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pneumonia

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what is pneumonia?

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that inflames the air sacs in one or both the lungs with fluid or pus causing mild to severe respiratory symptoms. 

what causes pneumonia?

Some of the common causes of pneumonia are:

  • Bacteria: Known as pneumococcal pneumonia, this is caused by Steptococcus pneumonia, Chlamydophila pneumonia, and Legionella pneumonia, etc.
  • Viruses: This type is caused by the influenza virus and respiratory syncytial virus that cause infections of the upper respiratory tract i.e. the throat, trachea, nose, and lungs. 
  • Fungi: This is the least common but the most serious form of pneumonia caused by the virus Pneumocystis jirovecii, Histoplasmosis, Cryptococcus, etc. These viruses are found in dry regions and places where soil is contaminated with bird droppings. 
  • Hospital-acquired pneumonia: This occurs due to a stay in a hospital for another illness and getting exposed to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Those who are on ventilators are at a higher risk.
  • Aspiration pneumonia: This happens when solid food, liquids, vomit, or saliva go down the windpipe and lungs instead of the esophagus and stomach. Pneumonia occurs when you can’t cough these particles out and they become infected. 

what are the symptoms of pneumonia?

The symptoms of pneumonia range from mild flu-like symptoms to severe symptoms. They depend on how serious is your infection, the underlying cause, your age, and overall health.

Symptoms of viral pneumonia include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Dry cough
  • Muscle pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness

Symptoms of bacterial pneumonia are:

  • Prolonged high fever of up to 102°C.
  • Constant fatigue.
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Chest or abdominal pain especially when deep breathing or coughing.
  • Loss of appetite
  • Cough with greenish-coloured mucus or drops of blood.
  • Confusion and altered state of mind.

who is at risk for pneumonia?

While anyone can get pneumonia, there are some categories of people who are at a higher risk than the others. These include:

  • Children under 2 years and adults over 65 years.
  • People who suffer from chronic diseases like diabetes and heart diseases.
  • Those who suffer from lung diseases like cystic fibrosis, COPD, etc. 
  • Those who have recently suffered a respiratory viral infection like influenza or cold. 
  • Those who have a weakened immune system due to HIV/AIDS, organ transplant, or chemotherapy.
  • Chain smokers.
  • Those who consume drugs and alcohol, and who have difficulty in swallowing due to dementia, stroke, etc. are at risk of aspiration pneumonia.
  • Those who have been hospitalised for other health conditions.
  • People who are frequently exposed to toxic fumes, pollution, certain chemicals, and secondhand smoke. 

how is pneumonia diagnosed?

If you are experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms and fall in any of the risk categories, it is important that you consult your doctor immediately. She/he will then make a diagnosis through a chest X-Ray, pulse oximetry test, or test your blood for the presence of bacteria, virus, or fungi. 

how is pneumonia treated?

The main aim of pneumonia treatment is to cure the lung’s infection and prevent it from complicating further. The treatment options are:

  • Medicines: You may be prescribed cough medicines to calm your cough and discomfort. You may be given antibiotics to treat bacterial pneumonia and fever medicines to relieve the patient of a high fever that is a common symptom of pneumonia.
  • Hospitalization: In case your symptoms are severe, your doctor may advice hospitalization admittance. This might involve oxygen support, breathing treatments, etc. 

how does physiotherapy help in the management of pneumonia?

While the above-mentioned treatments are important, physiotherapy is extremely vital as a supportive strategy in the management of pneumonia. Some of its benefits include:

  • Physiotherapy helps in loosening the mucus allowing a person to breathe better and in avoiding respiratory failure.
  • Mobility exercises in the pneumonia physiotherapy treatment help in improving the general endurance and strength of the muscles.
  • It helps in managing co-morbidities like a cerebral vascular accident, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, etc.
  • It helps a person and her/his caregivers get educated on the condition and ways to manage it effectively.
  • Physiotherapy for pneumonia helps in avoiding hospital readmissions and safe discharge. 

which are the best physiotherapy techniques for the management of pneumonia?

Depending on what has caused pneumonia and the severity of the condition, the most suitable techniques for physiotherapy management for pneumonia will be decided. Some of these may include:

  • Chest physiotherapy for pneumonia in adults, especially for airway clearance, is a very effective technique for non-invasive clearance of excessive secretions and aspirated materials. This involves huffing, clapping the chest, giving vibrations, and coughing to dislodge these materials.
  • Osteopathic manipulative treatment that includes techniques like rib raising, paraspinal inhibition, and soft myofascial release.
  • Active cycle of breathing techniques like breathing control, forced expiration technique, and thoracic expansion exercises. These help in mobilising and clearing excess pulmonary secretions and improve lung functions.
  • Instrumental techniques: These include non-invasive ventilation and are useful in airway clearance and providing respiratory support. This also including high-frequency chest wall oscillations through wraps.

how can portea help?

Portea, recognised as the country’s most credible in-home healthcare company, has devised world-class solutions for a wide range of health issues. One of our most important services is physiotherapy for pneumonia. Some of the most important Portea advantages include:

  • With our therapists visiting you at home, you don’t have to stress about travelling and exposing yourself to pollution and infections. This also lets you save the cost of travel.
  • Our trained and experienced therapists create customised therapy plans for the patients depending on their specific needs. This helps you heal faster and more effectively. 
  • Since the therapist visits you at home, you tend to be more consistent and get better faster.
  • Our therapy plans are much more economical than what you would have spent at a hospital or clinic. They have been found to be almost 25-20 percent cheaper than. This is especially beneficial when you have been prescribed long-term therapy.
  • Our therapists are trained to guide pneumonia patients to manage their lifestyle to reduce the symptoms of this condition, stress management, and becoming more independent in their daily activities.  
  • Your caregivers (friends and family) are relieved of managing your symptoms. 

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Mr. Mahesh

I had a serious L4 & L5 disc prolapse when I sought Portea’s physiotherapy. Thanks a lot to Dr. Amitava and Portea for their prompt service. Keep up the good work.

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chameli verma

I had a very good experience with (Magimai rani) who visited our house and helped us.Thanks..!

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Chetan

Rakesh was excellent with the service and he was able to diagnose the problem very soon and gave the right treatment.
I was feeling better just after one session. Highly recommend him!