If your loved one already suffers from
( ), they are at a of developing pneumonia. Unfortunately, when combined with , pneumonia can be especially hazardous. On their own, each condition can cause damage to the lungs and impair lung function. Together, and pneumonia raise the risks of severe complications.
Most people believe that stands alone as one disease. In truth, is a category of long-term progressive illnesses that impacts lung function. Two of the primary diseases that fall under the category of are and .
Progressive illnesses worsen with time and typically have no cure.
Both worldwide and within the U.S., third leading cause of disease-related death. In general, is the fourth leading in the U.S. behind unintentional injuries, cancer, accidents, and heart disease. Approximately 86% of deaths is the occur in people who are 65 , making older adults the most vulnerable population when it comes to the condition.
An ongoing productive cough is also known as a “smoker’s cough.” A productive cough produces mucus, also known as phlegm or .
( ) when performing physical activities.
A whistling or wheezing sound when a person breathes.
Tightness or heaviness in the chest.
symptoms may come and go, with called “exacerbations.”
An , when symptoms become severe, may require a visit to a provider for assessment and treatment. These symptoms can differ from person to person, with varying degrees of severity. like pneumonia can cause and may even result in hospitalization.
occurs due to lung damage, typically stemming from cigarette smoking. Other for include exposure to air pollutants or environmental toxins.
Prolonged exposure to these lung irritants can cause inflammation and increased mucus production, which can injure the delicate internal structure of the lungs.
The symptoms of
occur because of at least one or more of the following effects of continuous cigarette smoking or air pollution:
The air tubes (bronchioles) and tiny sacs (alveoli) within the lungs become rigid, losing their elasticity and resilience.
Walls between become compromised or completely break down.
Inflammation affects the airways, becoming thick and swollen.
An excessive amount of mucus obstructs the airways and prevents healthy .
There’s no cure for . If left untreated, can negatively impact a person’s and may even become fatal.
Fortunately, however, a
is not the end. treatments can prevent further lung damage and slow the condition’s progress. One treatment intervention for is the prevention of infections that can cause pneumonia.
Pneumonia is a that results in inflamed within the lungs. These are vital for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Oxygen from inhaled air and carbon dioxide from blood gets exchanged within these . These air sacs must be free of fluid and obstructions for optimal exchange of gasses.
The alveoli become filled with pus, fluid, and mucus with pneumonia. This liquid prevents air from moving freely through the lungs, causing breathing problems. Individuals with pneumonia might need to exert a tremendous amount of effort to perform a minimal amount of breathing.
Some cases of pneumonia are mild. Other cases, however, may require hospitalization. The symptoms of pneumonia aren't always apparent and a of symptoms may occur quickly. The symptoms of pneumonia may include:
Colored (yellow or green) or bloody
Shallow and fast breathing
A sharp or stabbing chest pain with
A loss of appetite
Older adults may experience the following pneumonia symptoms:
Abdominal pain due to repetitive and prolonged coughing
The places an emphasis on caring and prevention for pneumonia, particularly in older adults and those who have .
Older adults and people with are at a for pneumonia and experiencing severe complications. Some complications that older adults are at an for are:
A proliferation of bacteria in the blood can stem from bacteria within the lungs. This bacteria in the blood may spread to other parts of the body.
Buildup in the lungs of infected fluid, which may require drainage or surgery.
A lung abscess from the overgrowth of infectious waste may need surgery or antibiotics.
Because their lung functioning is already impaired and their are weaker, older adults with chronic pulmonary disorder and pneumonia have a higher of complications.
Pneumonia can wreak havoc on a lung that’s already damaged, as is the case with a like . Conversely, if you or your loved one already has , pneumonia is more likely to develop– which can do additional damage to already damaged lungs.
Therefore, experiencing both pneumonia and can result in serious complications, causing long-term damage to the lungs and other organs. Having simultaneously (experiencing two diseases simultaneously) of two significant lung conditions presents a dangerous situation and may result in a of both illnesses.
Due to pneumonia-causing inflammation which limits , pneumonia can become a particularly harmful illness among . Pneumonia patients may become deprived of oxygen (hypoxic).
If you or your loved one doesn’t get enough oxygen, they may develop irreversible brain damage, kidney injury, or experience a stroke or heart attack. Pneumonia can also progress into a potentially fatal condition called acute .
Individuals with who develop pneumonia usually need medical attention and are given an immediate . Diagnostic tests like chest , CT scans, samples, and lung function tests can help to target the type of pneumonia and determine treatments.
Treatments used for people with and pneumonia may include:
Quick identification and intervention are of utmost importance when people with potentially have pneumonia. More importantly, pneumonia can be prevented.
Good hand hygiene is the first step to preventing that can cause pneumonia. Because their is high, it‘s vital for people with and older adults to adhere to their provider’s recommended schedules.
Maintaining the yearly flu, Covid-19, and requirements helps the fend off that cause pneumonia. The works against the most common cause of pneumonia, streptococcus pneumonia. In short, prevention is the best way to avoid developing pneumonia when you or your loved one has .
Maria Tesoro-Morioka is a licensed Registered Nurse in the mental health field for nearly 15 years.
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