'Pneumonia', popularly known as 'pneumonia', is defined as the infection of the air sacs in the lung tissue. Pneumonia, which is more common in autumn and winter months due to the decrease in body resistance, ranks 5th among all causes of death in our country, and rises to the first place in deaths due to infections. Although pneumonia can be treated when diagnosed early, it is a serious disease that can cause severe shortness of breath, respiratory distress, and even death, especially in infants whose immune system has not yet completed its development, in the advanced age group where it is not as strong as before, and in people with suppressed chronic diseases.
Acıbadem Maslak Hospital Internal Medicine Specialist Dr. Noting that the most effective way to protect against pneumonia in the Covid-19 pandemic is the pneumonia vaccine, Sezen Genç said, “Covid-19 can seriously impair the immune system, making it easier for pneumonia agents to settle in the lungs. The co-occurrence of both diseases can cause serious damage to the respiratory tract, causing the patient to be connected to a breathing device and to be treated in the intensive care unit, and worse still, it can even cause death. Effective vaccination, especially in the risk group where the disease may progress more severely, will greatly reduce the risk of negative pictures that may develop due to the disease. Therefore, people over the age of 65 and in the risk group where the disease may progress more severely should definitely be vaccinated.
It can spread quickly in crowded environments.
Pneumonia, which usually develops when the body's resistance decreases; caused by bacteria, viruses and fungal infections. Germs spread by factors such as coughing and sneezing can hang in the air for hours. Breathing these microbes can also cause the disease to be transmitted easily. In addition to being in closed environments such as public transportation vehicles, contact with the patient and the shared use of items such as towels or glasses increase the risk.
It can also be seen with only a dry cough.
Typical symptoms of pneumonia are fever, cough, dark sputum (yellow, green or rust-colored) with chills and chills, flank pain, especially when breathing, and accompanying shortness of breath. However, in some patient groups, an atypical condition with insidious findings such as muscle and joint pain, abdominal pain and dry cough can be seen. At this point, the awareness of the patient, and therefore the process of applying to the doctor, is delayed. As a result, the risk of developing negative consequences such as shortness of breath, respiratory problems, and even the need for respiratory support increases. Internal Medicine Specialist Dr. Sezen Genç warns that in order not to delay the treatment, it is necessary to consult a doctor without wasting time in coughing accompanied by sputum production and high fever.
8 effective tips against pneumonia
Internal Medicine Specialist Dr. Sezen Genç states that preventive measures against respiratory tract infections should also be taken in pneumonia; He lists his recommendations as follows:
Use mask: Never forget to use a mask. The mask not only reduces the risk of transmission of the Covid-19 virus, but also reduces exposure to pneumonia germs.
Get vaccinated: Another critical issue is vaccination. Both vaccination against Covid-19 and pneumococcal vaccination reduce the risk of developing the disease.
Wash your hands often: Paying attention to hand hygiene also plays a critical role in preventing the transmission of pneumonia germs. Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds, especially after touching something in public and before meals.
Avoid indoor environments: Avoid being in closed environments as much as possible, as it can be easily transmitted by breathing. Always use a mask when you have to be present.
Ventilate often: Ventilating your environment frequently will reduce the microbe load in the environment. Do not neglect to ventilate your room for 3 minutes, at least 15 times a day. Increasing the frequency will further reduce the risk by ensuring the appropriate temperature and humidity. Be sure to pay attention to the cleanliness of the air conditioners.
Eat healthy, sleep regularly: In order for your immune system to be strong, eat a balanced and regular diet, pay attention to your sleep patterns.
Do not smoke, do not consume alcohol: Avoid smoking and alcohol because of its immunosuppressive effect. Do not forget that smoking causes direct toxic effect on lung tissue and susceptibility to infection, as well as treatment resistance.
For lots of water: It is also very important to drink plenty of water against pneumonia. The reason for this is that microbes that reach the mouth and nose can settle in dry areas more easily. Make it a habit to consume 2-2.5 liters every day by distributing them throughout the day.
Inpatient treatment may be required
If pneumonia is mild and generally in patients without additional risk factors, treatment can be done at home. In severe pneumonia, hospitalization may be required, and some patients may require intensive care treatment with respiratory support. Internal Medicine Specialist Dr. Sezen Genç, stating that the main step in the treatment of bacterial agents, which is the most common cause of pneumonia in adults, is antibiotics and continues: If factors such as viruses and fungi, which are more likely to develop specific to the risk group, are detected, treatment that will definitely cover these problems is applied. The duration of treatment is usually between 7-10 days. However, depending on the severity of the disease, it can be extended to 3 weeks in the presence of another concomitant disease and specific factor.