Everything You Need to Know About Pneumonia Causes, Symptoms, Treament and Side effects
Pneumonia is a condition that arises when there is an infection in the lungs caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. Pneumonia leads to inflammation of the air sacs in one or both lungs. The air sacs of a patient having pneumonia are filled with pus or phlegm, making it difficult for them to breathe. Pneumonia can be mild or become life-threatening.
The different types of pneumonia seen in patients infected include the following,
- Bacterial pneumonia
- Viral pneumonia
- Mycoplasma pneumonia
In this blog, we will learn more about Pneumonia, its symptoms, causes, and treatment. So please keep reading.
What Are The Symptoms Of Pneumonia?
Depending on the cause of pneumonia, the age of the patient, and the overall health, pneumonia symptoms may differ. The symptoms of Pneumonia may be mild to severe. The various signs and symptoms that may be seen in a patient with pneumonia include the following,
- Pain in the chest, especially while coughing and breathing
- Coughing mucus that is Yellow or green and color or blood in mucus
- Shortness of breath
- A dry cough that lasts for longer than usual
Pneumonia is caused when bacteria, virus, or a fungus enters the lungs and leads to infection. Once the microorganism enters the lungs, the immune system responds, which leads to inflammation in the alveoli. Bacterial pneumonia is commonly caused by bacteria like streptococcus pneumonia, Mycoplasma pneumonia, legionella pneumophila, and Haemophilus influenza. Viral pneumonia is commonly caused by viruses like influenza, rhinovirus, measles, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), chickenpox virus, adenovirus, and coronavirus. Fungal pneumonia is commonly caused by fungal infections of Cryptococcus species, histoplasmosis species, and pneumocystis jirovecii.
Who Is At Risk Of Getting Pneumonia?
- People who are more than 65 years of age
- Children who are below 2 years of age
- Pregnant women
- People with existing conditions like COPD, asthma, cystic fibrosis, heart failure, liver diseases, kidney problems, and diabetes
- People who have a weakened immune system
- People who take medicines that may suppress their immunity
- People who are admitted to a hospital
How Is Pneumonia Diagnosed?
Upon suspecting pneumonia, and after a thorough examination of the patient’s medical history, the healthcare provider will prescribe the following tests for diagnosing pneumonia,
- X-ray of the chest
- Sputum and blood culture
- Pulse oximetry to check the oxygen amount in the patient’s blood
- A CT scans
Once diagnosed, pneumonia treatment will be provided to the patient. The treatment plan for pneumonia will be dependent upon the causative agent. The following treatments may be used in patients having pneumonia,
- Antibiotics for pneumonia that is caused by bacterial infection
- Antifungal medications to treat pneumonia that is caused by a fungal infection
- Antivirals to treat pneumonia due to viral infection
- OTC medications like acetaminophen, aspirin, and ibuprofen for fever and pain
- IV fluids for treating dehydration
- Oxygen therapy for providing oxygen to patients finding it difficult to breathe
- Fluid draining to drain fluid from the patient’s chest wall and between the lungs
A patient with pneumonia can use some home remedies to get relief. These home remedies include practicing breathing techniques, using a humidifier, taking a lot of rest, and drinking lots of liquids and water. The risk of pneumonia can be prevented by getting vaccinated, following a healthy lifestyle like no smoking and drinking alcohol, exercising and eating healthily to boost the immune system health and practicing good hygiene.