Pneumonia is one of the most common and potentially life-altering respiratory diseases worldwide. The very young, elderly, and those who are immunosuppressed catch the causative agents most frequently and are most at risk for complications. Let’s talk about pneumonia, available treatment options, and where you can go for comprehensive respiratory care in Mount Ayr, IA.
Causes and Symptoms of Pneumonia
Most pneumonia cases are caused either by bacteria or by a virus. There are more than 30 kinds of this highly contagious and debilitating acute medical condition.
Symptoms of pneumonia include:
- Persistent, hard coughing
- Green phlegm
- Chills and shakiness
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid heart rate (tachycardia)
- Stabbing chest pain (on one side of the ribs or both sides)
Most patients who develop this respiratory infection feel very fatigued and cannot complete their usual daily activities. Others, however, seem to function, having a type of pneumonia called walking pneumonia. These people should not ignore their symptoms but pursue pneumonia treatment with a qualified healthcare provider.
Diagnosis and Treatment Options
Diagnosis usually involves a review of symptoms, auscultation of breath sounds with a stethoscope, chest X-ray, and sputum culture. The culture helps identify the causative agent and whether it is bacteria or a virus. The provider may order blood work and other lab tests, too.
Bacterial pneumonia responds to a course of either oral or IV antibiotics. Viruses, however, do not respond to these medications, although some antiviral medications may help with symptom relief.
In either case, palliative treatments to relieve symptoms are key to a full recovery. Palliative treatment options include:
- Plenty of rest and fluids
- No smoking or exposure to cigarette smoke
- Fever control with acetaminophen or ibuprofen (no aspirin for kids under 14 years)
- Oxygen therapy for very debilitated patients
Prevention remains the best medicine for any communicable disease, including bacterial and viral pneumonia. So, in your household and workplace, be sure to:
- Stay well-hydrated
- Get adequate rest
- Limit contact with sick persons if possible
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly
- Disinfect frequently touched and shared hard surfaces, such as doorknobs, phones, and computer keyboards
- Get an annual flu shot, and if you are a high-risk respiratory patient (you have asthma or COPD), get a pneumococcal vaccine as your PCP directs
Pneumonia Treatment at Ringgold County Hospital
In Mount Ayr, IA, people of all ages receive the finest in respiratory care, including diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of pneumonia. We are proud to deliver your healthcare right in your community, offering an in-house family medical clinic, in-hospital acute care, surgery, physical therapy, cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, and more.
If you suspect a severe lung condition, such as pneumonia, call us today at (641) 464-3226, or you may request an appointment online. We also offer 24-hour emergency medical services and telehealth appointments.