Pneumonia occurs through bacteria, virus or fungi and infects the lungs. It can either be one lung or both which are affected in Pneumonia. Pneumonia causes inflammation of the alveoli which are the air sacs in the lungs.
Pneumonia symptoms can be dangerous sometimes and may cause a risk of death. Common symptoms of pneumonia are:
- Coughing that releases phlegm or mucus
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Fast breathing in children under the age of five
- Infants may vomit, be more exhausted and may have trouble drinking or eating
Pneumonia is caused by different organisms and can be classified that way.
- Bacterial pneumonia: Streptococcus Pneumoniae, Chlamydophila pneumonia and Legionella pneumophilla can cause bacterial pneumonia.
- Mycoplasma pneumonia: Mycoplasma are those organisms which are neither viruses or bacteria. They have properties of both the virus and bacteria. These organisms cause mild pneumonia and they attack young children and adults.
- Viral pneumonia: Respiratory viruses cause pneumonia in young children and old people. Viral pneumonia lasts for a shorter period of time and it is cured easily.
- Fungal pneumonia: Fungi which come from bird droppings or soil can cause Funagl pneumonia. Funagl pneumonia often occurs in people who inhale large amount of organisms. They can cause pneumonia in patients who have weak immune system.
Is pneumonia contagious?
Yes, most kinds of pneumonia are contagious. Pneumonia can spread through the inhalation of air droplets from a sneeze or cough.
People who are at risk
Certain people are at higher risk of having the disease:
- Infants till the age of 2
- Individuals of age 65 or older
- People who have stroke
- People with weak immune system
- People who have chronic medical illnesses like asthma, cystic fibrosis, diabetes or heart disease.
Physical examination by your doctor and your symptoms will be the first indication of the disease. Your doctor will order a chest X ray. Depending upon the severity of the disease, your doctor may have other tests done like blood test, sputum test, pulse oximetry, urine test, CT scan or a fluid sample.
The disease pneumonia is often treated through antibiotics, antiviral medications and anti fungal drugs. Treatment can be successfully done at home and in severe cases, the patient may need hospitalization. Hospitalization if prescribed by the doctor should not be taken randomly because your doctor may know your condition better. For fever and chest pain you may be prescribed ibuprofen or any other over the counter medication. To calm your cough, your doctor may also prescribe you a cough syrup. Coughing is important and so much cough syrup should not be taken as cough helps to remove the fluid from your lungs.
You can help and make sure the recovery is quick by taking a lot of rest during the condition, taking the medications as prescribed, drinking plenty of fluids and refraining from exhausting work.
If pneumonia is not treated well, it may be fatal and can cause death. SO please do as advised by your doctor.