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PNEUMONIA - SYMPTOMS AND HOME TREATMENT

Pneumonia (pronounced: noo- mo -nyuh).

When the lung inflamed due to infection and cause pain, it calls Pneumonia. When bacterial, virus, fungi or some other poisonous substances reach the lungs an cause infection and inflammation, the person concerned gets Pneumonia. When a person has pneumonia, lung tissue can fill with pus and other fluid, which makes it difficult for oxygen in the lung's air sacs to reach the bloodstream. With pneumonia, a person may have difficulty breathing and have a cough and fever. Often pneumonia begins after an upper respiratory tract infection (an infection of the nose and throat). When this happens, symptoms of pneumonia begin after 2 or 3 days of a cold or sore throat.

Pneumonia is of two kinds:-

  1. Labor pneumonia
  2. Broncho Pneumonia

In the early stage of labor pneumonia, any one lobe of the lings get infected. This is rare in the developed countries.

In the case of Broncho Pneumonia, either Bronchi or Bronchioles gets inflamed and later on the inflammation spreads to patches of tissue in the lungs.

Defining Pneumonia by Origin of Infection

Pneumonia is often classified into two categories that may help predict the organisms that are the most likely culprits.

  • Community-acquired (pneumonia contracted outside the hospital) . Pneumonia in this setting often follows a viral respiratory infection. It affects nearly 4 million adults each year. It is likely to be caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, the most common pneumonia-causing bacteria. Other organisms, such as atypical bacteria called Chlamydia or Mycoplasma pneumonia are also common causes of community-acquired pneumonia.
  • Hospital-acquired pneumonia. Pneumonia that is contracted within the hospital is called nosocomial pneumonia. Hospital patients are particularly vulnerable to gram-negative bacteria and staphylococci, which can be very dangerous.

Duration of Pneumonia

With treatment, most types of bacterial pneumonia can be cured within 1 to 2 weeks. Viral pneumonia may last longer. Mycoplasmal pneumonia may take 4 to 6 weeks to resolve completely.

HOW SERIOUS IS PNEUMONIA?

General Outlook

About 1.2 million people are hospitalized each year for pneumonia, which is the third most frequent reason for hospitalizations (births are first and heart disease is second). Although the majority of pneumonias respond well to treatment, the infection can still be a very serious problem. Together with influenza, pneumonia is the sixth leading cause of death in the US and is the leading cause of death from infection. Outlook for High-Risk Individuals

Who will get Pneumonia?

  • Hospitalized Patients. For patients who require hospitalization for pneumonia, the mortality rate is between 10% and 25%. If pneumonia develops in patients already hospitalized for other conditions, the mortality rates are higher. They range from 50% to 70% and are greater in women than in men.
  • Older Adults. The elderly have lower survival rates, particularly those with other medical problems. (Even when older individuals recover from community-acquired pneumonia, they have higher than normal mortality rates over the next several years.)
  • Very Young Children. About 20% of stillborn and very early infant mortality deaths are due to pneumonia. Small children who develop pneumonia are at risk for developing lung problems in adulthood.
  • Pregnant Women. Pneumonia poses a special hazard for pregnant women.
  • Patients with Impaired Immune Systems. Pneumonia is particularly serious in people with impaired immune systems, particularly AIDS patients, in whom pneumonia causes about half of all deaths.
  • Patients with Serious Medical Conditions. The disease is also very dangerous in people with diabetes, cirrhosis, sickle cell anemia, multiple myeloma, and in those who have had their spleens removed.
  • Cancer patient under going Radio Therapy or Chemotherapy because these therapies make immune system weak.
  • Cigarette smokers

How long will it last ?

  • If the Pneumonia is cased by bacteria, it can be cured with antibiotics in a week or 10 days.
  • If it is due to virus, it is not so serious. Medicines are too not effective. It will go on its own in about a week or two.
  • But, whatever be the type of pneumonia, it will take 2 to3 weeks for the patient to recover completely.

Pneumonia Symptoms and Signs

Symptoms:-

Cold in the head or throat,shivering fever

Most cases of pneumonia begin with a cold in the head or throat. The patient generally feels a chill, shivering fever, difficulty in breathing, and sharp pain in the chest. This may be followed by a cough with pinkish sputum, which may later become brownish. In young children, the disease may cause delirium and convulsions. The temperature may rise to 40.6 degree C and the pulse may go up to 150 beats per minute. A common complication of pneumonia is pleurisy.

Signs :-

Symptoms of pneumonia vary, depending on the age of the child and the cause of the pneumonia. Some common symptoms include:

  • fever
  • chills
  • cough
  • unusually rapid breathing
  • breathing with grunting or wheezing sounds
  • labored breathing that makes a child's rib muscles retract (when muscles under the rib cage or between ribs draw inward with each breath)
  • vomiting
  • chest pain
  • abdominal pain
  • decreased activity
  • loss of appetite (in older children) or poor feeding (in infants)
  • in extreme cases, bluish or gray color of the lips and fingernails

How to confirm Pneumonia?

Once the chest X-ray, sputum analysis and blood tests are completed, the doctor will decide if Pneumonia is due to the presence of bacteria, virus or some other reason.

Chest X-Rays and Other Imaging Techniques

X-Rays. A chest x-ray is nearly always taken to confirm a diagnosis of pneumonia. It may reveal the following:

  • White areas in the lung called infiltrates, which indicate infection.
  • Complications of pneumonia, including pleural effusions (fluid around the lungs) and abscesses.

Other Imaging Tests. Computed tomography (CT) scans or MRI's may be obtained in the following circumstances:

  • If x-ray results are unclear.
  • When patients do not respond to antibiotics.
  • When patients have complications.
  • When patients have other serious health problems.

These more sophisticated imaging techniques can help detect the presence of tissue damage, abscesses, and enlarged lymph nodes. They can also detect some tumors that block bronchial tubes. No imaging technique can determine the actual organism causing the infection.

Treatment

  • Proper bed rest
  • Steam inhalation
  • Plenty of fluid foods
  • Administer Paracetamol to treat fever and such minor problems.
  • If it is due to bacteria, doctor will prescribe antibiotics
  • In the case of stuffy nose, use some nose drop or sprays
  • If there is dry cough, cough suppressants must be administered. If otherwise, some expectorant must be given.

Home Remedies for Pneumonia

Pneumonia treatment using Garlic ( Lahssaon )

Garlic is a marvellous remedy for pneumonia, if given in sufficient quantities. It brings down the temperature, as well as the pulse and respiration within forty-eight hours. A paste of garlic can also be applied externally on the chest with beneficial results as it is an irritant and rubefacient

Pneumonia treatment using Basil ( Tulsi )

Rub the oil of basil on the chest of the patient and give internally the juice of 5 leaves of basil mixed with a little ground black pepper at six hourly intervals. This will induce sweating and relieve the patient.

Pneumonia treatment using Other vegetable Juices

The juice of carrots, in combination either with spinach juice, or beet and cucumber juices, has also been found useful in pneumonia. In these combinations, 200 ml of spinach juice or 100 ml each of beet and cucumber juices should be mixed with 300 ml of carrot juice to prepare 500 ml or half a litre of combined juice.

Remember, even though pneumonia can be treated, it is an extremely serious illness. Don't wait, get treatment early.



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