Introduction – What is Pneumonia
You are probably familiar with the term pneumonia, But what actually pneumonia is?
Pneumonia is an infection that influences the air sacs in the lungs. The air sacs may fill with fluid or purulent material commonly known as pus causing cough with phlegm (Thick yellowish fluid), fever, difficulty in breathing, and chills these are early signs of pneumonia that get worsen with time. A Microorganism named streptococcus pneumonia bacteria, and Haemophilus influenza can cause pneumonia.
Pneumonia is common in people over 65 years old or kids of age 0-10, but it can happen at any age. The disease is life-threatening when left untreated but is more severe for infants and people already suffering from any kind of ailment like hypertension, diabetes, etc.
Causes of Pneumonia?
Pneumonia is usually caused by contagions that enter through the mouth or nose and travel through the bloodstream to infect the respiratory system. The most common types of pneumonia are caused by bacteria called Streptococcus pneumonia and Haemophilus influenza. some other classes of bacteria can cause pneumonia as well. Sometimes germs are also the cause behind the disease as they start showing early signs of pneumonia and also weaken the immune system of a person and may be fatal even if you were completely fine.
What are the signs and symptoms of Pneumonia?
Early symptoms and signs of pneumonia can be different as per the age, sex and body type but the most common ones are:-
- Chest pain when you inhale oxygen
- Creates Mental confusion
- Cough which can’t be cured by normal. medication and even forms pus
- Fever over 102F or 38°C
- Sweating and Chills
- Low body temperature than normal
- frequent headaches
- Shortness of breathing or feeling like choking
- Restless all-day
- Lack of energy
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Discontinuing eating
- Symptoms of Vertigo
- Heavy cough formation
- Loose motions
When to make an appointment with the doctor?
- If you feel constant pain in your chest.
- Persistent body temperature (more than 38°C).
- Constant heavy cough.
- Difficulty in inhaling.
- Shaking chills.
Who should be prioritized first for doctor visits?
- Infants or children less than 5 years of age.
- People more than 70 years
- People with other illnesses like hypertension, diabetes, and heart disorders.
- Pregnant woman
- People who are taking chemotherapies.
Also Read:- Most Common Child Allergies you Must Know
What tests are used to diagnose Pneumonia?
Pneumonia is a serious infection that can be difficult to diagnose. The signs are often very equivalent to those seen in a cold or influenza, and it can be hard for your doctor to tell if you have pneumonia or not.
Follow this article for a diagnosis of Pneumonia
To diagnose pneumonia, your doctor will ask questions about your medical history, do a physical exam, and run some tests.
Let’s discuss the diagnostic procedures in detail:-
1. Medical history
Here your doctor will ask some questions like
- when your symptoms have started.
- Public Exposures like recent travel history
- Animal contact
- Hospital visit
- Meeting with sick people, etc.
2. Physical examination
Your doctor will interpret pneumonia by listening to the sound of the while inhaling. Your chest will make bubbling and cracking sounds if you have pneumonia.
Just by hiring some rumbling sounds, it is not stated that you are suffering from pneumonia the doctor needs to do certain tests before claiming the diagnosis.
• Blood test:- If is done to check the presence of streptococcus pneumonia bacteria, and Haemophilus influenza in the mainstream.
Pulse oximeter:-In the condition of pneumonia, your oxygen level often decreases as your lungs can’t be competent to circulate enough oxygen in your bloodstream.
Chest x-ray:- Usually done for visual assessment of the lungs.
Sputum test:- You have to give a sample of your mucus or deep cough as it is the only method to know the cause behind the disease.
4. CT scan
Mainly done on older patients for a more clear view of the lungs.
5. Arterial blood test
To have a more clear picture of oxygen levels in your arteries. The process is more accurate than a simple oximeter.
Where a sample of tissue linings of your lungs is needed and a biopsy is done to get the perfect results behind your air sac blockage.
How is pneumonia treated?
Generally, the treatment starts with a course of antibiotics. But you need to complete a full course of antibiotics otherwise there would be a greater chance of the disease coming back stronger than before or you may develop resistance towards the singular medication course which you have left before completion.
Signs that your pneumonia is improving
- When you started getting enough food and water that means you are improving.
- when you started breathing normally.
- when your fever quickly reduces or is stable at 100 F.
- Feel energetic to resume back to your daily activities.
- Getting non-hindrance sleep.
- No more chest congestion.
All the above symptoms prove that your health is getting better.
Pneumonia treatment at home
- first controls the fever by wearing warm clothes and some doses of antibiotics.
- Take enough fluid to avoid dehydration.
- You need to take certain cough relaxants to release the thick mucus summoned inside the chest.
- Take enough rest.
- Avoid taking citrus fruits like orange, strawberry, and pineapple as it increases the cough and worsens the situation.
- Eat hot food to liquefy the cough it became easy for you when you release it from the body.
- Do physical exercise, yoga, and some breathing exercises as well.
- Avoid smoking, consuming tobacco, and other irritants that may additionally harm your lungs.
- Do not take normal medicines for cough, cold and flu. Medication should only be taken after being prescribed by a certified medical practitioner.
Come up with the fact that pneumonia is a common and serious infection that can be fatal and spread easily through the air and into your lungs.
It can be treated with antibiotics if you have a mild case or with strong antibiotics if you have a severe chance. Treatment should begin as soon as possible after symptoms appear, often within 48 hours, and continue for at least 3 weeks after symptoms disappear completely.