Everything you should know about Pneumonia
Pneumonia is more common than you think. Pneumonia commences when a virus, fungus, or bacterium gets into any of your lungs. The infection causes the air sacs in the lungs to fill up with fluid or pus, making it harder to breathe.
Symptoms of Pneumonia:
Most common symptoms:
- Cough that may be dry or produce phlegm
- Chills and fatigue
- Pain in the chest
Symptoms if you have a severe infection:
- Shortness of breath
- Less urination
How does pneumonia happen?
Mostly, your body purifies the germs from the air to protect your lungs. Coughing also helps keep them out. If gems get in, your immune system fights them off before they make you sick. But if the germ is strong or your body can’t do its part, your lungs can get infected. When your immune system sends cells to attack the germs, your lungs get inflamed, and that leads to pneumonia.
Infections that could progress to Pneumonia
When you seek medical attention, your doctor will figure out what type of infection is causing you pneumonia. Here are the different types of infections you may have and how they cause pneumonia:
Most often, strep throat can cause pneumonia. You get strep throat while or after having a cold or flu. It may affect one part (lobe) of the lung—this kind of infection is called lobar pneumonia.
- Bacteria-like organisms
Bacteria-like organisms often cause “walking pneumonia,” which usually isn’t severe enough to require bed rest.
This kind of pneumonia often affects those with weakened immune systems and can be inhaled during exposure to soil or bird droppings.
Cold and flu viruses can cause pneumonia—viral pneumonia is usually pretty mild but can also cause complications if not treated properly.
How to differentiate between pneumonia vs. common cold or flu?
It’s tough to differentiate but it’s crucial to know when to seek medical care.
Symptoms that occur in pneumonia:
- Severe congestion or chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Fever more than 102F
- Coughing that produces pus
Pneumonia symptoms last longer than cold and flu. If your symptoms aren’t severe, it’s okay to try home remedies such as
- Getting rest
- Drinking more fluids
- Taking some over-the-counter medicines
If you don’t see any improvement in your symptoms after 3 to 5 days, please consult a doctor. In the long run, Pneumonia can cause permanent lung damage if left untreated for too long.
How is pneumonia treated?
Pneumonia is treated depending on the gems that cause it.
- Bacterial pneumonia
Bacterial pneumonia is treated with antibiotics. The antibiotics prescribed depends on the factors like general health, other health conditions you may have, the type of medications you are currently taking, your recent use of antibiotics. Mostly, the doctor would recommend you to take a cough syrup to clear your lungs.
- Viral pneumonia
There are no treatments for most viral causes of pneumonia. However, if the flu virus is the cause, antiviral drugs are prescribed to decrease the length and severity of the illness.
- Fungal pneumonia
Antifungal medication is prescribed if a fungus create pneumonia
When should you see a doctor?
Consult the doctor if you:
- Shortness of breath while doing any activity or when lying down
- Fever or cough with mucus
- Tiredness (fatigue)
- If you feel less hungry
- Feeling uneasy and when you know that something is not right
Are you concerned you may have pneumonia?
Our expert physicians can help. If you are in Medchal, Hyderabad, request an appointment or call (add phone number). Physicians at Pragnya super-speciality hospital in Medchal will treat your health condition with utmost care.