. You will have to spend a few days in the hospital before you are well again. If you notice the following symptoms, go to the hospital immediately:
Confusion, inability to direct and think
Vomiting and nausea that prevent the use of antibiotics
Lowering blood pressure
Body temperature too low
See a doctor to get checked out. After a while, you’ll need to have another x-ray to see if your doctor has fully recovered. Control is particularly important for smokers, who often suffer from chronic cough and shortness of breath.