Health & Diet

Pneumonia: Symptoms And Treatment

X-Ray DayPhoto by CocteauBoy

Pneumonia is an infection which occurs in one or both lungs. It can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi. Pneumonia causes alveoli, which is an inflammation in your lung’s air sacs.

When the alveoli is filled with pus or fluid, it is hard for you to breathe. Pneumonia is one of the most common causes of death in the world.

Its symptoms can range from mild to life threatening. Usually, the type of the pneumonia is defined by the inflammation or organism which causes the infection, general health, and age.

Causes

Viruses and bacteria are the most common causes of pneumonia. Normally, your body prevents these viruses, bacteria and other germs from infecting your lungs. However, sometime they can overpower your immune system, even if your health is great. This infection is classified by the types of germs which cause it and where you have got the pneumonia.

Community-acquired pneumonia is the most common type of this infection. Usually, it happens outside of hospitals and other health care facilities and it can be caused by fungi, viruses, bacteria-like organisms, and bacteria.

Advertisement

Hospital-acquired pneumonia happens during a hospital stay for another illness. It can be serious because the bacteria which is causing it can be more resistant to antibiotics.

Health care-acquired pneumonia is a bacterial infection which happens in people who have been treated in outpatient clinics, such as kidney dialysis centers, or are living in long-term care facilities.

Aspiration pneumonia happens when you inhale drink, saliva, vomit, or food into your lungs. It is more likely if something interrupts your normal gag reflex, such as excessive use of drugs or alcohol, swallowing problem or a brain injury.

Symptoms

The symptoms of this infection vary from mild to severe, which depends on factors such as your age, overall health, and the type of germ causing the infection. Symptoms which are mild are often similar to those of flu or cold, but they last longer. Those symptoms are nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain when you cough or breathe, cough which can produce phlegm, fever, sweating and shaking chills.

Treatments

Treatments for pneumonia include curing the infection and preventing possible complications. Even though a lot of symptoms ease in a several days or weeks, the feeling of tiredness can stay for a month or even more. The treatment of pneumonia depends of the severity and type of your infection, your overall health and your age. Your options are cough medicine, fever reducers, and antibiotics.

Hospitalization may be required if you are older than age 65, your nausea and vomiting prevent you from keeping down oral antibiotics, you become confused about places, people or time, your blood pressure drops, you need breathing assistance, your breathing is rapid, your temperature is below normal, or your heart rate is below 50 or higher than 100. If your symptoms are severe or if you need to be placed on a breathing machine you can be admitted to the intensive care unit.

Prevention

Pneumonia can be prevented by getting vaccinated, making sure you children are vaccinated, practicing good hygiene, keeping your immune system strong, and quitting smoking.

READ  Warning Symptoms Of Bladder Infection

Advertisement

Around the Web