How Is Pneumonia Diagnosed
Sometimes pneumonia can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are so variable, and are often very similar to those seen in a cold or influenza. To diagnose pneumonia, and to try to identify the germ that is causing the illness, your doctor will ask questions about your medical history, do a physical exam, and run some tests.
Your doctor will ask you questions about your signs and symptoms, and how and when they began. To help figure out if your infection is caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi, you may be asked some questions about possible exposures, such as:
- Any recent travel
- Exposure to other sick people at home, work or school
- Whether you have recently had another illness
Your doctor will listen to your lungs with a stethoscope. If you have pneumonia, your lungs may make crackling, bubbling, and rumbling sounds when you inhale.
If your doctor suspects you may have pneumonia, they will probably recommend some tests to confirm the diagnosis and learn more about your infection. These may include:
- Blood tests to confirm the infection and to try to identify the germ that is causing your illness.
- Chest X-ray to look for the location and extent of inflammation in your lungs.
- Pulse oximetry to measure the oxygen level in your blood. Pneumonia can prevent your lungs from moving enough oxygen into your bloodstream.
- Sputum test on a sample of mucus taken after a deep cough, to look for the source of the infection.
Does Sinusitis Lead To Bronchitis Or Asthma
Sinusitis, both acute and chronic, if not adequately treated can lead to bronchitis and sometimes pneumonia. Although it is not the cause for asthma, it can lead to asthma exacerbations. Sinus infections are infections of the upper respiratory tract, and generally lead to symptoms that include headaches, sinus pressure, discolored nasal mucus, and nasal congestion. In certain patients, however, the infection can result in lower respiratory symptoms such as cough and chest congestion, eventually turning into bronchitis, sometimes even pneumonia.
This typically occurs from infected post nasal drainage entering the lungs. While this method of spread can happen in anyone, it is more common in patients with underlying comorbidities and the immunocompromised. While acute sinusitis is common and easily treated by your primary care physician, chronic sinusitis often requires specialized treatment for resolution.
At CCENT & Sinus we specialize in treating patients with chronic sinusitis.
Runny Nose And Postnasal Drip
When you have a sinus infection, you may need to blow your nose often because of nasal discharge, which can be cloudy, green, or yellow. This discharge comes from your infected sinuses and drains into your nasal passages.
The discharge may also bypass your nose and drain down the back of your throat. You may feel a tickle, an itch, or even a sore throat.
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How To Avoid A Secondary Infection After Having Flu
When youve had the flu, you’re always relieved when your symptoms start to wear off and you want to get back into your normal routine as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, if you’re not careful, you can develop serious secondary infections, which can require another trip to the doctor, more time off, hospitalisation, and even death, warn experts.
The influenza virus is a viral strain that changes every year. It may compromise your immune system so much that your body becomes susceptible to other bacterial pathogens such as Streptococcus pneumoniae, the pathogen responsible for causing conditions like pneumonia, sinus infection, ear infection, meningitis and even bacteraemia .
What makes flu complications more likely?
According to a paper published in 2017 in Frontiers of Microbiology, respiratory infections caused by the outbreak of influenza have caused a significant number of deaths over the years and is the fourth-highest cause of death globally.
What then makes flu-related infections and deaths so dire in the modern age of medical advancement? According to recent research, the overuse of antibiotics which causes bacteria to become resistant as well as vaccine-hesitancy are key factors in the higher prevalence of secondary infections.
- People older than 65
- People with compromised immune systems
- People with heart and lung disease
- Infants and children under four years old
How to avoid secondary infections
1. Know the signs and act fast
3. Get a flu vaccination
Getting Worse Not Better It Could Be A Secondary Infection
You had a cold and thought you were on the mend but now you have a fever, and pressure behind your eyes. Or maybe youre taking antibiotics for a urinary tract infection , and now youve developed new itching and irritation.
These could be secondary infections infections you get after youve had, or received treatment for, a different health concern. Getting a secondary infection can be frustrating , and in some cases more serious than the original condition. Its important to be aware of when you might be dealing with more than your initial illness so you can get care if you need it.
Here are three of the most common secondary infections and how to recognize them.
Your sinuses are air-filled pockets in your face. A sinus infection can occur if these spaces get inflamed. If the swelling keeps mucus from draining, germs might grow. Viruses are the most common cause of a sinus infection, but bacteria can be the culprit especially in a secondary infection.
A sinus infection can be secondary to a common cold, but you can also get one if seasonal allergies cause swelling in your sinuses. Symptoms include:
- Stuffy nose
- Mucus draining in the back of your throat
- Itching or burning
- White discharge
- Pain when urinating or having sex
See a doctor if you develop these pneumonia symptoms after having a cold or flu:
Follow through, follow up
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When To Seek Help For Covid
Anyone who has or may have COVID-19 should and rest. However, if any of the following issues develop, the person may need immediate care:
- breathing problems
- a pale or bluish tinge to the lips, nail beds, or skin
If any of the above arise, call 911 or take the person to a local emergency facility. Call ahead to let them know that the person arriving may have COVID-19.
It is not always possible to prevent a URI, but taking the following precautions can help:
- covering the mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing
- avoiding cigarette smoke
When Do You Really Need Antibiotics For That Sinus Infection
- By Monique Tello, MD, MPH, Contributor
It was February, and clinic was teeming with respiratory infections of all kinds: mostly the common cold, but also bronchitis, pneumonia, and sinus infections. The patients were coming in usually thinking that they needed antibiotics for their sinus infection, or another respiratory infection.The first patient on my schedule was a healthcare provider with sinus infection written down as her main issue.* Shed had about two weeks of nasal and sinus congestion which she blamed on a viral upper respiratory infection . Her two young kids had been sick with colds all winter, so she wasnt surprised to have these symptoms, along with endless postnasal drip and a cough.
Her congestion had improved a bit at one point, and she thought that she was finally getting better. But then, the day before her appointment, she awoke with throbbing pain between her eyes, completely blocked nasal passages, and, more concerning to her, green pus oozing from her left tear duct. She had body aches, chills, and extreme fatigue.
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Why Choose Cooper To Treat Sinusitis
The ear, nose, and throat specialists in Coopers Division of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery are uniquely qualified to diagnose and treat sinus problems. Fellowship-trained and with years of experience, our otolaryngologists have the advanced expertise to provide both medical and surgical care for all types of sinus infections.
The Link Between Sinus Infections And Bronchitis
Reviewed by Theresa H. Care Delivery Manager & Family Nurse Practitioner
When a cold strikes, it can make you feel miserable. Whats more, a stuffed up head and nose can quickly progress leading to other uncomfortable symptoms including facial pain, sinus pressure, post-nasal drip and chest congestion. In fact its not uncommon for a cold to develop into a sinus infection or bronchitis.
But what exactly is a sinus infection? Are sinus infections and bronchitis linked? Why are some people more prone to developing sinus and bronchial infections? And, most importantly, if you have a sinus infection or bronchitis, what can you do to feel better?
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Get The Relief You Need
Recognizing common signs of a sinus infection can be helpful, but there is no substitute for getting a proper diagnosis and treatment from trusted specialists. At the Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia, our Board Certified specialists have extensive experience treating patients withsinus issues and a range of other conditions. You can learn more about finding the best treatment for you by booking an appointment online orcontacting us today. We serve the Atlanta metro area and beyond from multiple office locations.
How To Tell If You Have An Actual Sinus Infection
Even though we often say we have a sinus infection even if its just inflammation or an allergic response, there are symptoms of an actual infection that may be treatable with antibiotics. Nasal congestion and pain under the eyes or around the temples are, of course, main symptoms, but others include the loss of the sense of smell, green nasal discharge, mucus dripping down your throat, cough, fever, fatigue, sore throat, and even bad breath.
Sometimes, a sinus infection will clear up without intervention, but if you develop a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, have your symptoms for 10 or more days, notice that your symptoms are getting worse and are not improved by OTC medications, or you have multiple infections in a years time, you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
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What Are The Symptoms Of An Upper Respiratory Infection
Symptoms of a sinus infection and an upper respiratory infection are very similar. In some cases, it can be difficult to tell whether your symptoms are the result of an infection in your sinuses or upper respiratory tract.
Common signs of both sinus and upper respiratory tract infections include:
- Stuffy or runny nose
In the case of a sinus infection, you may also notice a greenish discharge from your nose.
What Are The Treatment Options
Typical treatment options are noted in the individual causes of fungal sinusitis described above. Frequently, some sort of surgery or procedure is required to physically remove the fungus, the mucus that contains it, and sometimes the tissue that has been affected.
Antifungal medications can be used as well, but usually not without a surgery. There have been some studies that indicate that antifungal medications called azoles, such as itraconazole, can be useful in treating allergic fungal sinusitis. With invasive fungal sinusitis, use of antifungal medications is required.
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When To Seek Medical Treatment For Sinusitis And Bronchitis
When it comes to getting over a sinus infection or bronchitis, patience and time are usually the best remedies. Because most infections are viral, prescription antibiotics arent always an effective treatment option and taking them can be dangerous and lead to problems related to antibiotic resistance. In most cases, infections related to sinusitis and bronchitis will resolve on their own.
Within a week of getting sick, symptoms related to sinusitis or bronchitis should start to improve. If you dont start feeling better or feel worse, its a good idea to reach out to a medical provider who can provide guidance about managing symptoms and also about your treatment options.
What Is The Fastest Way To Get Rid Of Sinusitis
When you have a sinus infection, you often have to go through your day in pain and in a fog. Sinusitis, or infection of the sinuses, is incredibly common, but many people suffer through it rather than get it treated. At Asthma Allergy Centre in Tigard, McMinnville, or Beaver, OR, we use a variety of sinus management treatments to reduce the inflammation and immune response that are likely behind your sinus problems. Check out on how to get rid of sinusitis.
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How Do You Treat Pneumonia
The only way to tell the difference between pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses is by getting a chest X-ray, which will show whether fluid and inflammation are present in the lungs, explains Dr. Dass. While the presence of fluid around the lungsin addition to the above symptomslikely indicates pneumonia, the fluid can also be a potential sign of heart or liver complications, kidney disease, or it could possibly be a side effect of certain cancers, according to Yale Medicine. “If you pneumonia, you should see your doctor as soon as possible to make the diagnosis and start treatment early,” says Dr. Dass.
Both Dr. Dass and Dr. Patel note that treatment depends on the cause and severity of pneumonia. Some people begin to feel better with 10-14 days of antibiotics, while others may need to be hospitalized and receive intravenous antibiotics and fluid replacement, explains Dr. Dass. That’s why getting to your doctor early is critical: “Most of the time, if caught early, it will mean less downtime, fewer complications, and a better prognosis,” explains Dr. Patel.
What Happens If A Sinus Infection Is Left Untreated
A sinus infection can cause a long list of annoying problems, but if left untreated, your symptoms could continue for months on end. And in rare cases, very serious complications can develop.
In this blog, the board-certified physicians at New York ENT explain more about sinus infections and what can happen if theyre left untreated.
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Think You Have A Sinus Infection
Sinus infections can be viral or bacterial in nature. If your symptoms arent improving after 10 days or are getting worse, your infection could be bacterial. A healthcare provider can prescribe antibiotics to clear up the infection.
How do you know if you have a sinus infection and not just a bad head cold? It can be tricky to tell. In general, if youve had a cold for more than a week that wont go away or seems like its getting worse, you could be dealing with a sinus infection.
Common sinus infection symptoms
How Is Sinus Infection Diagnosed
Diagnosis depends on symptoms and requires an examination of the throat, nose and sinuses. Your allergist will look for:
- Discolored nasal discharge
- Bad Breath
If your sinus infection lasts longer than eight weeks, or if standard antibiotic treatment is not working, a sinus CT scan may help your allergist diagnose the problem. Your allergist may examine your nose or sinus openings. The exam uses a long, thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera and a light at one end that is inserted through the nose. It is not painful. Your allergist may give you a light anesthetic nasal spray to make you more comfortable.
Mucus cultures: If your sinus infection is chronic or has not improved after several rounds of antibiotics, a mucus culture may help to determine what is causing the infection. Most mucus samples are taken from the nose. However, it is sometimes necessary to get mucus directly from the sinuses.
Knowing what kind of bacteria is causing the infection can lead to more effective antibiotic therapy. A fungus could also cause your sinus infection. Confirming the presence of fungus is important. Fungal sinus infection needs to be treated with antifungal agents, rather than antibiotics. In addition, some forms of fungal sinus infection allergic fungal sinus infection, for example do not respond to antifungal agents and often require the use of oral steroids.
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How Do You Prevent Pneumonia
Getting a flu shot and a pneumonia vaccine can help protect you against the bacteria, says Dr. Dass. “Our bodies can usually clear the virus or bacteria with lots of rest and good nutrition before it turns into pneumonia,” she explains. “However, with today’s increased stress levels and decreased sleep hours, our immune systems are not in optimal shape. Lack of rest, high stress, poor diet/nutrition, and sedentary lifestyle all help fuel the onset of pneumonia.”
Considering pneumonia is “one of the most common and lethal medical conditions doctors see,” it’s a very important topic to be aware of, adds Dr. Dass. “In the most recent National Health Statistics Report published in 2018, pneumonia accounted for 0.5 percent of all emergency room visits. If you take into account all emergency room visits or office visits where this was the main issue, this accounts for more than 4.5 million people.”
Both doctors agree that staying vaccinated and staying vigilant are crucial well beyond cold and flu season. Be sure to visit your doctor as soon as you feel something’s not quite right.
Treating A Sinus Infection
Sinus infections are different from colds because they are caused by bacteria growing in blocked sinuses. Because of this, they may improve with antibiotics. Depending on your situation, your doctor may prescribe medication, such as antibiotics, or other drugs that can help relieve your pain and lessen the swelling in your sinuses.
If you feel you may have a sinus infection that is worsening, visit your urgent care clinic or primary care physician as soon as possible. You could receive treatment to help you recover faster.
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