Pneumonia is an infection that inflames your lung’s air sacs and may fill it up with fluids or pus, causing cough, fever, chills, and difficulty in breathing. Pneumonia is caused by various pathogens like viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Pneumonia can occur in young, healthy people, but it is most dangerous for older adults, infants, and people with an impaired immune system.
Causes or types of Pneumonia
People with asthma or cystic fibrosis
People with heart/kidney/liver conditions
People with a weak immune system
Symptoms of Pneumonia
Symptoms vary depending on the type of pneumonia and underlying diseases.
Common symptoms of Pneumonia are:
Cough with/without mucus
Loss of appetite
Less common symptoms of Pneumonia are:
Coughing up blood
Diagnosis of Pneumonia
Pneumonia is diagnosed by:
Arterial blood gas test
Pleural fluid cultures
Treatment of Pneumonia
It varies from person to person depending on the type and severity.
People with bacterial pneumonia are treated with antibiotics
People with viral pneumonia are usually treated with antiviral medications, rest, and plenty of fluids.
Antifungal medications are prescribed for patients with fungal pneumonia
Medications for management of symptoms such as reducing fever, ache, pains, coughs are given
Getting enough rest and staying hydrated help manage the symptoms
Is pneumonia dangerous?
Pneumonia can range from mild to severe or life-threatening conditions and can sometimes lead to death. If not treated well and if the symptoms are ignored, hospitalization may be required, especially if a person has a weakened immune system or other serious illnesses.
In the hospital, patients are generally treated with intravenous antibiotics and fluids. They may need a supplemental oxygen supply.
So, be aware of symptoms that worry you, especially if you have any risk factor. Also, remember that pneumonia can follow other respiratory infections, so be aware of any new or worsening symptoms that you already have or have recently fallen sick.
Prevention of Pneumonia
Vaccinations can help prevent infections that can potentially cause pneumonia. These include Pneumococcal, Influenza, Haemophilus influenza (hib), Pertussis, Measles, Varicella.
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