Pneumonia Symptoms

Diagnosis of Bacterial Pneumonia

To diagnose pneumonia, the doctor begins with checking the medical history and conducting physical examination. With the help of a stethoscope, the doctor can clearly listen to coarse breathing and wheezing. To strengthen its diagnosis, a doctor may even ask for additional tests such as chest x-ray, a blood test or Gram Stain of the sputum. The chest x-ray that indicates pneumonia may show an area that is blotchy-white and the air sacs of the lungs may have fluid and pus accumulated in them. The cause and the severity of the condition may often be known through Gram Stain test of the sputum or the blood test.

If the doctor is not satisfied with the results of these tests, he may perform a procedure called a Bronchoscopy. In this test, after the local anesthetic is administered, a thin, flexible and lit viewing tube is inserted into the nose or mouth. The doctor can then examine the breathing passages and can also extract specimens from the infected part of the lung.

Treatment of Bacterial Pneumonia

Home Treatment

If you experience the signs or symptoms of Pneumonia, it is best to consult the doctor rather than wait for the situation to worsen. Home treatment for pneumonia is not possible. Therefore, it is best to visit a doctor, if the symptoms persist even after administering some Over The Counter (OTC) medications like cough suppressants, expectorants, or fever-lowering drugs. It is always better to consult the doctor before you administer any of the OTC medications to avoid complications.

Medical Treatment

Bacterial pneumonia can be treated with the help of antibiotics. While prescribing the antibiotic, the doctor will look at various aspects; your age, history of antibiotic allergy, your chronic medical conditions, whether you are a smoker or you drink alcohol. Your doctor should be aware of your medical history to help him choose the right antibiotic for you.

Staying hydrated helps you to fight pneumonia. Drinking plenty of non-alcoholic fluids is necessary. Anti-inflammatory or fever reducing medicines such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) may help you feel better. Your doctor might restrict your use of cough suppressants as coughing helps to clear infection that is prevalent in your lungs.

Ensure that you stay away from cigarette or alcohol during the recovery process of pneumonia. Smoking or consumption of alcohol lowers the ability of the body to fight infection, thereby increasing the time taken for you to heal. Serious conditions like shortness of breath, poor circulation of oxygen levels in your bloodstream need immediate medical attention. In such cases, you may be required to be admitted in the hospital to ensure that proper oxygen level is maintained for easy breathing. Antibiotics could be administered through IV.

If the condition of pneumonia is severe, a breathing tube may be inserted in your windpipe to facilitate breathing. Severe case of pneumonia is usually treated in an intensive care unit of the hospital.

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