It is generally accepted that the main signs of pneumonia are high fever and severe cough, because a large amount of phlegm accumulates in the chest. But in fact, among doctors, pneumonia without coughing is considered common.
Causes of occurrence
Contrary to popular belief, pneumonia does not always come from colds. This is an inflammatory process, which can be triggered by various reasons. Pneumonia without coughing is caused by:
- Pathogenic microorganisms. These can be bacteria, viruses, and even fungi. They are not “specialized pathogens” of the disease, such as the tubercle bacillus. It’s just that these are microbes, which by the products of their vital activity harm the organ and cause inflammation.
- Factors that weaken the immune system: age, serious illnesses – oncology, infections, polytrauma . Example: pneumonia against the background of heart failure (due to circulatory disorders in the lungs, stagnant processes occur).
- Uncontrolled intake of drugs that suppress the cough reflex.
- Surgical interventions – artificial ventilation of the lungs, lung operations.
- Aspiration pneumonia: most common in infants, when the baby spits up unsuccessfully and vomit enters the airways (a few drops are enough to cause inflammation). In adults, aspiration pneumonia usually accompanies injuries – when foreign objects or substances enter the lungs.
- Hospital pneumonia. It is called so because it is easy to pick up in a hospital (not necessarily infectious) and it is very difficult to cure, as a rule, hospital strains of microbes have strong resistance to antibiotics.
Inflammation of the lungs without coughing can be difficult to recognize. The patient may feel weak, notice increased sweating. The temperature in pneumonia, especially in the early stages, can be low and unstable, as in a common ARI.
If you feel unwell without the manifestation of typical symptoms, you should pay attention to the lymph nodes of the throat, armpits: with pneumonia, these areas often increase in size. If pneumonia proceeds without pronounced wheezing, without a dry or wet cough, then an accurate diagnosis can only be made in a hospital.
To diagnose pneumonia, a combination of techniques is used:
- Instrumental: X-ray (FLG detects darkening in the lungs, but usually does not allow to recognize their nature), fibrobronchoscopy (in severe forms and, especially, in the absence of sputum), computed tomography.
- Laboratory – analyzes of urine and blood; a general analysis shows the number of leukocytes, and tests for infections help to identify or exclude the causative agent of the disease and build the most effective treatment tactics.
Which doctor to contact
Since it is not always possible to separate pneumonia from acute respiratory viral infections by symptoms, you should first contact a therapist. He will prescribe tests and images, which can be used to determine how far the process has gone: pneumonia is both focal and bilateral – with damage to both lungs. Then the patient falls into the hands of a pulmonologist – a doctor specializing in respiratory diseases.
In some cases, inflammation can be treated on an outpatient basis if the person is young, healthy, and the course of the disease does not inspire concern. But only a doctor should choose the form of treatment – home or hospital.
The use of drugs
Before the discovery of penicillin, pneumonia claimed the lives of one in three patients. Thanks to drugs, pneumonia is no longer considered a fatal disease.
Pneumonia without coughing is not a separate, specific type of disease. Therefore, when prescribing treatment, the doctor focuses on the general condition of the patient, on the cause of the disease, on the degree of lung damage. The fact that there is no cough does not play a decisive role.
Usually the patient is prescribed a complex of antibiotics and mucolytics . At the same time, they prescribe drugs that raise immunity, and conduct courses of breathing exercises – for better removal of mucus from the lungs (after all, there is no cough). In severe cases, inhalation is used to prevent oxygen starvation.
At temperatures, people of any age are advised to drink plenty of water: water, tea, fruit drinks. For children, the temperature is not brought down to 38 ° C, and for adults – up to 39 ° C.
Other manifestations of pneumonia (rhinitis, chest pain) are eliminated with symptomatic treatment.
You cannot use antibiotics on your own. Firstly, many microorganisms have long adapted to those drugs that can be freely purchased at the pharmacy. And secondly, pneumonia can be caused by a virus, and antibiotics only work on bacteria.
With a normal response to treatment, the patient spends about seven to ten days in the hospital, and then is discharged for outpatient follow-up care.
Traditional methods of treating pneumonia can only be used as an adjunct to traditional medicine and only after consultation with the attending physician.
Herbal teas are rarely clinically tested. They are sold as dietary supplements, that is, the manufacturer can guarantee that his products do not harm the patient.
However, inhalation with fir, eucalyptus, pine oils can bring tangible benefits during the rehabilitation period.
Even if there are no pronounced risk factors, every person needs to take precautions to prevent pneumonia. Moreover, preventive measures do not require special knowledge and skills.
General methods are available to everyone:
- Vitamin prophylaxis and sports to strengthen the immune system. Moderate physical activity, such as walking in the fresh air, is recommended for children and the elderly.
- Refusal from bad habits that weaken the body.
- Massage courses – to improve blood circulation in the chest area.
- Timely treatment of respiratory diseases: taking expectorants to remove phlegm along with microorganisms. This will prevent them from being over concentrated, which the body may not be able to handle.
- Vaccination. In fact, there is no universal vaccine, because the disease is caused by many reasons, but the vaccine will help insure against the most common and dangerous viruses.
- Ventilation and personal hygiene – These activities reduce the risk of contracting pneumonia.
- Every year you need to do fluorography, while it is desirable to take general tests.
These simple measures are useful and accessible to all segments of the population: adults, children, the elderly, and pregnant women. Following simple rules of a healthy lifestyle is much easier than dealing with the effects of pneumonia.
Consequences of the disease
Occasionally, pneumonia leaves behind intoxication. Several factors are triggered here at once: high temperature, substances secreted by bacteria, accumulation of drugs in the body. But the intoxication syndrome is eliminated by doctors easily and quickly: solutions of sodium chloride, glucose are used for this.
Untimely or negligent treatment has the worst consequences:
- chronic form of pneumonia: constant relapses of inflammation (especially in children and the elderly – their immunity is weaker than that of the middle age group);
- the formation of abscesses (encapsulated purulent inflammation);
- pleurisy (accumulation of fluid in the lungs) and sepsis (blood poisoning);
- asthenic syndrome – weakness, lethargy, shortness of breath persist for a long time.