Pneumonia is a bacterial infection of the lungs.  This highly transmittable infection can range up from mild to severe. In severe cases of pneumonia, the patient may admit to the hospital. The symptoms of pneumonia may include high fever, pus, difficulty breathing. Elderly people, Infants and, people with a weak immune system can be highly affected by pneumonia. Smoking and alcohol may also create risk factors as they cause harm to the lungs.

Symptoms of Pneumonia

The symptoms of pneumonia may vary according to their age and health conditions. The symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Chills
  • Vomiting
  • Mucus producing cough

Types of Pneumonia

  • Bacterial Pneumonia: Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most common bacteria causing pneumonia. It occurs in people with a low immune system. It may also affect people with lung disorders.
  • Viral Pneumonia: it occurs due to the presence of viruses such as influenza.
  • Mycoplasma pneumonia: it shows different symptoms and can be affected to all age groups.

Four stages of pneumonia

  • Consolidation: the stage involves deep breathing and coughing. Due to the infection lungs become congested.
  • Red Hepatization:  during this stage, the air sacs are filled with erythrocytes, neutrophils, fibrin.
  • Grey Hepatisation: during this stage lungs appear pale and grey due to the absence of red blood cells.
  • Resolution: During this stage the pulmonary structure becomes normal. The tissues that become consolidated supply oxygen to the blood.

Causes of Pneumonia

The causes of pneumonia include:

  • Flu Virus:  
  • Cold virus(rhinoviruses)
  • RSV virus(respiratory syncytial virus)
  • Ventilator-associated pneumonia occurs during a hospital stay.
  • Most people are affected by community-acquired pneumonia. Pneumonia is contagious by nature.

 Complications and risk factors

  • If the infection-causing bacteria spread into the blood, it may cause septic shock and organ failure.
  • Sometimes the patient needs a breathing machine to breathe while trouble breathing may arise.
  • Pneumonia virus may infect the layers of tissue that build up the lung and chest cavity. The fluids become infected.
  • Lungs abscess is a bacterial infection that may involve complications.

Risk factors

  • Elderly people have more risk factors.
  • People who smoke may experience risks during infection.
  • People with chronic lung problems and complications involve risks.
  • People with medical complications like diabetes, kidney disease and, heart disease are vulnerable to the infection.
  • people with a weak immune system may involve risks.

Diagnosis of pneumonia

Doctors may go through several medical examinations while diagnosing pneumonia. While detecting the condition, doctors recommend tests including:

  • blood tests to detect the bacterial infection.
  • A chest x-ray helps in detecting the Infection of the lungs.
  • Pulse oximetry to measure the oxygen level in the blood
  • Sputum test to check the fluid in the lungs to measure the infection.
  • Pulse oximetry measures the oxygen in the blood.
  • Doctors recommend a CT scan to make a clear view of the lungs

Treatment for pneumonia

Doctors suggest treatment according to the types of pneumonia. In case of bacterial pneumonia, doctors recommend antibiotics to the patient. While in viral pneumonia rest and, medicines are prescribed. In severe symptoms, doctors recommend the patient to admit to the hospital and involve oxygen therapy to the patients. Antifungal medications treat fungal pneumonia.

Prevention of Pneumonia

Doctors involve vaccination to prevent pneumonia. Pneumococcal vaccine PCV13 and Hib vaccine can prevent pneumonia and protect the patient from infection. The regular flu shot protects from flu. Apart from vaccination, there are safety measures that prevent the virus from spreading. Maintain proper hygiene, for example, washing hands with soap and using sanitizer helps in preventing the infection. Using face masks while coughing and sneezing control the infection from spreading.

Cura Multispeciality Hospital’s Pulmonology Department

At Cura multispecialty hospital, the efficient physicians of the Pulmonology department diagnose the patient that deals with respiratory ailments like pneumonia, asthma, chest infection. As soon as the symptoms develop including difficulty breathing, persistent cough, weight loss, visit a Pulmonologist for quick healing.

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