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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

Pneumonia - How To Protect Your Child?

M.D - Respiratory Medicine
Pulmonologist, Hyderabad
Pneumonia - How To Protect Your Child?

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!

1932 people found this helpful

Lung or Pulmonary Diseases: What You Need To Know?

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Diploma In HIV, DNB - Respiratory Diseases, V P Chest Delhi
Pulmonologist, Pune
Lung or Pulmonary Diseases: What You Need To Know?

Pulmonary diseases are some of the most commonly experienced health conditions all over the world. Millions of people suffer due to various causes including genetics, smoking, pollutants and infection. Now lungs are one of the most important and complex organs of the body. They are the apparatus through which oxygen enters and carbon dioxide gets expelled.

Lungs expand and contract on a constant basis to ensure that we can breathe properly. Let us find out more about lung or pulmonary diseases.

  1. Asthma: This is one of the most common and potentially fatal conditions that affect children and adults. It grips the airways formed by the bronchi which branch off into smaller tubes from the main trachea that holds them. This condition causes inflammation, and even spasms, which can lead to wheezing and breathlessness. The main triggers of asthma attacks include allergies, infections and pollutants that may escape into the airways.
  2. COPD: This is also known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder. It is an umbrella term used for various lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties due to an obstruction of the airways. Chronic bronchitis is one of the conditions that falls under COPD, and is usually characterised by persistent, hacking coughs.
  3. Cystic Fibrosis: This is another condition that affects the airways by causing poor passage of mucus from the bronchial tubes. This condition is a genetic one where the mucus that gathers eventually becomes a lung infection.
  4. Pneumonia: This is a condition that causes an infection in the alveoli, which are the tiny tubes that the airways branch into. These are air sacs that can catch myriad infections like pneumonia.
  5. Tuberculosis: This is also a kind of pneumonia, which is caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. This condition usually attacks the air sacs of the lungs and can be a potentially fatal disease if it is not treated on time. The patient will require immediate hospitalisation.
  6. Pulmonary Edema: This condition is caused by fluid leaks from the tiny blood vessels into the surrounding air sacs within the lungs. It can also be caused due to heart failure as well as back pressure which falls on the lungs. Direct injury to the lungs can also lead to this condition.
  7. Lung Cancer: This is a fatal disease which can be found in any part of the lungs. It has many forms and the type as well as the location usually determines the kind of treatment option that will be followed.
  8. Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome: When the lungs suffer a sudden injury which is usually caused by a bout of serious illness, it is called ARDS. Treatment involves the use of life support ventilation.

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

3167 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!

3260 people found this helpful

Pneumonia: How Can You Protect Your Child From It?

MBBS, Diploma In Tuberculosis & Chest Diseases, DNB
Pulmonologist, Delhi
Pneumonia: How Can You Protect Your Child From It?

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!

2459 people found this helpful

Pneumonia - Know The Reasons Behind It!

Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery
General Physician, Kolkata
Pneumonia - Know The Reasons Behind It!

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 the cause of inflammation, the organism fostering your infection, your age and general health. 

Symptoms:

Most common symptoms associated with the condition are:

  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Shaking chills
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Fever
  • Rapid breathing
  • Dry cough
  • Vomiting
  • Wheezing
  • Nausea 
  • Muscle aches
  • Bluish skin tone due to oxygen deficiency 
  • Blood in sputum that is coughed up mucus
  • Labored breathing
  • Confusion 
  • High fever

Causes

  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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'. 
  4. 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.

Prevent Pneumonia

It is important for all of us to prevent ourselves from pneumonia and for that we can follow the below mentioned steps:

  1. Know about the symptoms of pneumonia first: It is difficult to detect or diagnose pneumonia, especially in people over the age of 65. In older patients, the common symptoms such as fever, chills, cough may not be experienced. You should watch out for non-respiratory symptoms like weakness, dizziness, delirium and confusion. It is even more difficult to diagnose pneumonia in people who are suffering from preexisting conditions.
  2. Practice good hygiene: Common respiratory infections, influenza and cold may cause pneumonia. You should follow hygienic habits. Wash your hands regularly before meals and use hand sanitizers in order to prevent the illness from spreading. You should also maintain proper oral hygiene as several oral infections may also lead to pneumonia. You should also keep away from people who are affected by pneumonia or any other illness like flu, cold and serious diseases such as measles or chicken pox. All these factors may cause pneumonia.
  3. Get vaccinated: It is recommended for people of all ages who may be at a risk of getting pneumonia to get vaccinated and immunized against pneumonia causing virus called pneumococcal pneumonia. This is a one-time vaccine, which prevents and reduces the severity of pneumonia. A booster vaccine after every five years may also be prescribed. Elderly people should be vaccinated against all diseases which cause pneumonia.
  4. Quit smoking: Smoking accounts for being a major cause or risk factor for pneumonia. It increases a person’s chance of getting pneumonia as the lungs’ ability to defend themselves from the infection is reduced. By quitting smoking, you will be able to prevent pneumonia.
  5. Maintain a good general health: Maintaining an overall good health and following healthy habits will help you in preventing pneumonia. This is because your immune system stays strong and is able to fight efficiently against pneumonia-causing infections. A proper diet with all essential nutrients is also recommended along with regular physical exercise and proper rest.

Severe cases of pneumonia are capable of making you suffer and you may be admitted to a hospital. According to studies, it has been estimated that more than 60% of people over the age of 65 need to be hospitalised because of pneumonia.

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

5149 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Hi Doctor, My Mother has a cough for a week she gone to doctor two time the third time doctor told it may be Nemonia, I just wanna ask how should I take care of her at home like what should be her diet and what exercise should she perform. And can she travel after 3 weeks from today i.e 30 April.

MD (Physician), MD (Pulmonology)
Pulmonologist, Bareilly
Although you haven't mentioned the patients age, but Senior citizens need lot of care for Ambulatory Treatment. Give the prescribed medicines, avoid sudden temperature changes and exertion, give proper nutritious diet and fresh air.

Sir, I had suffered from blood clot, namonia both at same time in 2016 I was hospitalised and treated I was suggested to eat acitrom 2 mg by doctor sir I want to know that its now 2018 I stopped eating acitrom2 mng since december 2017 and so what should I do should I eat acitrom 2 mg .I drink alcohol but do not smoke .What should I do. And recently I have pain in my hand and right chest and shoulder. What should I do should I start eating acitrom 2 mg again.

MD - Acupuncture
Acupuncturist, Noida
Consult your Doctor In Depth Information on Acitrom Tablet Expert advice for Acitrom Tablet Good medication for preventing blood clots. For best results, take Acitrom at the same time every day. Requires regular blood test (PT-INR), to make sure Acitrom is working properly. Acitrom increases your risk of bleeding. Be careful while shaving, cutting fingernails or toenails, using sharp objects or engaging in contact sports (e.g. Football, wrestling). Notify your doctor if you see blood in your vomit, urine or stool (black, tarry stools or bright red blood). Interacts with food or other medicines; hence require frequent dose changes. If you are going to have a surgery or dental treatment, you may be asked to stop taking Acitrom temporarily. Acitrom should not be used in the pregnancy. You may breastfeed. Inform your doctor if you have ever been diagnosed with kidney or liver problems.

My daughter is suffering from pneumonia she was hospitalized for 10 days her wbc count was 25600 then it came to 15600 again it came to 18000 doctor has discharge her saying that the count is because of heavy injection is this correct.

MD (Physician), MD (Pulmonology)
Pulmonologist, Bareilly
Please have patience & faith in your doctors advice. COUNTS go up & down, but if the child is well do not worry.
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