Getting infected with Pneumonia is certainly not a pleasant experience and you desperately wish to get healthy soon. You need to understand that once you get discharged from hospital, your treatment will continue at home.

You will still have symptoms of pneumonia once you reached your home. Usually the symptoms get better over a period of few weeks. It takes time to recover completely and resume all the normal activities.

You may make speedy recovery by practising proper self care.  You may follow below mentioned guidelines to feel better during treatment.

Useful Tips for feeling better in Pneumonia

                    Practise deep breathing regularly as it will help in opening up the lungs for easy breathing. Also follow it up with deep coughing as it cleans up the airways.

                    Keep a warm and wet piece of cloth over your face. Breathe in the warm mist after filling a humidifier with warm water.

                    You should drink plenty of liquids, fluids, water, juice, or weak tea. Avoid Alcohol completely.

                    Take plenty of rest at home and try to sleep in day time in case you have trouble sleeping at night.

                    Lie on your bed with your head lower than chest and slowly tap your chest couple of time. This will help in expelling mucus from the lungs.

                    Take time to resume your normal activities and do not rush to take any workload immediately after returning home.

                    Practise chest therapy at home to improve breathing and loosening mucus. The warm and moist (wet) air helps in breathing easily.

                    In case you have a habit of smoking any tobacco products, you should stop it completely.

                    If you feel mild pain, then consult your doctor as he/she may prescribe acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen for treating mild fever or pain.

                    If you feel severe pain then do not take any strong medicine by yourself and get in touch with your health care provider immediately.

                    Don’t forget to take your prescribed medicines on time. Even if you feel the marked improvement in the symptoms, you should complete the entire dose of antibiotics.

                    Always consult a doctor before taking any cough medicine or cold medicine.

                    Try to keep away from infections and receive a flu shot every year. You can also discuss with your doctor in case you require a pneumonia vaccine.

                    Maintain strict basic hygiene. Wash your hands frequently to avoid getting any infection.

                    Try to avoid going to crowded places and avoid contact with infected or sick people.

                    Save the mobile number/landline number of your Oxygen Suppliers in your contacts. Also, write down the numbers in your diary.

·                     Always keep a back-up of oxygen supply at home. Avoid smoking or keeping any fire source near the oxygen tank.  Don’t make any changes in the level of oxygen flowing without consulting with your health care provider.

Combination therapy for treating pleural infection

As per the research reports, the combination therapy with two drugs provides effective way for treating patients with pleural infection, a serious respiratory condition.

The severe cases of pneumonia or lung infections may lead to pleural infection marked by accumulation of infected fluid in the space present between ribs and lungs. This infected fluid exerts pressure on the lungs resulting in breathing problems.

The standard treatment regimen comprises of using antibiotics and draining the accumulated fluid by inserting the tube into the chest. However, this treatment approach is not effective in 33% of the cases and surgical option is not appropriate for older patients.

According to the results of clinical trial conducted by researchers at the University of Oxford; a one week treatment with combination therapy involving tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) and DNase produced the following results.

                    30 percent reduction in the amount of infected fluid in the chest compared to 17 percent with placebo

                    Reduction in fever

                    Reducing the need for surgery

                    Shortening the hospital stay

Dr. Najib Rahman remarked that although the individual drug does not yield any results, however combination therapy shows significant improvement in drainage of the infected fluid. This study has been published in New England Journal of Medicine (Aug 11 issue).

Although the therapy may appear costly ($1,600), however it can offset the expenses by savings from shorter hospital stays. According to the researchers, the combination therapy is recommended for patients who are not fit for surgery or haven’t responded to standard treatments.

Pain killers raise Pnuemonia risk in elderly

The opioids raises the risk of pneumonia in elderly patients aged 65 to 94. This was found in the study conducted by researchers at University of Washington and Group Health Research Institute.

Opioids belong to a class of painkiller medicines while benzodiazepines are given for treating insomnia and anxiety. According to the study leader, Sascha Dublin; some opioids might contributes to the pneumonia by harming the immune system.

The results of the research conducted by Dr Dublin and her research team state that there is high risk of pneumonia in people using opioids or benzodiazepines as compared to people not using these medications. Moreover, those opioids that suppress the immune system present highest risk.

Guidelines for Treating Pneumonia in Children

The new guidelines for treating children from life-threatening pneumonia are suggested by Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA).

As per new CDC guidelines, the prevention of bacterial pneumonia is considered as top priority in diagnosis and treatment of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) in infants and children.

The major infectious agent of pneumonia in infants and preschool children is virus and that needs to be treated by using anti-virals rather than antibiotics.  However, in case of bacterial pneumonia (most serious type), the antibiotics are mandatory.

The new guidelines from PIDS and IDSA offer all the doctors around the world, a roadmap to the diagnosis and treatment of pneumonia in children.

Children are vulnerable to pneumonia infection caused by wide range of infectious agents. Bacteria are the most common infectious agent and one such bacterium that causes pneumonia in children is Chlamydia Pneumoniae.

Role of Chlamydial organisms in Pneumonia

Chlamydial organisms are gram-negative and obligate intracellular organisms. There are basically three species of chlamydial organisms that cause pneumonia in humans.

                    Chlamydophila pneumonia is responsible for causing bronchitis or mild pneumonia in children and young adults. When they infect older adults, they cause more severe form of pneumonia.

                    Chlamydophila psittaci is transmitted by the birds and patient gets ornithosis on exposure to infected birds. The symptoms of the C psittaci infection vary from fulminant toxic syndrome to asymptomatic infection. Patients infected with ornithosis usually have developed pneumonia or pyrexia of unknown origin.

                    Chlamydia trachomatis is known for causing STD (sexually transmitted disease) in human beings including pelvic inflammatory disease, trachoma and cervicitis. However, C trachomatis is also responsible for causing pneumonia in infants, young children, and immunocompromised adults.

How Chlamydia Pneumoniae Infections are transmitted?

The modes of transmission of Chlamydia Pneumoniae Infections are similar to the ways, other respiratory diseases are transmitted.

                    Transmitted directly from person to person via coughing or sneezing

                    Transmitted indirectly from germs on hands or other objects

                    School going Children between 5 and 15 years of age are more susceptible to get infection

Symptoms of Chlamydia Pneumoniae Infection

The symptoms of Chlamydia pneumoniae infection develop gradually over a period of time. An infected patient may experience sore throat in the beginning which later develops into cough.

Common Symptoms of Chlamydia pneumoniae infection

                    Prolonged cough that may last for 2 to 6 weeks

                    Bronchitis

                    Pneumonia

                    Sore throat

                    Laryngitis

                    Ear infections

                    Sinusitis

The symptoms usually range from mild symptoms to no symptoms in some infected children. There are chances that symptoms may develop into bronchitis or a mild case of pneumonia.

Diagnosis of Chlamydia Pneumoniae Infection

The doctor will ask various questions to the patient to study signs and symptoms of Pneumonia. He/she may suggest various diagnostic tests for detecting the Chlamydia Pneumoniae Infection in patients.

Physical Exam

The doctor will use the stethoscope for performing the physical exam of the lungs.

The individuals infected with pneumonia will produce crackling, wheezing and rumbling sounds in the lungs during inhalation. The absence of regular sounds in cheat areas may point to the infection caused by pneumonia.

Laboratory Tests

After the physical examination, the doctor may ask the patient to conduct certain laboratory tests. These are done for confirming the presence of pneumonia infection.

                    Blood tests for detecting presence of antibodies to the bacteria. It takes at least a week before such antibodies show up in the blood.

                    Swab specimens are taken either from nose or throat for evaluation

Treatment of Chlamydia Pneumoniae Infection

The treatment of Chlamydia Pneumoniae Infection takes time and patient may takes weeks for complete recovery.

Treatment therapy for Chlamydia Pneumoniae Infection involves the following.

                    Intravenous antibiotics like erythromycin or tetracycline for severe cases.

                    Patients with uncomplicated pneumonia require only 2 or 3 days of intravenous antibiotics. They are shifted to oral therapy afterwards

                    Patient is asked to drink plenty of fluids including juices, water, tea, lemonade, etc.

                    Oxygen is usually used in hospitalised patient with breathing problems

                    Use of humidified air helps in loosening the mucus

                    Patient may take aspirin, NSAIDs, for controlling fever. However, Aspirin should not be given to children.

                    Patient is advised to take plenty of rest.

                    Chest therapy is used for loosening the mucus so that it can be expelled out by deep coughing.

Prevention of Chlamydia Pneumoniae Infection

The Chlamydia Pneumoniae Infection in children can be prevented by maintaining cleanliness and infection free environment.

                    Practicing good hygiene

                    Frequent hand washing

                    Avoiding contact with infected people