Pneumonia is a common respiratory infection in Avery Ranch which affects the alveoli, or air sacs in the lungs, making them fill with fluid or pus. The condition can either affect one lung or both lungs. Different people get varying severity of pneumonia with some only having mild infections that can be treated at home with oral medications. However, if you have severe pneumonia, you may have to be admitted to the hospital and put on some intravenous medications.
When you present with symptoms of pneumonia-like cough and fever, the doctor will take a thorough medical history to rule out other causes of these symptoms. The doctor from Urgent and Family Care at Avery Ranch will then do a physical examination of your respiratory system and other body systems to check how they are affected. To confirm the diagnosis, the doctor may order some imaging tests like a chest X-ray, which will check for typical signs of pneumonia. Treatment will then be personalized.
What Are the Symptoms of Pneumonia?
The symptoms of pneumonia can either be mild or severe. The mild symptoms of pneumonia mimic those of the common cold, like a cough, but the difference is the duration. The symptoms of pneumonia persist for longer than a week, unlike those of flu. The symptoms of pneumonia include having chest pain as you cough or when you are breathing in and out, wet cough, fever and chills, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Adults who are older than 65 years or those with weak immunity can experience some atypical symptoms like confusion, and low body temperatures. You need to seek immediate medical attention when you experience persistent chest pain and fever or when you get shortness of breath. The risk of getting severe pneumonia is high for children who are younger than 2 years, adults who are older than 65, people with underlying medical conditions like cancer, and those with weak immunity.
What Causes Pneumonia?
Pneumonia can be caused by different microorganisms that can be bacterial, viral, or fungal. Some of the bacteria that cause pneumonia include streptococcus pneumonia that causes lobar pneumonia. Viruses are the most common causes of pneumonia in children who are less than five years, and they mostly cause mild pneumonia.
Fungal pneumonia mostly affects people who have a weak immune system, like those who are on chemotherapy or have HIV. The risk factors of pneumonia include being below 2 years old or above 65 years, smoking, having chronic diseases, and being admitted to the hospital.
What Are the Types of Pneumonia?
There are different types of pneumonia. These include hospital-acquired pneumonia that affects people who have been admitted to the hospital, especially at the intensive care unit where they can get in contact with microorganisms in the breathing machines.
Aspiration pneumonia is another type of pneumonia that occurs when food, saliva, or vomit gets inside the lungs, especially in people with swallowing difficulties, brain damage, or alcohol and drug intoxication. Community-acquired pneumonia is one that you get outside the hospital setting.
In summary, pneumonia is an infection of the air sacs inside the lungs where they fill with fluid or pus. The symptoms of pneumonia include cough, fever and chills, chest pain, shortness of breath, and fatigue. The risk factors of pneumonia include being younger than 2 years or older than 65 years, having a chronic disease, and having a weak immune system. Seek medical attention when you develop the symptoms of pneumonia to avoid complications.