Demystifying Pneumonia and Its Common Symptoms
Pneumonia is a condition that affects the lungs. It can be brought by viruses, fungi, or bacteria. Pneumonia inflames the air sacs of your lungs, these sacs are also known as alveoli. The moment a person's alveoli are full of pus or fluid, the afflicted person experiences difficulty breathing. Here is a look at some different types of pneumonia, the main pneumonia symptoms of the disease, the risk factors, and how it is diagnosed.
Types of Pneumonia
Pneumonia can be classified depending on what organism has caused it:
- Bacterial Pneumonia
This type of pneumonia is caused by chlamydophila pneumonia, streptococcus pneumonia, or legionella pneumophila.
- Viral Pneumonia
This type of pneumonia is common among young children and the elderly. It is normally caused by a respiratory virus. Viral pneumonia last for a briefer period than bacterial pneumonia.
- Mycoplasma pneumonia
Mycoplasma is an organism that shares characteristics with bacteria and viruses. Mycoplasma cause mild forms of pneumonia in young adults and older children
- Fungal pneumonia
Fungi from bird droppings or the soil can cause one to get pneumonia if they are highly exposed to inhaling these organisms. Fungal pneumonia is also common among people suffering from chronic illnesses or those with weak immune systems. A good example of fungal pneumonia is Pneumocystis Jirovecii Pneumonia also known as PCP. This type of pneumonia can also be the first sign that person is infected with AIDS.
Symptoms of Pneumonia
The main symptoms of pneumonia vary from severe to mild. These symptoms depend on your reason for catching the disease, your health, and your age. The common symptoms are:
- Cough: In some cases, the patient's cough may have yellow or greenish mucus, and in serious cases their cough may have bloody mucus.
- High or mild fever
- Shortness of breath
- Shaking chills
- Excessive sweating
- Sharp chest pain that is aggravated when you cough or breathe deeply
- Low energy, loss of appetite, and fatigue
- The symptoms of pneumonia also vary based on whether pneumonia is caused by a bacteria or a virus.
- In bacterial pneumonia, a patient's temperature can rise up to 105 degrees F. With bacterial pneumonia, patients' also experienced increased breathing rate, profuse sweating. Furthermore, in some cases, the patient may have bluish nails or lips due to a lack of oxygen in their blood. The affected person may also act delirious or confused.
- In viral pneumonia, the symptoms are similar to those experienced by person's suffering from influenza. The symptoms include a headache, dry cough, muscle pain, weakness, and headache. After 12-36 hours, a person is likely to experience increased breathlessness, heightened coughing, a high fever, and blueness on their lips.
Risk Factors Of Pneumonia
Pneumonia is highest among children age two and below and the elderly. Some of the other risk factors include:
- Chronic disease: The probability for getting pneumonia is high for people with heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or asthma.
- Smoking: Smokers have a low immunity against viruses and bacteria that cause pneumonia.
- Weak immune system: People suffering from HIV/AIDS, or those who are under chemotherapy, or those who have undergone an organ transplant stand a high risk of suffering from pneumonia.
- Being hospitalized: People who have been admitted to a hospital's intensive care unit and are breathing on ventilators stand a high risk of catching pneumonia.
Diagnosis of Pneumonia
When you go to your doctor, your doctor will question the patient about their symptoms. Some of the tests that a doctor is likely to perform include:
- A chest x-ray
- A blood test to inspect your white blood cell count
- Listening to the patient's lungs using a stethoscope to determine whether there is a bubbling or crackling sound
- Sputum tests whereby a microscope is used to examine your cough
- A pulse oximetry test to measure the oxygen in a patient's blood
- A bronchoscopy to check the airways of a patient's lungs
Top 5 Routes for "Pneumonia Symptoms"
The lung.org website is focused on saving lives by improving lung health and fighting lung disease through education, advocacy, and research.
Mayo clinic is a non-profit firm dedicated to education, research, clinical practice, and providing expert care to those who require healing.
Healthline is your trusted source for information regarding your health and wellbeing.
WebMd is dedicated to providing health information and tools for managing your health. It is also a source of information for those looking to educate themselves about certain health conditions.
Bfl.org is a UK charity that is focused on looking after the country's lungs. With the help of donors, this organization is committed to ensuring that one day everyone breathes clean air.
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