Follow Up with Your Physician After Pneumonia to Avoid Getting Sick All Over Again
Pneumonia is not a minor condition. Especially in seniors and those with compromised immune systems, pneumonia can develop from a relatively minor case brought on by a cold to a life-threatening condition within days. It is critical that a senior suffering from pneumonia get the proper care in order to ensure full and timely recovery.
Recovering from a bout of pneumonia generally takes from 2 to 6 weeks. During this time a patient will be prescribed plenty of rest, fluid, antibiotics and over-the-counter medications that will treat the physical symptoms such as aching and coughing. In particularly difficult cases, the patient may be prescribed oxygen to help support the function of the lungs. Even after your loved one feels better, however, it is important that you make sure that the illness is actually over.
Following up with a physician after a case of pneumonia can make a major difference in a senior’s recovery. It is possible to feel completely better, and yet the lungs are still infected. It is also possible to go through an entire course of treatment and not feel any better six weeks after the illness developed. A physician follow-up is an opportunity to review the condition of the lungs and discuss how the body is recovering and if any other actions need to be taken. This follow-up may include a chest x-ray to review how the lungs have recovered. If the patient is not showing significant progress, other forms of treatment such as more aggressive antibiotics or oxygen therapy may be prescribed to prevent him from getting sick all over again.
Another way that following up with a physician can be highly beneficial to someone who has recently suffered from a case of pneumonia is discussing preventative measures. Pneumonia may be the first serious illness that a senior copes with, and it is important to discuss not only how to recover from this particular incident, but how to support the immune system and total physical health in order to prevent future serious illness.
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