Pneumonia will resolve itself after a few weeks for most healthy adults, but it can have you feeling exhausted for many months after your illness. It is essential to know what to expect if you come down with pneumonia and what the warning signs look like. If you think you may have contracted pneumonia, visit AFC Urgent Care North Andover for a diagnosis.
What are early pneumonia symptoms?
Symptoms range from case to case, depending on the person. Those with immunodeficiency illnesses, the elderly, and children are at higher risk of more severe cases of pneumonia. In these cases, there is a chance of hospitalization. Some common symptoms of pneumonia can include:
- Fever, accompanied by body aches or chills
- Cough that produces mucus
- Chest pain when coughing or breathing deeply
- Shortness of breath
Pneumonia caused by bacteria is typically the most severe cases. Symptoms can show up suddenly or gradually, and fevers can get as high as 105 degrees. With pneumonia caused by vaccines, symptoms show up more gradually. They typically start with fatigue, fever, and weakness. After one to two days, cough, chest pain, and shortness of breath develop.
When should I visit a doctor?
If you think you need to be seen by a doctor, do not hesitate to visit one or call 911. Pneumonia can be life-threatening, so it is important to get the care you need. If you are having trouble breathing, develop a bluish tint to your lips or fingernails, or have a high fever, you should visit a doctor. You should also call your doctor if you are coughing up pus or have a cough that will not go away.
Anyone who is considered high-risk should call their doctor as soon as symptoms of pneumonia begin. Do not let them get worse without calling. It is important to be in contact with your doctor and to monitor your symptoms consistently.
What are some treatment options?
If your doctor thinks you have bacterial pneumonia, they will prescribe you an antibiotic. Always take your antibiotics completely, as instructed. Even if you begin to feel better, not taking antibiotics can cause your pneumonia to come back, and it will be more resistant and difficult to treat. For pneumonia caused by viruses, there at some at-home treatments you can use to feel better. Always get plenty of rest while dealing with pneumonia. This will help improve your immune system so it can fight off the virus. Do not do more than you can handle, as you can end up with a worse case than you started.
Relatively healthy adults can take ibuprofen or Tylenol for their fever. Other anti-inflammatory drugs can help with any muscle pain or body aches. Cough medicine should only be used if recommended by your doctor, as coughing helps your body rid itself of the virus. Drink plenty of water, and use steam from hot showers or beverages to help loosen up the mucus in your chest.