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Pneumonia - Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

Published on Dec 12, 2019   -  5 min read


This article discusses the causes, symptoms, risk factors, diagnosis, and treatment of pneumonia, which is a lung infection caused by bacteria. It also includes ways to prevent pneumonia.

Pneumonia - Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

What Is Pneumonia?

An infection that causes inflammation of air sacs in the lungs is called pneumonia. These air sacs may get filled with pus or fluid, which results in coughing up phlegm. The other common symptoms include fever, chills, and breathing difficulties. Pneumonia can be caused by various bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

Pneumonia can lead to life-threatening complications especially in infants, young children, older adults (65 years and above), and people with chronic illnesses and immunocompromised disease. It can affect people of any age and can cause mild to fatal complications. Pneumonia is the number cause of death due to infection in kids younger than 5 years worldwide.

What Are the Symptoms of Pneumonia?

Depending on the causative organism, age, and overall health, pneumonia varies from mild to severe. The signs and symptoms are similar to a cold or flu in mild cases. The common signs and symptoms in adults include:

Infants usually do not show any signs of infection. Sometimes, they might exhibit the following symptoms:

If you notice the following signs and symptoms, consult a doctor immediately:

Breathing problems.

What Are the Causes of Pneumonia?

Depending on the causes, pneumonia can be divided into the following types:

1) Community-acquired pneumonia - It is the most common type and occurs outside of hospitals. It includes:

2) Hospital-acquired pneumonia - Hospitalized patients are at risk of getting pneumonia, which can result in fatal complications as the person is already sick and the causative organism are mostly resistant to most antibiotics. Patients on ventilators are at a higher risk.

3) Health care-acquired pneumonia - It is a type of pneumonia that results from a bacterial infection in people who live in long-term care hospitals. It includes patients who receive chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and kidney dialysis. Like hospital-acquired pneumonia, this type of pneumonia are also caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

4) Aspiration pneumonia - The type os pneumonia that results from inhaling food, drink, vomit or saliva into the lungs is called aspiration pneumonia. It usually occurs in patients with brain injury, swallowing problems, or alcoholism.

What Are the Risk Factors for Pneumonia?

Certain factors that increase the risk of pneumonia are:

What Are the Ways to Diagnose Pneumonia?

If you exhibit signs and symptoms of pneumonia, your doctor will take a complete medical history, conduct a physical examination, and listen to your lungs with a stethoscope (crackling sounds). Your doctor will then suggest you take these tests:

What are the treatment options for pneumonia?

Treatment depends on the type of pneumonia. The treatment options include:

Home Remedies:

What Are the Complications of Pneumonia?

Some of the complications include:

How to Prevent Pneumonia?

Some tips to prevent pneumonia are:

For more information on pneumonia, consult a pulmonologist online now.

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Last reviewed at:
12 Dec 2019  -  5 min read




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