Pneumonia- Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

An illness that inflames the air sacs of one or both lungs is pneumonia. Fluid or pus (purulent material) can fill the air sacs, leading to coughing with phlegm or pus, fever, chills, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia may be caused by several species, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Pneumonia can vary in severity from mild to life-threatening. Infants and young children, people older than 65 years of age, and people with health conditions or compromised immune systems are the most severe cases.

What are the symptoms of Pneumonia? 

Depending upon the factors such as the type of germ causing infection, age, and general health the signs, and symptoms of pneumonia range from mild to severe. Mild signs and symptoms are mostly similar to cold or flu symptoms, but they last longer.

Common pneumonia symptoms can include:

  • Chest pain as you cough or breathe
  • Confusion or emotional consciousness changes (in people 65 years of age and older)
  • Cough that can create phlegm
  • Tiredness
  • Fever chills from sweating and trembling
  • Lower body temperature than average (in adults over the age of 65 and in people with poor immune systems)
  • Dizziness, vomiting  or diarrhea
  • Shortness of breathing

No sign of the infection can be displayed by newborns and infants. Or they can vomit, have fever and cough, or have trouble breathing and feeding, or seem restless or exhausted and without energy.

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Whether to see a physician

See your doctor if you have trouble breathing, chest pain, 102 F (39 C) or more persistent fever, or persistent cough, particularly if you have pus.

 People must  see a doctor in these high-risk groups:

  • Adults over 65 years of age
  • Kids less than 2 years old with signs and symptoms
  • People with an underlying health condition or an immune system that is compromised
  • People who receive chemotherapy or are taking drugs that suppress the immune system
  • Pneumonia can rapidly become a life-threatening disease for some older adults and people with heart failure or chronic lung problems.

What comes under Pneumonia Causes? 

Pneumonia may be caused by several germs. Bacteria and viruses in the air we breathe are the most popular. Usually, the body prevents these germs from infecting the lungs. But sometimes these germs, even if your health is generally fine, will overwhelm your immune system. Pneumonia is defined according to the kinds of germs that cause it and where the infection is located. Pneumonia may be caused by several germs. Bacteria and viruses in the air we breathe are the most popular. Usually, the body prevents these germs from infecting the lungs. But sometimes these germs, even if your health is generally fine, will overwhelm your immune system. Pneumonia is defined according to the kinds of germs that cause it and where the infection is located. 

Pneumonia Guide: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options

Pneumonia acquired by the Group- 

The most common form of pneumonia – community-acquired pneumonia. 

Bacteria – Streptococcus pneumonia is the most common cause of bacterial pneumonia in the U.S. This type of pneumonia may occur on its own or after a cold or flu has occurred. One section (lobe) of the lung, a disorder called lobar pneumonia, may be affected.

Bacteria like Organism – Pneumonia can also be caused by Mycoplasma pneumonia. Typically, it induces milder symptoms than other forms of pneumonia. This type of pneumonia, which is usually not severe enough to require bed rest, is an informal name given to walking pneumonia.

Fungi -In people with chronic health conditions or compromised immune systems, this form of pneumonia is most common, and in people who have inhaled large doses of the organism. The fungi that cause it can be found in droppings of soil or birds and differ based on geographic position.

Viruses, with COVID-19, included- Pneumonia may be caused by some of the viruses that cause colds and the flu. In children younger than 5 years old, viruses are the most common cause of pneumonia. Normally, viral pneumonia is mild. But it may become very serious in some situations. Pneumonia, which can become severe, can be caused by Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). 

Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia- 

During a hospital stay for another disease, several individuals catch pneumonia. Hospital-acquired pneumonia may be extreme because antibiotics may be more resistant to the bacteria that cause it and because the individuals that get it are already ill. Also used in intensive care units, people who are on breathing devices (ventilators) are at higher risk of this form of pneumonia.

Pneumonia Risk Factors

Pneumonia is capable of impacting everyone. But the two highest-risk age groups are:

  • Kids that are 2 years or younger
  • People aged 65 or over

Other risk considerations include:

  • Hospitalized. If you are in a hospital intensive care unit, you are at greater risk of pneumonia, especially if you are on a machine that helps you breathe (a ventilator).
  • A chronic illness. When you have asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or heart disease, you’re more likely to get pneumonia.
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Pneumonia Diagnosis 

  • A physician will inquire about symptoms and medical history and will conduct a physical exam. An X-ray will illustrate whether there is any damage to the lungs.
  • When listening to the chest with a stethoscope, they may suspect pneumonia if they hear coarse coughing, wheezing, crackling, or reduced coughing sounds. With a painless monitor on the finger called a pulse oximeter, the doctor may also check the oxygen levels in the blood. 
  • Chest X-rays will confirm a diagnosis of pneumonia and indicate which parts of the lungs are affected.
  • More specific details could be given by a CT scan of the chest.
  • The white blood cell count is determined by blood tests.
  • This helps decide how serious the infection is, and whether the possible cause is a bacteria, virus, or fungus.
  • Blood cultures can show whether the microorganism has spread into the bloodstream from the lungs.

Pneumonia Treatment

Treatment depends on the type of pneumonia and its severity – 

  • Pneumonia bacterial forms are typically treated with antibiotics.
  • With rest and plenty of fluids, viral forms of pneumonia are generally treated. In the case of influenza, antiviral medicines may be used.
  • Antifungal drugs are commonly used to treat fungal forms of pneumonia.
  • To better treat the effects of pneumonia, physicians usually recommend over-the-counter (OTC) medications.
  • They include fever control therapies, control of aches and pains, and cough suppression. Furthermore, relaxing and drinking plenty of fluids is important. Staying hydrated tends to make it easier to cough up and thin out thick phlegm and mucus. 
  • When symptoms are extremely bad or if a person has a compromised immune system or other serious illnesses, hospitalization for pneumonia may be needed.
  • In the hospital, intravenous antibiotics and fluids are commonly used to treat patients. They will need a supplementary supply of oxygen.

FAQ 

WHAT IS PNEUMONIA? 

An illness that inflames the air sacs of one or both lungs is pneumonia. Fluid or pus (purulent material) can fill the air sacs, leading to coughing with phlegm or pus, fever, chills, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia may be caused by a number of species, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

WHAT ARE THE REASONS FOR PNEUMONIA CAUSE?

The most common form of pneumonia -community-acquired pneumonia. 

WHAT ARE THE PNEUMONIA SYMPTOMS?

Common pneumonia symptoms can include:

  • Chest pain as you cough or breathe
  • Confusion, or emotional consciousness changes (in people 65 years of age and older)
  • Cough that can create phlegm
  • Tiredness
  • Fever chills from sweating and trembling
  • Lower body temperature than average (in adults over the age of 65 and in people with poor immune systems)
  • Dizziness, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Shortness of breathing

Dr. Divaanshu Gupta

Dr. Divaanshu Gupta is a cardiac anaesthesiologist in Manipal Hospital, Jaipur. He has done his M.B.B.S. as well as M.D. Anaesthesia from S.M.S. Medical College. He has a vast experience of working in various critical care units of government as well as corporate hospitals.

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