Pneumonia is an infection that inflames air sacs in one or both lungs, which may fill with fluid. Viruses, bacteria, or fungi cause it, but the most common type of pneumonia is bacterial. You can catch bacterial and viral pneumonia from others by inhaling droplets from a sneeze or cough. Your doctor of internal medicine Manhattan should evaluate all symptoms for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
What Is an Aspiration Pneumonia?
Aspiration pneumonia occurs when bacteria are inhaled into your lungs from saliva, food, or drink. You’re more likely to develop aspiration pneumonia if you have problems swallowing or are affected by alcohol, illicit drugs, or some types of medications.
People who are already ill or who have compromised immune systems are more prone to aspiration pneumonia.
Pneumonia creates inflammation affecting the air sacs in your lungs, called alveoli, and can fill with fluid or pus, affecting your breathing.
Symptoms of pneumonia can be mild, or they may become life-threatening and include coughing that produces phlegm, shortness of breath, chest pain, fever, chills, and sweating. Symptoms can vary according to the severity of the infection and your overall health and age.
Initially, the primary care physician will ask you about your symptoms and when they first appeared, and we will want to know your medical history. Our doctor internist will need to give you a physical exam which includes listening to your lungs for any abnormal sounds like crackling. Our primary care physicians will most likely want to take a chest x-ray.
Usually, the specialist can diagnose pneumonia using the information from your physical exam and chest x-ray. However, sometimes, primary care doctors may suggest further tests depending on the risk of complications and the severity of your symptoms.
Tests for pneumonia may include:
- A blood test to confirm the infection
- A sputum test can help to identify the cause of the infection
- A urine test can identify specific bacteria that may cause pneumonia
- Pulse oximetry uses an oxygen sensor placed on one of your fingers and can show if your lungs are transporting enough oxygen through your blood
- A CT scan can provide a clearer picture of your lungs
Another test is called a bronchoscopy. During this test, the specialist looks into your lungs’ airways using a camera that they guide on a flexible tube into your lungs. This test may be necessary if your symptoms are severe, not responding to antibiotics, or require hospitalization. Once NYC doctors have the information from your tests, we can determine the best course of treatment.
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Pneumonia Treatment in NYC
The treatment prescribed by the top NYC doctors of Manhattan Primary Care Center will depend on the type of pneumonia. Our internists can prescribe antibiotics, antifungal, and anti-viral drugs to treat pneumonia. You can treat most cases of bacterial pneumonia with oral antibiotics at home. People typically begin to respond to antibiotic treatment in one to 3 days.
New York general practitioners of Manhattan Primary Care Center may also recommend over-the-counter medication to relieve fever and pain, such as aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen. Cough medicine can calm a cough, helping you rest more easily, but sometimes coughing can help remove fluid from your lungs.
Aspiration Pneumonia Treatment
Aspiration pneumonia treatment will depend on the severity of the symptoms, but usually, we use antibiotics to help eliminate the infection. Our internists may need to wait for your test results before prescribing antibiotics as some bacteria are resistant to specific antibiotics.
Aspiration pneumonia can be severe if you wait too long for treatment as the infection can spread to other areas of the body, especially to the bloodstream. Abscesses can form in the lungs, and particularly severe infections may scar the lungs.
How to Treat Pneumonia at Home
Since you can successfully treat many cases of pneumonia at home, it’s essential to follow your doctor’s instructions closely. Make sure you take any drugs prescribed and that you complete the course of antibiotics.
It’s essential to get plenty of rest and to drink lots of fluids. Resist the temptation to go back to work or school too soon, as this could result in a recurrence of your pneumonia.
When Does Pneumonia Require Hospitalisation?
If your symptoms are especially severe or you have other health problems, you may need to stay in hospital. That way, we can monitor your heart rate and breathing closely. During hospital treatment, you can be prescribed intravenous antibiotics.
Respiratory therapy can deliver specific medications into your lungs, and the specialist may show you breathing exercises to maximize oxygenation. If needed, oxygen therapy will maintain the oxygen level in your blood, and you can be given oxygen through a face mask or nasal tube. Your doctor will help you formulate the right treatment plan.
Many cases of pneumonia are preventable with a vaccine. Two vaccines can help protect against bacterial pneumonia, and since it can often develop because of flu, it’s essential to have annual flu vaccines. Although a pneumonia vaccine won’t prevent all cases, it’s more likely that your illness will be milder and shorter with fewer risks of complications.
In addition to vaccination, ensure you wash your hands frequently with soap and water and maintain a healthy lifestyle to protect your immune system. If you smoke, it’s best to quit.
Pneumonia Treatment Plan for Patients in NYC
The treatment prescribed by our internal medicine doctors will depend on the type of pneumonia. Bacterial pneumonia We can prescribe antibiotics, antifungal, and anti-viral drugs to treat pneumonia. Please make an appointment with one of our pneumonia specialists in Midtown Manhattan or Upper East Side. Our primary care internal medicine doctors look forward to meeting you!
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