An (pneumococcal) infection in the air sacs of the lungs, either in one or both, caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungus, is known as pneumonia. Alveoli, the air sacs in the lungs, become inflamed as a result of the infection. It becomes harder to breathe because the alveoli are filled with fluid or pus.
Pneumonia, whether viral or bacterial, is contagious. This means they can transmit from person to person via a sneeze or cough. You can potentially contract various types of pneumonia by getting in contact with polluted surfaces or objects.
Another type of pneumonia is fungal pneumonia, which can be spread by another person within the same environment. It is not contagious and does not transmit from one person to another.
Pneumonia can be minor to life-threatening, depending on the severity of the infection. People over the age of 65, those with health issues, and those with compromised immune systems are particularly at risk.
What are the symptoms?
The signs and symptoms of pneumonia range from moderate to acute, depending on factors such as the type of bacteria that caused the infection, as well as your age and overall health condition. Mild symptoms and indicators are frequently comparable to those of a cold or flu, but they remain longer.
Pneumonia symptoms in adults may include:
- Chest discomfort as you inhale or exhale
- Changes in mental awareness or confusion (in adults age 65 and older)
- Phlegm may be produced during a cough.
- Fever, sweating, and racking chills.
- Bodily temperature that is below average (in adults older than age 65 and immune compromised people)
- diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting
- Difficulty breathing
On the other hand, pneumonia symptoms in children include:
- Mucus-producing cough
- Coughing discomfort
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- Appetite loss
- Exhaustion (fatigue)
- Rapid breathing or wheezing
Furthermore, in newborns and infants, the illness may go undetected. It's also possible that they'll vomit, experience a fever and cough, seem restless or lethargic, or have trouble breathing or eating.
Causes of Pneumonia
As mentioned, pneumonia can be caused by a variety of infectious organisms, including bacteria, viruses, and fungus. Generally, your body protects you against these infections infiltrating your lungs. However, these bacteria can occasionally overwhelm your immune system, even if your overall health is fine. Inflammation of alveoli, or the lung's air sacs, happens as a result of the immune system's response to the infection).
This inflammation might eventually result in the air sacs becoming clogged with pus and fluids, leading to pneumonia symptoms. Pneumonia is classified based on the sort of germs that cause it and where the infection originated. The most prevalent kind of pneumonia is community-acquired. Hospitals and other medical facilities are not the only places where it occurs. It could be due to:
- Bacterial pneumonia, the most often seen cause of pneumonia (Streptococcus pneumoniae).
- Viral pneumonia, a milder pneumonia than bacterial but people with this kind of pneumonia are at risk of contracting bacterial pneumonia.
- Fungal pneumonia, people with long-term health issues or compromised immune systems are more likely to get this type of pneumonia.
It is much better to prevent pneumonia than treat it. Your therapy will vary according to the type of pneumonia you have, the severity of the infection, and your overall health.
Your doctor may prescribe over-the-counter (OTC) medications to alleviate your discomfort and fever. Additionally, your doctor may prescribe other specified medicine to assist in the treatment of pneumonia.
The medication prescribed for you will be determined on the precise cause of your pneumonia. The majority of cases of bacterial pneumonia can be treated with oral antibiotics. Ensure that you always finish your antibiotic course, even if you start feeling better. Failing to do so may result in the infection not resolving, making it more difficult to treat in the future.
Antibiotic drugs are ineffective against viruses. In some instances, your physician may suggest an antiviral medication. Many cases of viral pneumonia, on the other hand, resolve on their own with home treatment. Fungal pneumonia is treated with antifungal medicines. You may need to continue taking this medicine for a few weeks to entirely eliminate the illness.
Home RemediesThere are certain things you may do to alleviate the symptoms of pneumonia. Drinking peppermint tea or salt water can help ease a cough naturally or use a breathing trainer, a unique combination of steam and resistant breathing that cleanses and strengthens your lungs. A fever can be relieved by applying a cool compress.