Signs of pneumonia: what to do with pneumonia and when to go to the doctor

Despite the fact that pneumonia is not a death sentence in the 21st century, pneumonia is still quite dangerous. In addition, assessing her seriousness at home is not so simple. How not to catch an infection, what symptoms should alert and why it is not necessary to go to the hospital at all, we tell below.

Pneumonia is an infectious disease that affects the pulmonary alveoli. Alveoli are small "vesicles" that are located at the ends of thin branches of the bronchi.

They are connected with the circulatory system by the capillary network. In the body of a healthy person, oxygen passes through the bronchi into the alveoli, and from there into the blood. With pneumonia, the infection affects the alveoli: they increase, fill up with fluid or pus. Because of this, oxygen does not enter the body in sufficient volume.

There are many causes of pneumonia, and microbes do not always play a major role .

Determining the causative agent of pneumonia is very important - the treatment prescribed by the doctor depends on this. For example,

antibiotics are useless for viral pneumonia

, but if you have a bacterial type of inflammation, then after taking antibiotics you will feel better on the second or third day.

The causative agents of pneumonia can be:

  • viruses;
  • bacteria;
  • fungi;
  • foreign particles that accidentally fall into the lungs (e.g. chemicals).

In addition to microbes, the likelihood of developing pneumonia increases:

  • colds;
  • flu (we wrote how to protect ourselves from the flu);
  • weak immunity;
  • hypothermia.

Signs of pneumonia: what to do with pneumonia and when to go to the doctor

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Find out what kind of microorganism has become the cause of pneumonia is not so simple. The most common symptoms are:

  • high fever ;
  • cough with yellow or greenish phlegm;
  • shallow breathing and shortness of breath;
  • palpitations;
  • fatigue;
  • chills;
  • chest pain.

In order to determine the correct treatment, the doctor must prescribe certain tests and studies:

  • X-ray - will show the focus of inflammation;
  • general blood test - will show how actively the immune system is fighting the infection;
  • blood test for blood culture - will answer the question whether the bacteria got into the blood.

To rule out other lung diseases, your doctor may order a sputum test, bronchoscopy, and pleural fluid analysis.

Signs of pneumonia: what to do with pneumonia and when to go to the doctor

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Inflammation of the lungs is a serious disease, there can be no talk of any self-medication. However, going to the hospital is not always necessary. If within a few days you observe several symptoms of pneumonia, then the first thing to do is to see a doctor.

If you have pneumonia that does not require hospitalization and you can take medications yourself, then you only need pills for treatment. In most cases, inhalation, UHF therapy, vibration massage and other physiotherapy methods are not needed. The effectiveness of various manual exposure techniques is also

not proven

.

Signs of pneumonia: what to do with pneumonia and when to go to the doctor

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If you follow simple rules, then the risk the occurrence of pneumonia can be minimized.

Most often, pneumonia occurs against the background of other diseases. Therefore, the first step for those who do not want to get sick is a flu shot. In addition, since 2014, the pneumococcus vaccine has been included in the

national vaccination calendar

. It is recommended for children under five years of age and adults after 65 years of age - at this age the body is more susceptible to infections. Of course, such a vaccine will not save against all types of pneumonia, but it will protect against the most common ones.

Through handshakes, door handles and keyboards on millions of germs get into the skin of the hands daily. And when you touch the eyes or nose, they can easily get inside and cause various diseases. Therefore, washing your hands is important not only before meals, but also during the day. This banal advice from childhood

will save you from a dozen unpleasant diseases

.

Smoking increases the chances of not only catching pneumonia, but also

to die from this disease

.

Due to smoking in the lungs, there are processes that make you more vulnerable to infections. For example, the number of cells that produce sputum increases, but part of the sputum remains in the lungs. In addition, the work of the ciliated epithelium is disrupted - this is the type of tissue that covers the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract. The cells of the ciliated epithelium are covered with thin hairs - they do not allow dust and microbes to penetrate into the lungs. Cigarette smoke destroys these cells.

Signs of pneumonia: what to do with pneumonia and when to go to the doctor

Photo: shutterstock. com

Symptoms of pneumonia resemble those of tuberculosis. This is another reason why you can not self-medicate.

Signs of pneumonia: what to do with pneumonia and when to go to the doctor

Photo: shutterstock. com

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