Bacterial Pneumonia Can Be Very Dangerous 

Bacterial pneumonia is perhaps the most common form of this very serious condition, and as we get older, it can and will attack us very easily.

As we get into our late 60’s and early 70’s, it is even more dangerous for several different reasons.

The two most common are environmental.

They include CAP and HAP, community acquired and hospital acquired pneumonia. If you are in a nursing home or a hospital, your chances of this form just skyrocketed.

Even if you are in your late 50’s or early 60’s, because our immune system has slowed down and weakened, we are also at a much higher degree of risk.

The Causes of Bacterial Pneumonia

While bacterial pneumonia is a threat that to us in our younger years, we could very easily fight it off with no real dangers.

It is the result of certain strains of bacteria, but by far and away the most common strain is Streptococcus, also referred to as pneumococcus.

For the vast majority of us, we have been attacked by this bacterium several times, as it can and does live in our throats.

However, if our immune system becomes compromised in any form, this once non-issue bacterium in our throat, travels into our lungs.

Once it is there, it can and will do the following.

  • Once in our lungs, it infects our air sacs
  • Once our air sacs are infected, our lungs become inflamed
  • Once inflamed, they begin to fill up with fluid
  • We now have Bacterial pneumonia

What makes this form of this potentially deadly condition so challenging as we get older, is again CAP and HAP.

How It Can Be Passed

CAP, or the community-acquired form, is where this bacterium affects us outside of a healthcare facility, and we are around several people in our same age group.

This bacterium can easily be passed to us by coughs or sneezes in the form of respiratory droplets.

HAP, hospital acquired form, can attack us not only in a hospital setting, but also in a doctor’s office.

If you are infected with this form of bacterium, it is much harder to treat than the CAP form.

As we all get older, our immune system is slowing down and are cells that protect them are aging as well, in several different ways.

Here are the major risks groups for developing Bacterial pneumonia

  • Any of us that are 60 years or older
  • A recent surgery of some type where we spent any time in a hospital
  • Smoking or drinking to excess
  • Having Diabetes, Asthma, or any type of a heart condition

If you have had a recent organ transplant, you are also a major target of this form of this very serious condition.

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What Exactly Is Bacterial Pneumonia 

If you have never had Bacterial pneumonia and do indeed get it, it can easily be confused with a cold or even the flu.

However, there are some key things that you can watch for and remember.

A cold comes on very slowly in most cases and one of the first signs is a runny nose.

If it is the flu, it will hit you very suddenly with little or no warning.

However, if it is Bacterial pneumonia, it not only hits you suddenly, it keeps hitting and hitting.

Here are the most classic symptoms of this potentially very dangerous condition.

  • The most telling sign is a high fever of 104 degrees or higher
  • Mucus and a lot of it that will be green or yellow in color
  • Chills and then sweating as the result of the fever
  • Chest pains that feel almost like a heart attack
  • A sudden inability to catch your breath
  • An upbeat in both breathing and our heartbeat

If we take a step back and really think about it, the cold does not have any of these symptoms to any major extent.

Here Is The Difference

With the flu, you may get a fever, but not anywhere near as severe as with this very dangerous condition.

The vast majority of us at our ages have both, but this beast is entirely different, especially the Bacterial pneumonia form.

If we think about the times we have had the flu, it hit rapidly and we were coming out at both ends, but we did not have chest pains and the other symptoms.

But there is also one other major difference that will confirm that you have this beast; mucus and a lot of it.

If you are a smoker and older than 55, you are used to some mucus.

However, this is a lot different and it can be almost overpowering. If you are not a smoker, this is an entirely new, unexpected, and unnerving fact.

There Is Good News

There is good news is that it is very easy to treat in most all cases.

If you have had it, you know the drill.

Antibiotics are very effective and you will also get a shot. There are two types of shots, and they include the following.

  • PCV 13, also known as Prevnar
  • PPSV23, also known as Pneumovax

If you are 60 years or older, both forms are recommended, however there are a few differences.

The PCV13 is for anyone older than 60 that have a high risk, as well as for children under the age of 5.

The PPSV23 is also for anyone over 60 years of age, and it is also used if you have asthma or if you smoke.

We all know and understand the dangers of smoking, but with this potential killer, if you smoke, you really need to consider quitting if you can.

There are also you other key things you “must do” and I speak form experience of having Bacterial pneumonia three times.

They include the following

  • Once diagnosed, get plenty of rest—period
  • Attack the fever
  • Drink fluids, drink fluids, drinks fluids

As mentioned, I write this article from personal experience.

The first time I got it I took the antibiotics and got the shot, but did not get the rest. There is not type of work that is more important than our health.

I learned that the hard way.

You need to get the rest to drive the fever down and you must drink fluids to drive out the mucus.

If you do not drive out the mucus, your lungs will not clear out.

References

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/300157-overview

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    Aspiration pneumonia is a lot more dangerous to us in our 70’s and 80’s but can still be a risk in our 60’s

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  • Community Acquired Pneumonia

    Community acquired pneumonia is not the result of being in any type of common surrounding such as a nursing home or like environment.


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