What pneumonia is? Pneumonia is an inflammation of the air sacs(alveoli) of one or both lungs caused mainly by an infection, the air sac of the inflamed lung gets filled with fluid or pus, making it hard to breathe freely. And this will cause a decrease in the oxygen level in the blood, often cough and increased sputum expectoration. According to statistics, pneumonia is the most common cause of death.
Here at Mayor Boss, let’s explore pneumonia symptoms and get some advice on how to be healthier.
Is pneumonia contagious? The infectious route of pneumonia is the most common, and it is spread by having contact with an infected person or by the airborne way in the form of small droplets from sneezing or coughing.
Here are the signs and symptoms of Pneumonia:
- Productive cough with sputum, which can be present with discolorations, foul smell, or none at all
- Fever of 38° and above
- Sharp or piercing chest pain that gets worse with cough
- Shortness of breath (feeling of having less air in the lungs)
- Tachypnea (fast breathing)
- Shaking chills and sweating.
- Loss of appetite
- Shallow breathing
What are the symptoms of walking pneumonia?
The indications of walking pneumonia are usually mild and look similar to a common cold. According to the HealthLine, walking pneumonia symptoms may show up roughly two weeks after exposure to the infection and can get worse over a month. The symptoms may include:
- Persistent cough
- Sore throat
- Abdominal pain
- Fever and chills
- Rapid breathing
The most common causative agents of pneumonia are bacteria, viruses, protozoa or fungi. Some pneumonia is caused by none infectious route such as:
- Aspiration pneumonia
- Lymphocytic interstitial pneumonia
- Desquamative interstitial pneumonia
- Usual interstitial pneumonia
- Lipoid pneumonia
- Cryptogenic organizing pneumonia
Risk factors of pneumonia
Some of the risk factors of pneumonia are:
- History of Long term smoking
- Cystic fibrosis
- Bronchial Asthma
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Immunodeficiency such as in HIV patients. Decrease immunity expose you to several infections
- Being hospitalized exposes you to getting nosocomial infections (which are usually hospital-acquired infections)
- Heart disease
What are the different types of pneumonia?
There are several classifications of pneumonia based on location, cause, clinical characteristics, and area of lungs affected.
Classification Based on Clinical Characteristics:
- Acute: is defined as the presence of an infectious process less than 21days
- Chronic: infection longer than 21days, and it is usually pneumonia caused by non- infectious route or fungi infection.
Classification Based on Areas of Lungs Affected:
- Lobar pneumonia
- Multilobar pneumonia
- Interstitial pneumonia
Classification Based on Location of acquisition:
Community-acquired pneumonia(CAP): meaning the infection was acquired outside the hospital. It is the most type of pneumonia. Streptococcus pneumonia is the most common cause of CAP. The other causes are:
- Haemophilus influenzae
- Moraxella catarrhalis
- Staphylococcus aureus
- Respiratory syncytial virus
Nosocomial pneumonia: meaning it is hospital-acquired. The most common cause is
- Haemophilus influenzae
- Klebsiella pneumonia,
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Classification Based On Cause:
1. Immunocompromised :
- Pneumocystis jirovecii
- Mycobacterium avium
2. Aspiration pneumonia(aspirating foreign object)
3. Dust pneumonia
4. Necrotizing pneumonia
How is pneumonia diagnosed?
Diagnostic methods of Pneumonia:
- Chest x-ray
- Full blood count
- Sputum culture
- Pulse oximetry( used to measure the level of oxygen in the blood).
- CT scan( To detect any complications such as lung abscess, pleural effusions, empyema).
Treatment of pneumonia involves the management of symptoms and identifying the cause of the Pneumonia and treating accordingly:
- Antibiotics are used for bacterial etiology of pneumonia
- Oxygen therapy,
- Oral rehydration therapy and IV fluids
- Antipyretic for fever, for example, paracetamol, ibuprofen
- Cough medicine
Pneumonia can be prevented with vaccines (for some specific type of pneumonia), personal hygiene (washing hands), and avoiding smoking. The most important thing about the successful treatment of pneumonia is to see a doctor as soon as possible. The prognosis of pneumonia is good if the cause is identified early on in the disease process, and early prevention of complications is made. Get vaccinated.How to Recognize Pneumonia