Double Pneumonia in the Elderly: Symptoms, Treatment and Recovery Time

Double pneumonia refers to the both lungs being affected by the disease. Double pneumonia in the elderly is common primarily due to reduced body’s immune system and  diminished body defenses. This condition can be associated with other symptoms including breathlessness and fever.

Symptoms of Double Pneumonia in Elderly

The course of pneumonia consists of four stages (congestion, red hepatization, grey hepatization, and resolution).

These symptoms correspond to the stages of the disease. However some of the common symptoms associated with double pneumonia include the following:

  • Cough, fever, flu-like symptoms with or without the production of sputum
  • Weakness with generalized fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Increased or labored breathing with pain during associated with deep breathing
  • In case sputum is present, it is often stained with blood.

Double Pneumonia Recovery Time

The recovery time of double pneumonia depends upon a host of condition including the age of the individual, the general health condition and how soon medical advice was sought. Pneumonia refers to the  inflammation of lungs often caused due to infection.

On an average, it may take about six to eight weeks for the pneumonia to completely resolve.


Treatment for Double Pneumonia

Urgent medical attention is needed especially in elderly patients. You can employ these double pneumonia recovery tips upon being discharged from the hospital:

  • Take prescribed medications conscientiously. Usually the medications would include antibiotics directed towards destroying the infectious agent and a host of other medications aimed at alleviating symptoms like pain and cough. Homeopathic drugs like Antimony Tart and Bryonia are considered beneficial in the management of respiratory distress
  • Drink the right amount of water.
  • Try to keep the room moist. This will help loosen sputum for easy expulsion. Steam inhalation can also prove to be beneficial. Ensure that the room is well ventilated, as closed room increase the risk of re-infections.
  • Get plenty of rest. Do not hasten to go back to daily activities.
  • Do not smoke. Smoking results in irritation of the lung parenchyma, which in turn delays the healing process.
  • When resting or sleeping, change position every one to two hours. This will  prevent the accumulation of sputum in one specific position.This will also mobilize lung secretions.
  • Elevate the head of the bed to 30 degrees when resting. This is to aid the elderly in breathing.
  • Make sure that the elderly is eating a balanced diet with less salt and fat. Include fresh fruits like oranges, limes, grapes, etc in your diet. Eat food that can be easily digested like steamed vegetables, chicken soup and steamed rice.
  • Schedule a follow-up check up with the physician to confirm complete recovery from the disease.
  • Strong antibiotics are often associated with side effects like diarrhea and retrosternal burning. Include antacids and probiotics in your medications to avoid these symptoms. Alternatively increase the intake of fresh yogurt in the diet.

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