Pneumonia is a lung infection that causes air sacs of your lungs (alveoli) to get filled up with fluids causing severe difficulty in breathing. Apart from the difficulty in breathing, the fluids in the alveoli also result in severe cough, phlegm, high fever, and chills. If left untreated, Pneumonia can cause severe health complications. The impact of pneumonia can range from mild to extremely severe and can prove to be quite fatal if left untreated. Anyone can get affected by pneumonia and this is especially common in children below 2 years and adults above 65 years of age. Pneumonia affects these age groups in particular because people belonging to these demographics have weaker immune systems. So, before understanding further about this disease, let’s understand what are the symptoms of pneumonia
What are the symptoms of pneumonia?
The symptoms of pneumonia vary depending on the age and overall health condition of the patient. Here are some common ones observed:
- Excessive phlegm or mucus along with cough
- High Fever
- Difficulty in breathing
- Excessive sweating and chills
Apart from these symptoms, people above 65 years of age might also experience lower body temperature and a slight loss in cognitive abilities. Children might experience constant vomiting and nausea along with being constantly tired. On experiencing any of the above pneumonia symptoms, visit your nearest multi super speciality hospital and seek immediate medical attention.
Bacteria, viruses, or fungi are some of the primary Pneumonia causes. These germs are present in the air we breathe and a healthy body can withstand these. However, in case of a weak immune system, the body is not able to fight the germs resulting in pneumonia. Let’s understand which viruses are the chief pneumonia causes
- RSV Virus- this is the top pneumonia cause in children below 1 year.
- Streptococcus pneumoniae and Mycoplasma pneumoniae (types of bacteria)
- Flu Virus
- Common cold virus
Early pneumonia diagnosis can help a great deal in its treatment and containing it in its early stages. Doctors can detect pneumonia by understanding more about your lifestyle and habits like smoking. Another common pneumonia diagnosis method is checking for rumbling or crackling sounds in your lungs with the help of a stethoscope. Pneumonia diagnosis can also be performed by
- Blood tests
- Check X-ray to check how far the virus has spread
- Sputum tests looking for fluids in your lungs
- Bronchoscopy to check for airway blockages
- CT scan to get a complete understanding of your lungs.
People suffering from chronic heart or lung conditions, especially those above 65 years of age can experience Pneumonia of extreme severity. And getting all the above tests at your nearest super speciality hospital must be the priority.
Pneumonia prevention depends primarily on our overall body immunity. To protect ourselves from pneumonia, we must get vaccinated at the earliest. Check with your doctor or visit the nearest super speciality hospital to know more about these shots. In addition to these, we must avoid habits like smoking and reduce our exposure to extreme air pollution. Keeping our bodies healthy and fit is one of the first steps we can take toward pneumonia prevention.
If you are suffering from bacterial pneumonia, your doctor will put you on antibiotics. Always make sure to complete the entire course of medication even if you feel you have recovered as mild pneumonia can persist after initial medication.
In case of viral pneumonia, you will need to take a lot of fluids and complete rest. You might experience fever so take medication accordingly as per your doctor’s recommendation. In case of severe pneumonia, patients are usually hospitalized where they are given medication and fluids through IV tubes. Severe pneumonia also causes breathing problems and patients might be put on an oxygen supply as well.