Pneumonia is a type of lung infection that may affect one or both lungs. In this condition the air sacs, also known as alveoli, fill with pus or fluid, which makes it difficult to breathe. Moreover, pneumonia is known to cause inflammation in the air sacs. This disease may range from mild to life threatening and the severity depends on cause of inflammation, the organism fostering your infection, your age and general health.
Most common symptoms associated with the condition are:
- Chest pain
- Difficulty in breathing
- Shaking chills
- Rapid heartbeat
- Rapid breathing
- Dry cough
- Muscle aches
- Bluish skin tone due to oxygen deficiency
- Blood in sputum that is coughed up mucus
- Labored breathing
- High fever
- Bacteria: One of the most common causes of pneumonia is the bacteria named as Streptococcus pneumoniae. This type of pneumonia may occur after you have had flu or a cold or maybe even on its own. Moreover, it may affect only one part of the lung i.e. the lobe and is also known as lobar pneumonia.
- Viruses: Viruses are one of the main reasons why children below 5 years of age suffer from pneumonia. Viruses that cause pneumonia may also cause cold or flu. Viral pneumonia is usually mild and may be treated at home itself. However, in some cases, it may be very severe and life-threatening.
- Mycoplasmas: Mycoplasma is a type of bacteria that doesn't have a cell wall around the cell membrane which is why they are usually unaffected by most antibiotics which target cell wall synthesis. The symptoms of pneumonia caused by mycoplasmas are mild and the patient does not require bed rest. This type of pneumonia is known as 'Walking Pneumonia'.
- Fungi: People with weakened immune systems or chronic health problems usually develop pneumonia due to fungi. You may also develop fungal pneumonia by inhaling large doses of it mainly found in soil or bird droppings.