Talking About Pneumonia
Pneumonia is the condition of the respiratory tract in which your air sacs get inflamed because of infection. It can happen in one or both the lungs. The tiny air sacs may get filled with pus, bacteria, or purulent material.
With pneumonia, you might have a lot of a cough. Along with that, it may also cause fever and lethargy. There can be various causes for it. However, the common causes of pneumonia are fungi, viruses, and bacteria.
The severity of pneumonia differs from person to person. It is most serious in infants. In people above 65 years, it might become serious. In young people, it often occurs when the person is immunocompromised. If your child has any symptoms of pneumonia, you should take them to the doctor as soon as possible. To get an expert opinion, you can visit a Pulmonologist in Lahore.
What Are The Symptoms of Pneumonia?
The mild symptoms of pneumonia resemble a cold or flu. However, its severity varies depending on various factors, including the causative organism and the patient’s age group. Sometimes, pneumonia can become life-threatening. Therefore you should not take it lightly.
The common signs and symptoms of pneumonia are:
- Chest pain while you cough or breathe
- Confusion- especially in people above 65 years of age
- Productive cough
- Shaking chills
- In adults above 65 years of age or people with a weak immune system, the body temperature may fall below normal
- Nausea and vomiting
- Shortness of breath
The symptoms of pneumonia might not be apparent in infants. Or sometimes they might just vomit, appear restless with drained energy or have difficulty breathing with a cough.
When Should You See A Doctor?
You should never take the symptoms of pneumonia lightly. If you have a complaint of high-grade fever, you must consult a healthcare provider soon. You should take the high-risk population soon to the doctor as it can become life-threatening. Those people are:
- Adults over the age of 65
- Children younger than 2 years having symptoms of pneumonia
- People with a weakened immune system or having any underlying health condition
- People receive immunosuppressive medications for a long time.
In people above the age of 70, or those having heart failure or chronic lung problems, pneumonia can become life-threatening. Therefore you should take them to the emergency room as soon as you notice the symptoms.
What Causes Pneumonia?
Pneumonia occurs when you get exposed to germs. Respiratory tract infections are contagious. So you can get them from other people. In the air we breathe, there can be harmful viruses and bacteria that can cause pneumonia. Generally, when a germ attacks your body, the immune system fights off. But sometimes, your body can not fight against it and gets infected. It can also happen in fairly healthy people.
Pneumonia can be classified based on the causative organism and how you get it. The classification can be described as:
- Bacterial Pneumonia- is caused by bacteria. Often it occurs after you get a cold or flu. During a viral infection, your immune system suppresses, and bacteria can infect your lungs.
- Fungal pneumonia- pneumonia caused by fungi is common in people with weakened immune systems. It can also occur in people who have inhaled a large number of fungal organisms.
- Viral Pneumonia- pneumonia caused by a virus is quite common in children younger than 5 years. Sometimes a cold or the flu can lead to pneumonia. Often viral pneumonia is mild. But sometimes it can become serious, like in coronavirus.
Hospital Acquired Pneumonia
Often people who get admitted to hospitals end up catching pneumonia- a condition called hospital-acquired pneumonia. Hospital-acquired pneumonia is a serious condition because it is often resistant to the action of antibiotics.
Health Care Acquired Pneumonia
People who spend a long time in healthcare facilities or receive services in the outpatient clinic. Often it includes people who undergo dialysis.
Aspiration pneumonia is a condition when you inhale food, drink, vomit, or saliva into your lungs. It is common in people whose reflexes do not work well. Aspiration pneumonia is often common amongst people who have a brain injury, swallowing difficulty, or excessively consume alcohol or drugs. It happens when the person’s gag reflex does not work well.
The Bottom Line
Pneumonia can range from mild to severe. The healthcare providers will decide based on the severity of the symptoms. Sometimes you might need to get hospitalized for treatment. If you have any of these symptoms, you should seek professional help as soon as it can become life-threatening. To get an expert opinion, you can visit a Pulmonologist in Karachi.