Atypical pneumonia is different from what we understand as pneumonia – it is different because of its causes as well as because of the way that it develops and the symptoms that it displays. It therefore follows that atypical pneumonia treatment is also different. We look at how it is different in terms of symptoms, presentation and treatment.
What is atypical pneumonia?
Atypical or walking pneumonia as it is also called is caused organisms different to the more common bacterial pneumonia which is caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria. Atypical pneumonia treatment can only be decided upon after the causal organism bas been identified.
The organisms responsible for atypical pneumonia are certain special bacteria, fungi, viruses or protozoa. Most cases are caused by organisms such as Legionella pneumophila, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, and Chlamydophila pneumoniae.
A person with atypical pneumonia may not respond to normal treatments such as penicillin or antibiotics (sulfonamide). So, atypical pneumonia treatment is required to be different from that which is given for regular pneumonia.
Smokers, those with chronic illness or weakened immune system may be more prone to this illness. The symptoms of this type of pneumonia may have generalized symptoms rather than specific pneumonia symptoms. These could include symptoms of the upper respiratory tract such as headache, fever, a dry unproductive cough (little or no sputum and then later bloody sputum) and so on.
After a proper diagnosis of the illness the doctor would be the best person to decide if and what antibiotics are required for a person to overcome their illness. The antibiotic treatment is generally administered for 2 or more weeks.
In many cases hospitalization may be required. In addition the patient may need oxygen and intravenous antibiotics.
In addition home care can also help a person improve. The sufferer should take plenty of rest and it is advisable for household chores to be done by someone else until the time the person recovers. It is important to take plenty of fluids to replenish lost fluid as well as to loosen secretions and bring up phlegm which helps clear the airways.
Proper treatment for atypical pneumonia is important because left untreated, complications could develop. Diabetes, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) kidney failure and a weakened immune system could all be a result if the disease is left untreated.
There could also be lung damage, brain infections, hemolytic anemia if correct and timely atypical pneumonia treatment is not obtained. In severe cases it could be fatal.