Pneumonia: Symptoms and Treatment

by Ankita Sehgal Freelance Blogger, Lives in New Delhi
Pneumonia is a disease that indicates an infection in one or both lungs which can be caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi. The infection eventually causes inflammation in the alveoli, the name for the air sacs in your lungs. The infection causes the alveoli to fill with fluid or pus, making it difficult for a person to breathe. Below we will discuss the symptoms and treatments for pneumonia.

Symptoms of pneumonia

Pneumonia symptoms can range mild and easily curable to life-threatening. These include:

Cough filled with mucus or phlegm
high fever
sweating or chills (extreme body temperatures)
shortness of breath even during normal activities as well as while laying down
chest pain that becomes worse while breathing or coughing
Extreme tiredness or fatigue
loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting

Certain symptoms may also vary according to age and general health status:

Children under the age of 5 years old may experience fast breathing or wheezing.
Infants can often appear to have no symptoms. In other cases, they may vomit, have extremely low energy levels, or have trouble ingesting food or liquids
Older people generally may have milder symptoms. They can also exhibit confusion in temperature such as a lower than normal body temperature.

Causes of pneumonia

1. Bacterial pneumonia

The causes of bacterial pneumonia include:
Streptococcus pneumoniae
Mycoplasma pneumoniae
Haemophilus influenzae
Legionella pneumophila

2. Viral pneumonia

Viral pneumonia is usually milder and takes one to three weeks without treatment.Respiratory viruses often lead to pneumonia, such as:
Flu or influenza 
respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
rhinoviruses (also known as the common cold)

3. Fungal pneumonia

Fungi from sources such as soil or bird droppings can cause fungal pneumonia, especially in people with weakened immune systems. Some examples of such fungi are:
Pneumocystis jirovecii
Cryptococcus species
Histoplasmosis species

Pneumonia treatment

1. Medication according to prescription:

Your doctor may prescribe medication in order to treat your pneumonia. This will depend on the cause of pneumonia itself.
Oral antibiotics can usually treat cases of bacterial pneumonia. However, antibiotic medications are not able to work on viruses. Most cases of viral pneumonia clear on their own with at-home care.Antifungal medications are used to cure fungal pneumonia. This medication process may last for several weeks to clear the infection.

2. At-home care

Your doctor may also recommend over-the-counter (OTC) medication to relieve your pain and fever, as needed such as ibuprofen or paracetamol. A mild cough medicine can help to calm your cough so you can rest. Recovery can be speeded up by getting a lot of rest and drinking plenty of fluids.

3. Hospitalization

If your symptoms are very severe you may need to be hospitalized because at the hospital, doctors monitor you in a more efficient way. Hospital treatment may include intravenous antibiotics, respiratory therapy (delivering specific medications directly into the lungs) and oxygen therapy to maintain oxygen levels in your bloodstream(received through a nasal tube, face mask, or ventilator).

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About Ankita Sehgal Advanced   Freelance Blogger, Lives in New Delhi

59 connections, 0 recommendations, 274 honor points.
Joined APSense since, September 1st, 2017, From New Delhi, India.

Created on Mar 30th 2020 07:42. Viewed 191 times.


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