How to prevent pneumonia, an evil that hides in both extremes of life before the arrival of winter



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Pneumonia is an acute infection that inflames the air sacs of one or both lungs, which can fill with secretions. The signs and symptoms of this disease vary according to its severity (can range from mild to life threatening) and other factors, such as the age, type of germ that caused the infection and the general condition of the patient.

Although it may affect all people, there are certain groups that are at greater risk of contracting it and therefore require more care.

"People over 65 years of age, children under two years of age, people with an undiagnosed or weakened immune condition, patients receiving chemotherapy or taking medications that suppress the immune system, those with a history of previous heart or lung disease are those who must protect themselves from this disease, and the doctor specialized in internal medicine, pneumonology and critical medicine Pablo Gutierrez Fernandez (MN 82,000) pointed out that "there are clinical characteristics that can alert us to possible pneumonia."

For the chief medical officer of the Intensive Care Unit of Clínica Zabala, it is recommended to go to a hospital or medical center if you have any of these symptoms: fever, sweating, shaking chills; chest pain when breathing or coughing; in newborns or older adults, the temperature may be below 36 ° C, or they may have difficulty eating or moisturizing; difficulty in breathing, which causes fatigue; cough with expectoration; exaggerated drowsiness; disorientation and changes in behavior, especially in adults over 65; nausea, vomiting or diarrhea that may appear gastroenteritis.

"Many germs can cause pneumonia. The most frequent are the bacteria and viruses that are found in the air we breathe Gutierrez Fernandez pointed out. Pneumonia is classified according to where the infection is contracted and the type of germ that causes it. The most common type is community-acquired pneumonia, outside a hospital or health center. It can occur alone or after having a cold or the flu. Its main symptoms are persistent cough without expectoration and headache. "

Another place conducive to pneumonia is the hospital or health center, during a hospital stay due to another illness. People in intensive care units, which are connected to a ventilator, are more likely to contract pneumonia more easily. They tend to be more severe and present higher mortality than community-acquired pneumonia.

Finally, "there is aspiration pneumonia, which happens when you inhale food, drinks, vomit or saliva which then ends up reaching the bottom of the lungs." It is common in elderly people with neurological disorders and swallowing. It can also occur in the context of drug intoxication or excessive alcohol consumption, because the consciousness is depressed.

On how to prevent it, the specialist said that "it has been vaccinated to prevent some types of pneumonia and influenza." "It is advisable to consult a doctor to determine an appropriate vaccination in type and frequency. In the case of children, a different vaccine is recommended for children under two years of age and for children between two and five years of age, who are particularly prone to contracting pneumococcal diseases. Also recommended is the influenza vaccine for children under six months, "said Gutierrez Fernandez.

In addition, "maintaining personal hygiene can protect against respiratory infections that often lead to pneumonia." It is recommended to wash your hands regularly and use alcohol-based disinfectants.

Quitting smoking is another recommendation to avoid this kind of pathology, since "smoking damages the natural defenses that protect the lungs from respiratory infections."

Finally, the specialist recommended "keep the immune system strong". "It is recommended not to use drugs, eat a healthy diet and perform exercises without excess demand, it is also important to have adequate rest periods."

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