Pneumonia in the elderly, Most often after illnesses with the flu. If found that the elderly have a high fever, fatigue, cough, phlegm with nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, chest pain. Especially when the symptoms begin to be confused or lethargy despite the fever-reducing, you should see a doctor immediately. Because there may be a lung infection If not treated, it can lead to death.
Pneumococcal vaccination in the elderly Capable of covering 70-78% of the strains that cause severe pneumococcal disease.
Infectious pneumonia in the elderly.
Disease for the elderly, In addition to common diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Lung infection or pneumonia is still a near threat that often occurs, especially during the changing season without proper prevention or treatment, it can be fatal and infectious. Causing death in the end.
Lung infection is a respiratory infection, May be infected with viruses or bacteria which is often simply called “Pneumonia”.
The incubation period for pneumonia depends on the pathogen. It can take 1-3 days. The elderly usually have symptoms starting like the flu, high fever, cough, sore throat, phlegm. Symptoms may become more severe when chest pain begins. If the fever persists for more than 2-3 days, you should see a doctor immediately for diagnosis and treatment. According to the World Health Organization, the age group 65 and over is the most common age group.
Causes of Pneumonia in the elderly.
Most pneumonias in the elderly are caused by infection through the respiratory system. Causing lung inflammation resulting in unable to exchange air normally. Often seen as an ongoing symptom of influenza. Pneumonia infection can be found at any age. The severity of the disease will be different. Patients over 65 years of age have low disease resistance. Therefore, the risk of serious disease is the most fatal.
How do I know I have pneumonia?
Pneumonia from each type of infection, resulting in different stages of disease Some infections may develop within a short time of 1-3 days, or some may take weeks to incubate. Most often after the onset of the flu. If the patient is found to have a high fever, weakness, cough, sputum with nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, angina Especially when the elderly patients begin to experience confusion or drowsiness despite the decrease in fever, they should seek immediate medical attention. Because there may be a lung infection.
Diagnosis and treatment of pneumonia.
Doctors diagnose by symptoms and physical examination. Beginning with history taking, pulse testing, blood oxygen, and breathing, because pneumonia is breathing faster than normal Then send additional X-rays To see abnormalities in the lungs, However, there may also be a blood draw.
Pneumonia caused by a bacterial infection can be treated with both oral and injection antiseptics. In most cases, symptoms improve within a few days. Viral lungs are usually less severe than bacterial infections. Treatment is based on symptoms. In which patients take care of themselves to be healthy by eating a healthy diet of all 5 groups, drinking enough water, and have a good rest. If the patient has a medical condition, the doctor may consider staying in the hospital until complete recovery. To help restore good health Ready to return to normal daily life Including preventing the occurrence of complications Which is extremely dangerous for the elderly.
Pneumonia complications in the elderly
For elderly patients with underlying diseases Maybe more serious than normal infections Therefore, if found that the family has influenza It should be safe to isolate the elderly as they may be infected with viruses and even pneumonia.
In addition, the elderly have low immunity from the general deterioration of the body. Especially the elderly with medical conditions such as diabetes, kidney failure, heart, fat, liver, immune deficiency. Therefore, there is a high risk of developing complications from pneumonia such as respiratory failure. Or the most dangerous is an infection in the bloodstream which can cause death.
Prevention of pneumonia in the elderly.
- Elderly people should maintain their health to stay strong by eating nutritious food. Avoid spicy and high-fat foods. Drink enough water and rest. Exercise regularly
- Reduce going out to crowded places during the cold or flu pandemic.
- Not contact with the patient, avoid sharing personal items with others.
- Get vaccinated against influenza every year. Since pathogens are mutated all the time. The effectiveness of the vaccine can prevent influenza 70-80% should be injected before the rain around May to June. Which was during the flu pandemic
- Avoid being near people with cold or flu.
- Get vaccinated against bacteria that cause bacterial pneumonia.
The most common bacteria that cause pneumonia are Streptococcus pneumonia or pneumococcus for short. Which has more than 90 species. Causing other serious infectious diseases such as meningeal infection And infection in the bloodstream Currently, the medical profession has developed a vaccine against pneumococcal infectious disease that is effective in two types of elderly people:
- Conjugated pneumococcal vaccine can protect against 13 strains of pneumococcus.
- Polysaccharide pneumococcal vaccine or PPSV23, covering 23 strains.
Older adults 65 years and over are advised to get both vaccines together; older adults who have never had a pneumococcal vaccine before, should get one dose of PCV13 first, and then 12 months later with PPSV23. Who had previously been vaccinated with PPSV23 and can be followed later by PCV13, at least one year apart.
It was also found that the vaccine could cover the strains of the causative agents. Severe pneumococcal infections can be found in 70-78% of the elderly. The elderly are at risk of severe lung infection that can lead to death. Therefore, the pneumococcal vaccine should be administered. The same goes for getting the flu vaccine.