10 Myths and Information About Pneumonia

Have you ever ever heard the previous wives’ story that going outside with wet hair can provide you pneumonia? It’s a delusion that many people have grown up listening to, however, is there any reality to it? 

Pneumonia is a common illness that targets your lungs. It impacts hundreds of thousands of individuals annually however for many people, pneumonia stays a thriller. It’s vital to differentiate between what we predict we all know and what science tells us.

Jason McCarl, MD, a pulmonologist with Banner Well being, helps separate reality from fiction and debunk 10 frequent myths about pneumonia so you possibly can keep on prime of your respiratory well-being.

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Delusion 1: Pneumonia is nothing greater than a foul chilly.

Truth: Pneumonia shouldn’t be like your frequent chilly.

“Whereas the common cold is a higher respiratory situation within the sinuses, pneumonia impacts the decreased airways – particularly, the lungs,” Dr. McCarl mentioned.

Pneumonia is attributable to microorganisms, viruses, and even fungi that infect the air sacs in your lungs, making it troublesome so that you can breathe. It could additionally trigger signs like fever, cough, and chest ache.

Whereas chilly could make you depressed for a couple of days, with pneumonia it could typically take weeks earlier than you’re feeling like yourself once more.

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Delusion 2: Pneumonia is extremely contagious.

Truth: Several sorts of pneumonia exist, however not all types are contagious.

Pneumonia itself isn’t sometimes contagious. Whether or not it spreads will depend on the kind of germ inflicting the infection.

“Pneumonia may result from viruses like influenza (flu) and COVID-19 or microorganisms like sinus infections. These can unfold when a contaminated individual sneezes or coughs or leaves germs behind on surfaces,” Dr. McCarl mentioned.

Different pneumonias like fungal pneumonia and aspiration pneumonia should not be contagious. Aspiration pneumonia is attributable to inhaling meals, liquids, vomit, or bodily merchandise into the lungs.

“It’s essential to take precautions to stop the unfolding of underlying infections to scale back the chance of pneumonia,” Dr. McCarl mentioned. This consists of washing your hands, protecting coughs and sneezes, and staying away from others who are sick.

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Delusion 3: Pneumonia solely impacts older adults.

Truth: Pneumonia can strike anybody.

Whereas, indeed, older adults, kids below age 5, and folks with weakened immune methods are extra weak, anybody can get pneumonia. Older kids, younger adults, and even athletes can suffer from this lung infection.

Delusion 4: Pneumonia and bronchitis are identical.

Truth: Bronchitis and pneumonia are different sicknesses

Although signs of pneumonia and bronchitis overlap – with cough, fever, and typically problem respirationthey’re different circumstances.

“Bronchitis is the irritation and an infection of the bronchial tubes that convey air to your lungs, whereas pneumonia impacts the air sacs the place our lungs soak up oxygen,” Dr. McCarl mentioned. “A chest X-ray can sometimes present the distinction between the 2 sicknesses so your supplier can deal with it appropriately.”

Delusion 5: Getting vaccinated causes pneumonia.

Truth: Pneumococcal vaccines don’t trigger pneumonia.

“Vaccines, equivalent to pneumococcal and flu vaccines, assist stop an infection and received’t offer you pneumonia, the flu or some other sicknesses,” Dr. McCarl mentioned.

The pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine doesn’t includestay microorganism. Which means they’re useless and may not hurt you. As with every vaccine, you’ll have gentle unintended effects lasting one or two days.

Delusion 6: After you have pneumonia, you’re immune.

Truth: Having pneumonia as soon as possible doesn’t make you proof against future infections.

Some persons are extra prone to recurrent pneumonia, particularly if they’ve underlying well-being circumstances or weakened immune methods.

Keep up-to-date along with your vaccinations and apply good hygiene to scale back your threat.

Delusion 7: Pneumonia solely occurs in winter.

Truth: Pneumonia can occur year-round.

Whereas it’s true that pneumonia, just like the flu and RSV, are usually extra frequent throughout the colder months, it could happen at any time of the year,” Dr. McCarl famous.

Pneumonia-causing germs are present at all times, so take preventative measures that can assist you in keeping wholesome.

Delusion 8: Antibiotics remedy all sorts of pneumonia.

Truth: Remedy will depend on the trigger and your signs.

Antibiotics are efficient in opposition to bacterial pneumonia however received’t work for viral pneumonia. Your supplier will decide the most effective remedy primarily based on the reason for your pneumonia.

“Taking antibiotics once they’re not wanted can result in antibiotic resistance,” Dr. McCarl mentioned.

When you’ve got viral pneumonia, your supplier will probably discuss methods to deal with your signs at-house. This may increasingly embrace over-the-counter (OTC) medicines.

For bacterial infections, it’s important to finish the complete course of your antibiotics and take them as prescribed by your well-being care supplier. For fungal pneumonia, your supplier could deal with you with antifungal medicine to kill or cease the expansion of harmful fungi in your physique.

In case your signs are extreme, you could have to be hospitalized.

Delusion 9: Pneumonia restoration is fast and simple.

Truth: For some, restoration can take time.

Whereas many individuals get well from pneumonia with the correct remedy, the highway to full restoration will be gradual. It could take several weeks to regain power and lung performance.

Observe your well-being care supplier’s recommendation and permit yourself the time to heal.

Delusion 10: Pneumonia can’t be prevented.

Truth: You can do issues to stop your threat of pneumonia.

You’ll be able to take steps to scale back your threat of getting pneumonia.

One of the efficient methods is getting vaccinated,” Dr. McCarl mentioned. “Maintaining medical circumstances like diabetes, COPD, or asthma well-controlled may also scale back your threat.”

Moreover, apply good hygiene, preserve a wholesome lifestyle, avoid smoking, get loads of sleep, and avoid others who are sick.

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Takeaway

Pneumonia is a critical respiratory infection that may affect anybody, not simply older adults. It’s important to separate reality from fiction to guard yourself and your family members.

Speak to your well-being care supplier or find a Banner Health specialist close to you if in case you have considerations about pneumonia or expertise signs.

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