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Overview

Pneumonia - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Pneumonia?

Pneumonia is a malady that affects billions of people across the globe every day. This disease is one the 10 top causes of death among adults when this malady is combined with flu. Pneumonia is an inflammation or infection of the lungs. This infection can affect just one section of your lungs and is known as lobal pneumonia or it can even affect sections in both the lungs, when it is known as multilobal pneumonia.

When you have pneumonia, the air sack inside your lungs slowly gets filled up with pus and also other liquids, thus reducing the pathway of oxygen, which finds trouble reaching the lungs.People who are at a higher risk with this illness are anyone who is over 65 years old. Also, people with suppressed immune system, with heart and lung disease, people suffering from alcoholism, kidney failure, HIV, diabetes are high risk patients of this disease. Children who are below 2 years of age are also at risk once they get infected with pneumonia.

What causes Pneumonia ?

Pneumonia can occur for a number of reasons. Unlike other most common diseases, which have a definite cause (strep throat is caused by streptococcus bacteria, flu is caused by influenza virus), this diseases can be caused by multiple factors like bacteria, fungus, viruses, mycoplasmas or even chemicals.Generally, infected with the flu virus and other respiratory maladies, gets infected with this disease. It’s like this, when any flu patient’s body gets weakened by the flu virus, bacteria invades the lungs and causes pneumonia. In certain cases the pneumonia germs get passed from one person to another, whereby his disease spreads through the air. This last stated cause of spreading this disease is most common with mycoplasma pneumonia.Once you don’t fall into the high risk group, very simple measures on your part can protect yourself from pneumonia. These protective measures are like washing your hands, getting your flu vaccine at the right time, avoiding people who are seriously ill and others.

Diagnosis :

Although, the flu vaccine doesn’t stop you from getting infected with pneumonia (as it’s only a protection against influenza), but then again, it also provides some protection from this disease, as pneumonia is often a medical complication which accompanies the flu. So if you can avoid flu, it’s natural you run a lesser risk of getting affected with this disease.

The pneumonia vaccine for children is PCV13 that is provided as a part of the recommended vaccine for all children who are under the age of two. This vaccine protects the children from 13 pneumococcal bacteria.There is also another vaccine PPSV23 available for children (beyond 2 years) and adults and is advised for people who have chronic medical issues, which puts them in a high risk zone, like all adults who are over the age of 65.

Can't be cured Require medical diagnosis Lab test sometimes required Short-term: resolves within days to weeks Spread through the air or contaminated surfaces
Symptoms
Patients who gets infected with pneumonia suffer from painful and recurrent coughs which can bring a lot of discomfort. Have very high fever is another pertinent symptom that affects people suffering from pneumonia. Difficulty in breathing and at time painful breathing is a symptom of pneumonia, the difficulty generally occurs when people inhale while infected with this disease.

Popular Health Tips

What Is Pneumonia And Why Can It Be So Deadly?

MD - Pulmonary, DTCD
Pulmonologist, Faridabad
What Is Pneumonia And Why Can It Be So Deadly?

Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. It leads to inflammation of the lungs which is filled with fluid or pus. It can range from being mild to severe depending on a person’s health and age. Pneumonia can be caused by a variety of germs including bacteria, virus, and fungi. It can become life-threatening and dangerous for people:

  1. Infants and children aged between 2 to 5 years
  2. Older people aged above 65 years
  3. Those who have a weak immune system or have other forms of respiratory problems

Pneumonia can be contracted from different places and can become risky when:

  1. Bacterial pneumonia can easily be contracted from hospital and healthcare which is termed as community-acquired pneumonia. The chances of acquiring pneumonia can increase if are on the ventilator.
  2. Alcohol- Having excessive or regular alcohol can lead to worsening of your pneumonia
  3. If you are exposed to animals like birds, rabbits and rats, then the chances of you contracting pneumonia might be greater.
  4. If you have some medical problems like heart or kidney disease, then your pneumonia can get worse. The situation may be particularly precarious for asthma patients.
  5. Smoking also makes you more susceptible to pneumonia.
  6. Having a weak immunity due to HIV, asplena, poor nutrition and also chemotherapy can lead to worsening of bacterial pneumonia.

Some symptoms of bacterial pneumonia may include:

  1. Coughing that may produce mucus
  2. Fever with shaking and sweating
  3. Chest pain
  4. Nausea and Vomiting
  5. Low body temperature
  6. Shortness of breath

Newborns and infants having pneumonia may not show any symptoms that make it difficult to detect the disease. Also when you have mild symptoms, it is termed as walking pneumonia.

Diagnosis:
If you have pneumonia, then you should consult a doctor who will prescribe a few tests:

  1. Blood test-It is mainly done to identify the germ causing the disease
  2. Chest X-Ray- It helps the doctor locate the exact position of pneumonia.
  3. Pulse Oximetry- It measures the oxygen level in a person’s body.
  4. Sputum Test- Fluid from your lungs is taken and tested to know the cause of infection.
  5. Additional tests may be advised by your doctor that includes CT scan and Pleural fluid culture.

Treatments:
For mild or walking pneumonia, doctors may prescribe certain antibiotics and cough medicines to treat pneumonia. Within a week or two, your lung will start to clear up and you will feel better. Moreover, have enough fluid and sleep and do not smoke.

However, if you fall in the risky category and are experiencing pneumonia symptoms even after having medicines, you should get yourself or your child hospitalized. But there are ways to prevent pneumonia like giving vaccinations to your children and washing your hands. Also, lessen your smoking or stop altogether. So don’t let pneumonia turn into a life-threatening disease by following these simple measures. Consult your doctor immediately if have any of the pneumonia symptoms and fall in the category of – infants and children, people above 65 years of age and people with low immunity. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3844 people found this helpful

How To Recognize The Symptoms Of Pneumonia?

MD - Pulmonary, DTCD
Pulmonologist, Faridabad
How To Recognize The Symptoms Of Pneumonia?

Pneumonia is an inflammation and infection of the lungs. This is a condition where the alveoli or the air sacs located in the lungs fill up with fluid and pus. It is because of this that oxygen cannot reach the infected individual’s bloodstream. People with pneumonia generally have cough, fever, and breathing problems. At times, it can also result in chest pain.

This is a condition that can affect one or both the lungs. There are different forms of this disease. Pulmonary infection is considered one of the most common causes of this disease. It is a kind of infection related to gram-negative or gram-positive bacteria and viruses. Certain infectious agents sharing the similarities of bacteria and viruses might also result in pneumonia.

Symptoms of pneumonia in adults
The symptoms of pneumonia in adults include:

The milder forms of this disease do not disturb the regular functions of the affected individual and are called “walking” pneumonia.

Signs of pneumonia in children
Unlike adults, kids suffering from pneumonia might not experience a fever or a nagging cough. They might have more subtle signs of this infection. However, children have relatively higher chances of being infected because they do not have fully-developed immune systems. Overall, the signs of pneumonia vary according to the age of an individual.

Pneumonia caused by bacteria like Chlamydophila pneumoniae and Mycoplasma pneumoniae generally result in milder signs of the disease in kids. This kind of pneumonia is called walking or atypical pneumonia and is generally found among school-going children. Children suffering from mild pneumonia might not feel very sick, but they can have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Low-grade fever
  • Dry cough
  • Tiredness
  • Headache

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3261 people found this helpful

How To Protect Your Child From Pneumonia?

MBBS, MD - Pulmonary Medicine, FNB-Critical Care and Medicine
Pulmonologist, Gurgaon
How To Protect Your Child From Pneumonia?

Pneumonia is a serious ailment in the lungs which can affect people of all ages even though kids are most vulnerable to this. According to the estimates of the World Health Organization, over 160 million children across the globe get affected by pneumonia every year out of whom 20 million have to be hospitalized, and 2 million die.

Who is most susceptible to pneumonia?
Children who are exposed to the smoke of tobacco or have poor nutrition, asthma, high blood sugar, cold, flu, poor shelter, HIV infection and lack of proper breastfeeding are at risk. Also, if children don’t get an adequate amount of zinc in the diet, then they can get affected by pneumonia.

As the germs reach the lungs, this organ becomes infected and inflamed with a buildup of fluid. It can lead to breathing problems which can make inhibit the entrance of oxygen in the bloodstream. This prevents the cells in the body in performing their normal functions and infections cannot be flushed out of the body.

What are the common signs and symptoms of pneumonia?
The common symptoms of pneumonia include vomiting, chills, chest pain, rapid breathing and shortness of breath, chest retractions during respiration, fatigue, high temperature, nausea, muscle weakness, wheezing and coughing of green and slightly bloody mucus. It may also include unconsciousness, lethargy, convulsions and also feeding problems in infants. There is a type of pneumonia that does not show any major sign but which may interfere with daily functions is referred to as walking pneumonia.

How can pneumonia in children be prevented?
Having healthy habits and practising good hygiene is the best way to avoid pneumonia. Children must be encouraged to clean the hands frequently, coughing or sneezing into the elbow or sleeves instead of palms and to avoid interaction with people who are affected by any infection and flu. As a parent, you should provide proper nutrition to help your child have strong immunity and make sure that they get sufficient rest to ward off infection. You should not smoke in front of your kids as passive smoking is dangerous and help them stay away from pollutants.

You should ensure that your child is immunized as per prescribed schedule. Also, you should know about the warning signs of pneumonia and other ailments of the lungs which include fast breathing, frequent coughing, and difficulty in breathing to detect pneumonia in its early stages. And take them to visit the doctor as soon as you observe the signs. When it comes to an infant, you should breastfeed him/her as mother’s milk contains all the vital nutrients, hormones, antioxidants and antibodies that your child requires to ward off infections including pneumonia.

Thus, being aware you can protect your child from contracting the disease.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2922 people found this helpful

Thoracic Ultrasound - What You Can Expect After Undergoing It?

MD - Pulmonary, DTCD
Pulmonologist, Faridabad
Thoracic Ultrasound - What You Can Expect After Undergoing It?

When your doctor suspects of the presence of extra fluid in your lungs, you might be advised for a thoracic ultrasound. What is a thoracic ultrasound and why do you need it? With a thoracic ultrasound, your doctor will be able to look at everything in the thoracic cavity and can know if your lungs, heart, and other structures in the chest are working fine. The pulmonologists can efficiently determine the lung condition even in critically ill patients using a non-invasive ultrasound technique.

And, since the method is based on sound, there is no risk of exposure to potentially harmful ionizing radiation or nephron-toxic contrast dye in this case. Hence, a thoracic ultrasound has become the most preferred technique for conducting a preliminary examination or to further check and confirm a finding noted using other imaging techniques for thoracic diseases.

Reasons to have a chest ultrasound

  • The doctor usually refer an ultrasound when he or she can feel that there is some extra amount of fluid in your chest. The ultrasound can tell the physician the reason behind the deposition of excess liquid.
  • The ultrasound would help detect the type of fluid that is present in the chest, whether it is exudate that is caused due to inflammation, an infection, or lung cancer, or whether it is transudate that is a leakage from the lymph nodes or the blood vessel. It determines the movement of the diaphragm.
  • Chest ultrasound can be done in conjunction with other examinations like CT scan, MRI to evaluate the condition of the chest.
  • It has to be noted that, in certain circumstances such as severe obesity and barium in your esophagus, the procedure can give an inaccurate result. Hence, it is always advisable to talk with the health care provider and share your complete medical history before undergoing this procedure to prevent such occurrences.

After a Thoracic Ultrasound

  • After the results of the ultrasound are received, the doctor can detect what the condition of your chest is at the moment. Your doctor will also confirm if the lungs have collapsed or if there is water in the lungs, or excess fluid has deposited into the lungs.
  • Ultrasound can also reveal if you have pneumonia. A diagnosis like this does not take a long duration, and thus the ultrasound plays a significant role in expediting the treatment process.
  • There are no hard and fast regulations to follow after the ultrasound. The physician may recommend few instructions depending on your situation. In typical cases, there is no special preparation like fasting is required and you need not be sedated during the ultrasound as well.
  • A safe and painless method to detect the condition of the chest and the respiratory organs and the blood flow through the organs in your chest, a thoracic ultrasound is a preferred procedure that can help your doctor to diagnose your condition and decide upon the treatment method.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3701 people found this helpful

Shortness in Breath - Can Your Heart Be In Danger?

MBBS, Master of Surgery - General Surgery, Magistrar Chirurgiae (Cardio-Thoracic Surgery)
Cardiologist, Faridabad
Shortness in Breath - Can Your Heart Be In Danger?

There are different types of heart problems like coronary artery disease, congenital heart failure and cardiomyopathy, but their warning signs are the same i.e. shortness of breath. This is the reason why shortness of breath should never be taken lightly and should always be investigated for heart diseases.

Why does shortness of breath happen?
You may not be able to get in enough air while experiencing shortness of breath. Known medically as dyspnea, shortness of breath is often described as an intense tightening in the chest and a feeling of suffocation. This is one of the most frightening conditions experienced by a patient. You can experience dyspnea without any serious medical problems in these conditions

  1. After strenuous exercise
  2. In extreme temperatures
  3. Due to obesity and
  4. In high altitudes

But if you are not in any of these conditions, then shortness of breath is a sign of a serious medical problem usually involving your heart or lungs. These two vital organs transport oxygen to the rest of your body and remove carbon dioxide; hence problems with either of these organs can affect your breathing. Shortness of breath that comes on suddenly called acute, can be due to other causes too like:

  1. Asthma
  2. Excess fluid around the heart
  3. Low BP
  4. Heart failure
  5. Blood clot in an artery in the lung
  6. Collapsed lung
  7. Pneumonia

If you have had shortness of breath that has lasted for weeks, then we call it chronic and its causes can be various diseases of the heart apart from asthma and COPD. There is no doubt that your heart may be in trouble, if you have chronic shortness of breath. You may be suffering from these heart conditions:

  1. Cardiomyopathy or problems with the heart muscle cause symptoms like shortness of breath after physical exertion as well as fatigue, and swelling of legs and abdomen. Patients suffering from cardiomyopathy are at risk of sudden death due to cardiac arrest.
  2. Heart arrhythmias is also called irregular heartbeat, and can cause slow or fast heartbeats. These also have symptoms like shortness of breath. Arrhythmias can cause strokes, heart failure and cardiac arrest.
  3. Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump blood efficiently to meet the needs of the body. This is a potentially fatal condition. One of the most common symptom is shortness of breath with exercise and while lying down. Fatigue is another common symptom.
  4. Pericarditis or swelling of membranes around the heart is also characterised by shortness of breath.

Treatment of breathlessness can start after you are referred to a heart specialist for further tests to confirm the likely cause.

2862 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Sir, I am twenty years old and I am suffered by lung pneumonia, doctor advised me to take Dalacin-c300 mg antibiotic, now I am taking that medicine, but I have not recovered yet. Sir please tell me what medicine I will be take? Please sir replay.

M.D - Respiratory Medicine
Pulmonologist, Hyderabad
Please look for causes fir prolonged pneumonia or post pneumonia fatigue or bronchial change A CT Chest etc May be needed Consult a Pulmonologist.
1 person found this helpful

My daughter is suffering from pneumonia she is admitted now for 10 days doctor has given her polybion syrup now when she take that syrup she get 3 to 4 times motion can you help me please.

DNB(Respiratory Diseases), MBBS
Pulmonologist, Jabalpur
Polybion syrup contains B complex vitamins. If that does not suits her, get it changed with consultation of your doctor. You have mentioned that she is been admitted for pneumonia for last 10 days now, hopefully she recovers backs soon now.

My daughter is 6.5 years old she is having pneumonia her wbc count went high to 26500 She is hospitalized now for 8 days We have a blood test now her count shows 17600 how long it will take to normal her wbc What is a normal range for wbc of child of 6 yrs.

MD Pediatrics
Pediatrician, Vadodara
On an average basis it should be between 4000 to 11,000. May sometimes differ by laboratory standards. Since repeat count is on the decresing trend its a good sign if we go by the reports. Clinically childs condition/recovery will be informed by your Dr. Hoping for her quick recovery.
1 person found this helpful

My father was hospitalized due to lungs infection of severe pneumonia, treatment was done with merotec antibiotics. After 20 days of treatment he was released and continuing the treatment at home. Recently few symptoms are being observed as below and doctors are asking several tests but the treatment is not being up to the mark. 1. Frequently having chest pain 2. Frequently blood is coming out with cough in the morning only. 3. Feeling pain a bit in whole body all the time. 4. Weakness Please suggest what needs to be done and what not.

MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine, DM - Cardiology, Cardiac Device Specialist (CCDS - Physician )
Cardiologist, Delhi
1) Please understand as mentioned by the symptoms your father is still suffering from some kind of lung issue highly likely that to be an infection, since we donot have the previous records it will be difficult to understand what was the issue, but most probably doctors must have suspected pneumonia and treated him with antibiotic as per local practice but given that the symptoms have persisted he definitely need further detailed investigation to find the cause of the problem so that the treatment can be changed accordingly, a sputum culture, Chest Ct scan, bronchoscopy and biopsy may have been advised, it will be difficult to diagnose correctly without teats, so please consult a good pulmonologist and follow their advice for prompt diagnosis and treatment.
4 people found this helpful

My son is 1 month 20 day old. He suffering 2/3 days for cough, cold, fever and flue. So doctor says it's pneumonia symptoms. They suggest admitted my son. So I want to know it is pneumonia? So help me.

MBBS, MD, DM - Neonatology
Pediatrician, Delhi
If your baby have Tachypnea (Respiratory rate >60/min), Chest in-drawing/retraction (inward movement of the lower chest wall), grunting sound (mainly during exhalation of breating-a sound of pain), cynosis (bluish discloration of lips/finger nails), poor activity, poor feeding or refusal to feed, passing less urine, then only its a concern. otherwise your baby have only minor respiratory infection. Healthy Baby symptoms: 1. Active, alert, pink, warm, 2. Feeding well, 3. passing urine atleast 6-8 times/24 hrs, 4. Gaining weight. Normal physiological signs: recurrent nose block producing some abnormal sound, passing stool with every feed not passed stool upto 7 days.