Pneumonia Symptoms: Pneumonia is an infection in one or both of your lungs, causing inflammation and fluid build-up. Let’s align the facts with the symptoms discussed below and really understand the stats that our society holds. With all the ample reasons to add to the lung infection, we have Pneumonia breaking the barriers
With the rising pollution control boards in highly polluted cities, the records on pneumonia cases have about 1 million people in hospitals. With ageing, the immune system is found depleting and today the facts prove otherwise. The most affected with pneumonia are adults.
This article breaks down the symptoms, causes, diagnosis and treatment with viable facts for you.
Some of the general symptoms include:
- Cough, which may produce greenish, yellow or even bloody mucus.
- Fever, sweating and shaking chills.
- Shortness of breath.
- Rapid, shallow breathing.
- Sharp or stabbing chest pain that gets worse when you breathe deeply or cough.
- Loss of appetite, low energy, and fatigue.
- Nausea and vomiting, especially in small children.
The symptoms of this lung infection come on slower than the flu but faster than a cold. As bizarre as it sounds this infection has got its way around.
It gets tricky because pneumonia can be a complication of cold and flu. This happens when the germs that cause cold and flu get down into your lungs. You might be feeling better, but then you start getting symptoms again — and this time they can be a whole lot worse.
With pneumonia you might have all the symptoms of flu, but also:
- High fever up to 105 F
- Coughing out greenish, yellow, or bloody mucus
- Chills that make you shake
- Feeling like you can’t catch your breath, especially when you move around a lot
- Feeling very tired
- Low appetite
- Sharp or stabby chest pain (you might feel it more when you cough or take a deep breath)
- Sweating a lot
- Fast breathing and heartbeat
- Lips and fingernails turning blue
The most common cause follows after you have had light flu or cold. The most common cause of bacterial pneumonia is a type of bacteria known as Streptococcus pneumoniae.
For the record, Haemophilus influenzae, Chlamydia pneumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, and Legionella pneumophila are some other major bacteria that cause pneumonia.
Pneumonia is contagious. Beware, It can be spread through coughing and sneezing. It is far contagious to an extent where an uninfected person gets it just touching the objects that were in contact with the infected person.
On the biological front, the body sends white blood cells to attack the infection. This is why the air sacs become inflamed. The bacteria and viruses fill the lung sacs with fluid and pus, causing pneumonia.
If pneumonia is suspected, your doctor may recommend the following tests:
- Blood tests. Blood tests are used to confirm an infection and to try to identify the type of organism causing the infection. However, precise identification isn’t always possible.
- Chest X-ray. This helps your doctor diagnose pneumonia and determine the extent and location of the infection. However, it can’t tell your doctor what kind of germ is causing pneumonia.
- Pulse oximetry. This measures the oxygen level in your blood. Pneumonia can prevent your lungs from moving enough oxygen into your bloodstream.
- Sputum test. A sample of fluid from your lungs (sputum) is taken after a deep cough and analyzed to help pinpoint the cause of the infection.
The virus in many places has an adverse effect, adding to the climate effects. If you have viral pneumonia, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication to treat it. There is more to symptom management during this.
Most people can manage their symptoms such as fever and cough at home by following these steps:
- Control your fever with aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen), or acetaminophen. DO NOT give aspirin to children.
- Drink plenty of fluids to help loosen secretions and bring up phlegm.
- Do not take cough medicines without first talking to your doctor. Coughing is one way your body works to get rid of an infection. If your cough is preventing you from getting the rest you need, ask your doctor about steps you can take to get relief.
- Drink warm beverages, take steamy baths and use a humidifier to help open your airways and ease your breathing. Contact your doctor right away if your breathing gets worse instead of better over time.
- Stay away from the smoke to let your lungs heal. This includes smoking, secondhand smoke and wood smoke. Talk to your doctor if you are a smoker and are having trouble staying smoke-free while you recover. This would be a good time to think about quitting for good.
- Get lots of rest. It is important to take complete bed rest. With medication-taking proper meals would help fight the illness at the farthest. Do not overdo everyday activities until full recovery.
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The complete recovery
Possible Pneumonia Complications
People who may be more likely to have complications from pneumonia include:
- Older adults or very young children.
- People whose immune system does not work well.
- People with serious medical problems such as diabetes or cirrhosis of the liver are under threat.
Possible complications include:
- Respiratory failure, which requires a breathing machine or ventilator.
- Sepsis, a condition in which there is uncontrolled inflammation in the body, which may lead to widespread organ failure.
- Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a severe form of respiratory failure.
- Lung abscesses, they occur due to pockets of pus form inside or around the lung. These may sometimes need to be drained with surgery.