Pneumonia is a lung disease caused by the inflammation of the air sacs in one or both lungs. The air sacs also called the alveoli, may get filled with fluid or pus, which can cause cough, fever, and difficulty breathing. Various bacteria, viruses, and fungi can cause pneumonia.
Pneumonia that affects both of your lungs is called bilateral or double pneumonia.
Never take pneumonia lightly as it can become life-threatening if not treated on time. Make sure to visit the doctor soon if you have any of its symptoms. To get an expert opinion, you can visit a Pulmonologist in Lahore.
Signs And Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of pneumonia can vary from mild to very severe. These signs and symptoms depend on the causative organisms, age, and overall immunity and health.
Signs and symptoms of pneumonia may include:
- Chest pain (while breathing heavily or coughing)
- Changes in mental awareness (in adults age 65 and older)
- Cough (with phlegm)
- Fever, sweating, and chills
- Lower than normal body temperature (in adults older than age 65 and people with weak immunity)
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Shortness of breath
Types Of Pneumonia
Pneumonia is categorized according to the types of organisms that cause it and the place you got the infection from.
Community-acquired pneumonia is the type of pneumonia acquired outside of the healthcare system.
The most common bacteria that causes it is Streptococcus pneumoniae.
Mycoplasma pneumoniae is another organism that can cause pneumonia.
Pneumonia caused by fungi is the most common among people with chronic health problems or who have weakened immune systems.
Hospital-acquired pneumonia is the type of pneumonia acquired by a person during a hospital stay for illnesses other than pneumonia. Usually, the type of bacteria that causes this type of pneumonia is more antibiotic-resistant.
Health care-acquired pneumonia
Healthcare-acquired pneumonia is the type of pneumonia acquired by people living in long-term care facilities or people receiving care in outpatient clinics.
Aspiration pneumonia is the type of pneumonia that occurs when you inhale food, drink, vomit, or anything into your lungs. It can be the result of a disturbed gag reflex.
Age is a major risk factor for the development of pneumonia. The age groups which are more susceptible to the development of pneumonia are:
- Children 2 years old or younger
- People who are age 65 or older
Other risk factors include:
- Being hospitalized
- Chronic disease (asthma, COPD, heart disease, etc.)
- Smoking. (weakens the natural defense system)
- Weakened or suppressed immune system
Complications of pneumonia may include:
- Bacteria in the bloodstream (bacteremia)
- Difficulty breathing
- Fluid accumulation around the lungs (pleural effusion)
- Lung abscess (if any pus forms in the cavity around the lungs)
To prevent pneumonia, follow these tips:
- Get vaccinated
- Practice good hygiene
- Quit smoking
- Keep your immune system strong
- Get enough sleep
- Make sure you exercise regularly
- Eat a healthy diet
The Bottom Line
All in all, pneumonia is a severe infection of the lungs that can cause several complications if not treated timely. Preventive tips can also help prevent it. Therefore even if you are healthy and not at risk of getting infected, you must practice safety measures to protect yourself. Moreover, take the medicines in the same way as your healthcare provider has prescribed. And visit them soon. Do not delay the visit to the doctor. Doing that can make your condition worse. To get an expert opinion, you can consult a Pulmonologist.