- Symptoms of pneumonia
- Causes of pneumonia
- Effects of pneumonia
pneumonia and its symptoms
Pneumonia is an infection that inflames your lungs’ air sacs (alveoli). The air sacs may fill up with fluid or pus, causing symptoms such as a cough, fever, chills and trouble breathing.Pneumonia symptoms can vary from so mild you barely notice them, to so severe that hospitalization is required. How your body responds to pneumonia depends on the type germ causing the infection, your age and your overall health.
The signs and symptoms of pneumonia may 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.
Causes of pneumonia
Viruses, bacteria, and fungi can all cause pneumonia
In the United States, common causes of viral pneumonia are influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). A common cause of bacterial pneumonia is Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus). However, clinicians are not always able to find out which germ caused someone to get sick with pneumonia.
Stages of Pneumonia
- Stage 1: Congestion. During the congestion phase, the lungs become very heavy and congested due to infectious fluid that has accumulated in the air sacs. …
- Stage 2: Red hepatization. …
- Stage 3: Gray hepatization. …
- Stage 4: Resolution.
The main types of pneumonia
- Bacterial pneumonia. This type is caused by various bacteria. …
- Viral pneumonia. This type is caused by various viruses, including the flu (influenza), and is responsible for about one-third of all pneumonia cases. …
- Mycoplasma pneumonia. …
- Other pneumonias.
Effects of pneumonia
- The infection causes the lungs’ air sacs (alveoli) to become inflamed and fill up with fluid or pus. That can make it hard for the oxygen you breathe in to get into your bloodstream. The symptoms of pneumonia can range from mild to severe, and include cough, fever, chills, and trouble breathing.
Treatment for pneumonia involves curing the infection and preventing complications. People who have community-acquired pneumonia usually can be treated at home with medication.
- Antibiotics. These medicines are used to treat bacterial pneumonia. …
- Cough medicine. …
- Fever reducers/pain relievers.
Chest X-ray showing pneumonia Open pop-up dialog box
Your doctor will start by asking about your medical history and doing a physical exam, including listening to your lungs with a stethoscope to check for abnormal bubbling or crackling sounds that suggest pneumonia.
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 the 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.
- Specific treatments depend on the type and severity of your pneumonia, your age and your overall health. The options include:
- Antibiotics. These medicines are used to treat bacterial pneumonia. It may take time to identify the type of bacteria causing your pneumonia and to choose the best antibiotic to treat it. If your symptoms don’t improve, your doctor may recommend a different antibiotic.
- Cough medicine. This medicine may be used to calm your cough so that you can rest. Because coughing helps loosen and move fluid from your lungs, it’s a good idea not to eliminate your cough completely. In addition, you should know that very few studies have looked at whether over-the-counter cough medicines lessen coughing caused by pneumonia. If you want to try a cough suppressant, use the lowest dose that helps you rest.
- Fever reducers/pain relievers. You may take these as needed for fever and discomfort. These include drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and acetaminophen.