Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs, accompanied by the accumulation of exudate in the space of the alveoli and damage to interstitial tissues. Inflammatory changes in the organ lead to the appearance of specific signs. The general condition suffers, performance is impaired, but there is a likelihood of developing a condition such as pneumonia without symptoms.
Diagnosis of the disease in the presence of characteristic symptoms is simple; it is much more difficult to identify the asymptomatic course of pneumonia in the early stages. In this case, difficulties arise in differentiating pneumonia from other diseases of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems.
Causes of the disease
In modern medicine, it is customary to distinguish between infectious and non-infectious types of pneumonia. In the first case, the cause of the development of the disease is various pathogens:
- gram-positive bacterial forms;
- gram-negative microorganisms;
- fungal infections;
In case of infection with pathogenic microorganisms, pneumonia occurs as a primary disease or as a complication of other infectious pathologies (obstructive bronchitis, ARVI, influenza, tonsillitis).
Non-infectious pneumonia includes post-traumatic (due to trauma) and aspiration nonspecific inflammation of the lungs, when the cause of the pathological process is damage to the mucous membrane of the alveoli, due to the introduction of irritating organic and chemical compounds into them. These can be particles of vomit, dust, vapors of acids or alkalis.
Positioning factors play a significant role in the onset of the inflammatory process. The risk group includes:
- allergy sufferers and patients prone to autoimmune infections;
- bedridden patients;
- emaciated patients with weakened immunity;
- patients who uncontrollably take antibacterial, antiviral and other drugs;
- people suffering from chronic inflammatory diseases of the ENT organs;
- patients with heart failure;
- patients with congenital malformations of the lungs;
- heavy smokers and alcoholics.
Among children and adolescents, pneumonia develops more often:
- in newborns and infants due to a mild respiratory process;
- among weakened children with low immunity;
- in those suffering from chronic diseases of the ENT organs.
The combination of the disposing factors and causes of the development of pneumonia leads to the appearance of a latent pathological process, which, depending on the severity of the course, can be stopped in the early stages, or turns into a complicated form with an unfavorable prognosis.
How to identify asymptomatic pneumonia
Latent or asymptomatic pneumonia is characterized by a latent course without the manifestation of characteristic signs of inflammation. High body temperature, cough, a sharp deterioration in the general condition in this case are absent, but an experienced doctor differentiates latent pneumonia from other diseases of the respiratory tract.
In children at an early age, with this course of the disease, they observe:
- a sharp decrease in appetite, up to a complete refusal to eat;
- sleep disturbance;
- Difficulty breathing hoarsely
- frequent coughing during the day and at night;
- general weakness, lethargy, whims;
- increased sweating;
- signs of asphyxia – bluish tinge to the lips and fingertips.
Based on these signs, the pediatrician recognizes the pathology of the lung tissue and directs the baby for additional examination and consultation with a pulmonologist.
Adult patients with asymptomatic pneumonia report rapid fatigue, tachycardia, and shortness of breath. Sleep and appetite are disturbed, nervousness arises, depressive states are possible. Sometimes there is an obsessive cough.
To make an accurate diagnosis, the doctor directs the patient to a blood and sputum test. In the biological fluids of a patient with pneumonia, an increased content of leukocytes is determined, which indicates a latent inflammatory process. Based on the test results, the patient is sent for an X-ray examination. In the case of pneumonia, the image shows focal changes in the pattern of the lung in the form of a darkening area.
The X-ray is the basis for the final diagnosis, however, early age and pregnancy are contraindications for this research method.
Treatment of asymptomatic pneumonia is medication, drugs are selected individually, taking into account the nature of the disease, the stage of development of the process and the characteristics of the patient’s health. Therapy includes measures to strengthen the body’s defenses, stimulate immunity and destroy the pathogen of the pathology.
On the basis of laboratory tests, specialists determine which microorganisms cause inflammation. In accordance with the results of sputum analysis, drugs of the following groups are prescribed:
- antibiotics active against gram-negative or gram-positive microorganisms;
- antiviral drugs;
- antimicrobial drugs.
It is recommended to take anti-inflammatory medications, which are prescribed by a doctor in accordance with the individual characteristics of each patient.
To remove sputum and facilitate breathing, it is recommended to take mucolytic agents, when abundant sputum appears, expectorant drugs are prescribed.
The absence of hyperthermia in asymptomatic pneumonia makes it possible to carry out physiotherapy, which is aimed at relieving inflammation, facilitating sputum discharge and restoring the functionality of lung tissue.
As a general strengthening therapy, it is recommended to have a fortified diet, abundant drink, rich in vitamin C. Multivitamin complexes are prescribed, a course of injections of vitamins can be carried out.
In the course of treatment, the following recommendations should be observed:
- regular wet cleaning and airing the room where the patient lies;
- adherence to bed rest, stress and fatigue are excluded;
- the diet consists of easily digestible food rich in nutrients;
- drinking plenty of fluids to relieve symptoms of body intoxication.
Self-medication of asymptomatic pneumonia leads to serious complications, and in the case of newborns and infants, it can be fatal.
General health measures and hardening of the body are an excellent prevention of pneumonia. In order to prevent pathologies of the respiratory tract, timely treatment of chronic diseases of the ENT organs is recommended, preventive examinations play an important role.
An active lifestyle and breathing exercises prevent the development of inflammatory processes in the lungs. Classes can be started from childhood, they contribute to the formation of strong immunity and stimulate pulmonary respiration.
Regular courses of medical massage are also considered effective preventive measures. Pulmonary massage stimulates blood circulation in the chest area and improves tissue trophism.
Prevention of asymptomatic pneumonia helps reduce morbidity and prevents complications.