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Pneumonia- Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Updated on 12 August 2022

Pneumonia is a condition in which one or both lungs get affected. Pneumonia may be caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi. The air sacs inside the lungs get inflamed. The air sacs get filled with pus and make it difficult for a person to breathe properly. 

Pneumonia caused due to bacteria or viruses can spread easily from one person to another through the air route. It means when an infected person coughs or sneezes the droplets in the air may get inhaled by a healthy person. When a healthy person inhales the infected droplets from the air he/she can also get affected.

Types of Pneumonia

Pneumonia can be divided into different types based on how a person gets affected. The different types of pneumonia based on the source of infection include the following,

  • Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia: Many people can suffer from pneumonia if they are using a ventilator. It is called ventilator-associated pneumonia. 
  • Community-Acquired Pneumonia: This type of pneumonia occurs when a person gets affected outside the hospital setting.
  • Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia: This type of pneumonia occurs during the hospital stay of a person. It is the most serious infection because this type of pneumonia is caused by bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. 
  • Aspiration Pneumonia: This type of pneumonia occurs by inhaling bacteria through food, salvia, or drink. This type of infection occurs in people who cannot swallow properly.

Stages of Pneumonia

There are different stages of pneumonia infection. The different stages can be classified based on the lungs part that is affected,

  • Bronchopneumonia: In bronchopneumonia, the entire lungs may get affected. The area close to the bronchi is most affected. 
  • Lobar Pneumonia: There are different lobes in the lungs which divide them into different parts. In this stage of pneumonia, either one or more lobes of the lungs get affected.

Symptoms of Pneumonia

The symptoms of pneumonia may be mild to chronic. Important symptoms of pneumonia are,

  • Fever
  • Cough with mucus
  • Shortness of breath even when doing normal activities and even while taking rest
  • Chills and sweating
  • Pain in the chest that becomes worse during breathing or coughing
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • No appetite
  • Headache may be present
  • Nausea and vomiting may occur.

Causes of Pneumonia

Pneumonia is caused by viruses or bacteria or any other germs that enter your lungs and affect the air sacs. Your immune system tries to clear the infection but it may result in lung inflammation. The air sacs get filled with pus and produce the symptoms of pneumonia. Different pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi can cause pneumonia. 

  • The common bacteria that can cause bacterial pneumonia are streptococcus pneumoniae.     
  • The common viruses that can cause pneumonia include rhinoviruses, respiratory syncytial virus, human metapneumovirus, etc. 
  • The symptoms of bacterial and viral pneumonia are almost the same but viral infection causes mild symptoms whereas bacterial infection may produce severe infection of the lungs. 
  • The common fungi that cause pneumonia include Cryptococcus species, pneumocystis jirovecii, etc. Fungal pneumonia is caused due to bird droppings or fungi present in the soil particles.

Treatment for Pneumonia

The treatment of pneumonia depends on the type and severity and general health of the patient. The treatment plan for pneumonia is given below,

Medications

A physician can prescribe medicine to treat pneumonia. The prescription medicine for pneumonia will depend on the symptoms of the patient and the cause of pneumonia. 

  • Bacterial pneumonia is treated by giving antibiotics. People suffering from bacterial pneumonia should take a complete course of antibiotics as prescribed by the Best Pulmonologist In Hyderabad. People who do not take proper treatment may suffer from recurrent symptoms. 
  • Viral pneumonia does not last long and the infection may get cleared on its own. Therefore, people suffering from viral pneumonia generally do not need any medication. 
  • Doctors will give fungal medicines for treating fungal pneumonia. People may have to take treatment for fungal infection for several days to get rid of the infection. 

Over-the-Counter Medicines

The doctor may also give you some over-the-counter medications to treat symptoms such as fever and pain. You can buy those medicines from a medical shop and start taking them as prescribed by your doctor. The doctor may recommend you take a Cough syrup to relieve your cough and congestion in the chest.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Pneumonia, a lung problem, may be caused due to different germs such as bacteria, viruses, or fungi. People suffering from pneumonia should book an appointment at a Pulmonology Hospital In Hyderabad and visit a doctor for proper diagnosis and for taking the right treatment. You should be cautious as the treatment depends on the type of pneumonia, cause, and severity of the symptoms.

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