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Pneumonia: symptoms, causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Pneumonia is a respiratory disease in which inflamed lung tissue due to the presence of an infectious agent. The lungs are made up of tiny sacs called alveoli, and when you have pneumonia, they fill with fluid and pus, leading to breathing difficulties and limited oxygen absorption. In developed countries, it is the sixth leading cause of death, and many cases are observed in young people and people over 70 years of age. It is necessary to start an antibiotic treatment early to cure the infection and regain the patient’s well-being. To find out more, at FastlyHealwe show in detail the symptoms, causes, and treatment of pneumonia.

Symptoms of pneumonia

The symptoms that patients with pneumonia present are predominantly respiratory and appear due to the existing infection. Thus, we can point out that its common symptoms are those detailed below:

  • Cough. In some cases, the cough may be accompanied by yellowish or greenish mucus and even the presence of blood.
  • Chest pain may intensify with movements that occur in breathing.
  • Difficulty breathing normally.
  • Fever, which can be mild or high.
  • Chills and shaking

In addition to these, pneumonia can also lead to excessive sweating, headaches, fatigue, poor appetite, and general malaise.

It is important to note that the symptoms of pneumonia can manifest in different ways, and based on this, two other clinical pictures have been established:

  1. Typical clinical picture: sudden onset of symptoms in less than 48 hours of evolution, such as cough with purulent expectoration, chest pain, and fever with chills.
  2. Atypical clinical picture: the appearance of more gradual symptoms, such as a dry cough, joint and muscle pain, headaches, less intense chest pain, and, sometimes, digestive problems such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Given these symptoms, it is essential to see the doctor urgently to perform the appropriate tests, such as a chest X-ray, and receive the proper treatment in each case.

Causes of pneumonia

Pneumonia occurs when a character germ infectious contacts and affects the lung tissue; Germs can reach the lung by different routes, either by breathing in from the nose or pharynx, inhalation, or through blood. The infectious germs that usually cause this respiratory disease are:

  • The most common is the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae, the pneumococcus.
  • Other bacteria that can cause it are Hemophilus influenzae, Legionella, and Mycoplasma.
  • The flu and chickenpox are among the most common viruses that can cause pneumonia.
  • The fungus Pneumocystis jiroveci can cause a lung infection in those patients who have a weakened immune system due to diseases such as cancer or HIV. Rarely does it affects the health of healthy people.

Risk factors for pneumonia

Aside from the causes, certain risk factors increase the chances of developing pneumonia and leading to a lung infection. These can be the following:

  • I have a chronic lung disease, such as COPD or cystic fibrosis.
  • Smoke.
  • Weakened immune system (patients with cancer, HIV / AIDS, malnutrition, who have undergone organ transplant procedures, etc.).
  • Other serious diseases include heart disease, diabetes, and liver cirrhosis.
  • She had dementia, brain injuries, stroke, cerebral palsy, etc.
  • I have recently undergone a surgical procedure.
  • Age: children and those over 50 are more likely to get pneumonia than other patients.

Treatment of pneumonia

The treatment of pneumonia will vary depending on the severity of the symptoms and the patient’s health status. And it is that only an outpatient treatment may be necessary or, on the contrary, require hospital admission if there are serious factors. The latter can occur in cases where there is another severe health problem, if the symptoms manifest themselves seriously, if the age of 65 is exceeded or when pneumonia does not improve after taking antibiotics at home.

Pneumonia is treated with antibiotic medications, which will destroy those germs that have caused the lung infection. Starting an antibiotic treatment early is key to avoiding possible complications and a stay in the hospital. Once the drugs are prescribed, the patient must carefully follow the indications given by their doctor regarding the dose and respect the duration of the treatment at all times, since otherwise, the infection may not be completely cured. When the condition results from, for example, the severe flu, the doctor is likely to prescribe an antiviral.

In mild cases of the disease, antibiotics are administered orally. Still, if the situation warrants hospital admission, the patient may receive them intravenously and other medications, respiratory treatments, and oxygen therapy.

In addition to drug treatment, for the patient to feel better and promote recovery, recommendations such as the following should be taken into account :

  • Stay well hydrated by drinking enough water and other healthy liquids such as natural juices or herbal teas.
  • Get plenty of rest during the day and rest.
  • Avoid physical exertion and sports activities.
  • Breathing in hot, humid air can help loosen sticky mucus, so steaming hot water is an excellent option to make breathing easier.
  • Place a humidifier in the patient’s room to maintain optimal humidity levels in the environment.

Measures to prevent pneumonia

Way of prevention, some measures can be taken to avoid the spread of pneumonia. Next, we detail the most important and effective ones:

  • Wash hands frequently.
  • Avoid tobacco, as smokers have a four times greater risk of developing pneumonia.
  • Flu vaccine: especially indicated for people over 60 years of age, patients with chronic diseases, and those who, due to their profession, are at a higher risk of contracting the disease.
  • Pneumococcal vaccine: This vaccine dramatically reduces getting pneumonia caused by Streptococcus pneumonia and is indicated for people over 60 or 65 years old, patients with chronic diseases, or without a spleen.

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Pneumonia: symptoms, causes, and treatment, we recommend that you enter our Lung and respiratory tract category.

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