This lung condition (pneumonia) accounts for 18.3% of deaths in children younger than 5 years old. An acute form of respiratory infection is called pneumonia. This lung disease occurs usually due to viruses, bacteria, or fungi infection. Children younger than three years old and adults after age 65 are mostly affected by this lung condition.

This lung disease fills air sacs in the lungs with fluid and pus. Therefore, an individual experiences trouble breathing, which leads to insufficient oxygen in the body.

Early Symptoms of Pneumonia

The symptoms of pneumonia depend on the type of the infection attack. Commonly, this disease begins with cold and flu. Check below the symptoms of pneumonia:

  • Fever, sweating, and chills
  • Shaking chills
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Muscle pain
  • Cyanosis
  • Breathing problems
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Fatigue and loss of appetite
  • Cough
  • Chest pain

If you experience any of the symptoms listed above or both of them, inform your healthcare professional promptly.

Causes of Pneumonia

A wide range of bacteria can provoke pneumonia. The common causes of pneumonia are viruses and bacteria in the air we breathe. In normal circumstances, the body prevents the invasion of viruses into your lungs. In any case, these viruses may overwhelm your immune system even if it is strong. For example:

  • Streptococcus pneumonia
  • Hemophilus influenza
  • Pneumocystis jirovecii is a common cause of HIV infection
  • Flu viruses
  • Cold viruses
  • RSV viruses
  • Mycoplasma pneumonia

How to Diagnose Pneumonia?

Healthcare professionals often inspect the breathing process. Usually, lung infection causes trouble breathing and initially, physicians check the breathing rate. Check below some examples of diagnostic tests:

  • Pulse oximetry to get oxygen concentration in the blood
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Sputum test to verify the fluid present in your lungs
  • Chest X-ray displays to get how far the disease spread
  • Blood tests for bacterial infection

Pneumonia Consequences

Some people may develop some complications associated with this lung condition. For example:

  • Bacteremia – When bacteria spread into the blood provoking septic shock and organ failure is called Bacteremia.
  • Fluid and Mucus – An infection may occur if fluid or mucus accumulates between the layers of tissue.
  • Lung Abscess – A health condition when pus is formed in the lungs.
  • Trouble Breathing – In severe cases of pneumonia, a patient may need a machine while the lungs heal.

In case you experience any of the problems listed above, immediately inform your doctor.

Treatment of Pneumonia

If you experience a severe form of pneumonia, you might need hospital care. Physicians will prescribe intravenous fluids, antibiotics, oxygen therapy, and other breathing treatments. In mild cases, you can be treated at home with antibiotics. Usually, pneumonia treatment depends on its cause. For example:

  • Bacterial infection is commonly treated with antibiotics.
  • If you experience this lung condition due to viral infections, physicians will prescribe antiviral medicines and drink plenty of water during treatment.
  • If pneumonia is caused by a fungal infection, it may be treated with antifungal medicines.

In addition, for symptoms such as fever, aches, and pain, physicians usually prescribe over-the-counter medicines.

How to Prevent Pneumonia?

Fortunately, this health condition has several ways to be treated. A healthy lifestyle and vaccines can help to decrease the risk of pneumonia. Moreover, adequate nutrition helps to improve the immune system in children, which are often affected by this condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is pneumonia?

This is a lung condition provoked by fungi, viruses, or bacteria. It may occur in one or both lungs. In this infection, air sacs fill with fluid and pus.

What treatment options are available for pneumonia?

Commonly, it depends on the cause of this condition. However, physicians usually prescribe antibiotics, antiviral, and antifungal medicines. You should not self-medicate because it may lead to unpleasant results. If you suspect that you have this lung condition, talk with a doctor right away.

How long last pneumonia treatment?

In mild cases, it lasts several weeks. However, if you experience a severe form of pneumonia the duration of the treatment may be more than one month. Consult with a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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