Pneumonia, often called bronchopneumonia or bronchial pneumonia, can be a serious, even life-threatening, complication of COPD. When you have a chronic disease, your immune system is already compromised, making it harder to fight infections. Add to that the weakened airways and lung tissue that is part of COPD, and it is obvious how much of a threat a respiratory infection like pneumonia can be to someone who has COPD.
What Is Pneumonia?
Pneumonia is a respiratory infection that leads to inflammation and swelling in the bronchial tubes, known as bronchioles, and also tiny cells or airsacs at the end of the airways, called alveoli. Because COPD already causes similar issues, pneumonia results in an acute exacerbation of COPD.
What does that mean? Well, it means that there is an acute deterioration of respiratory symptoms. In particular, there will be increased breathlessness and cough, and an increase in the amount of sputum, as well as a change in the quality of t...
Symptoms The symptoms are generally mild and appear over a period of 1 to 3 weeks. They may become more severe in some people. Common symptoms include the following: Chest pain Chills Cough , usually dry and not bloody Excessive sweating Fever (may be high) Headache Sore throat Less common symptoms include: Ear pain Eye pain or soreness Muscle aches and joint stiffness Neck lump Rapid breathing Skin lesions or rash Signs and tests Persons with suspected pneumonia should have a complete medical evaluation, including a thorough physical exam and a chest x-ray -- especially because the physical exam may not always be able to tell pneumonia apart from acute bronchitis or other respiratory infections. Depending on the severity of illness, other tests may be done, including: Complete blood count (CBC) Blood cultures Blood tests for antibodies to mycoplasma Bronchoscopy CT scan of the chest Open lung biopsy (only done in very serious illnesses when the diagnosis cannot be made from other sources) Sputum culture to che...
Last month, the American Pain Society added to its recommendations to health care providers regarding the diagnosis and treatment of low back pain .
In addition, the Society decided to discuss openly procedures that could be risky to sufferers of low back pain, including recommendations on surgery and other invasive therapies.
Unfortunately, there is not a significant body of good evidence to justify unquestioningly embracing these new recommendations. It is difficult to find well-done clinical studies which support the use of a number of the more invasive treatments used for chronic low back pain.
The initial set of guidelines for the management of chronic low back pain were published in "Annals of Internal Medicine" last October. However, these recommendations dealt more with the initial evaluation of a low back pain patient, and included thoughts on what type of x-rays to order in addition to more conservative treatments such as massage/manipulation and exerci...
You should knowAnswers to your question are meant to provide general health information but should not replace medical advice you receive from a doctor. No answers should be viewed as a diagnosis or recommended treatment for a condition. Content posted by community members does not necessarily reflect the views of Remedy Health Media, which also reserves the right to remove material deemed inappropriate.