Pneumonia is an infection caused by bacteria, viruses, and fungi in one or both lungs. Scroll down to know more about pneumonia.
Is pneumonia contagious?
Yes, pneumonia can be contagious as the germs that caused it, can spread from person to person. It can spread to others droplets from sneeze or cough. Contact with contaminated surfaces or objects can also spread pneumonia.
Symptoms of pneumonia
- coughing that may produce phlegm (mucus)
- sweating or chills
- shortness of breath that happens while doing normal activities or even while resting
- chest pain that’s worse when you breathe or cough
- feelings of tiredness or fatigue
- loss of appetite
- nausea or vomiting
Causes of pneumonia
There are many types of infectious agents.
- Streptococcus pneumoniae
- Mycoplasma pneumoniae
- Haemophilus influenzae
- Legionella pneumophila
- influenza (flu)
- respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
- rhinoviruses (common cold)
- Pneumocystis jirovecii
- Cryptococcus species
- Histoplasmosis species
Pneumonia treatment depends on several factors such as its type, severity, and your general health.
Depend on your type of pneumonia, doctor may prescribe a medication. Oral antibiotics can be prescribed for bacterial pneumonia while antiviral will help to treat viruses.
These may include your doctor may advice you to take rest at home and recommend some over-the-counter (OTC) medication to relieve fever and pain:
- ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
- acetaminophen (Tylenol)
Hospital treatment may include If pneumonia is very severe then you may need to hospitalize and may follow several treatments:
- intravenous antibiotics
- respiratory therapy
- oxygen therapy
Pneumonia risk factors
Certain groups have a higher risk in pneumonia. These groups include:
- infants from birth to 2 years old
- people ages 65 years and older
- people with weak immune system
- people with certain chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, or heart failure
- people who’ve recently had a respiratory infection, such as a cold or the flu
- people who’ve been recently or are currently hospitalized, particularly if they were or are on a ventilator
- people who’ve had a stroke, have problems swallowing, or have a condition that causes immobility
- people who smoke, use certain types of drugs, or drink excessive amounts of alcohol
- people who’ve been exposed to lung irritants, such as pollution, fumes, and certain chemicals
In many cases, pneumonia can be prevented.
The best and first defence against pneumonia are vaccines. There are several vaccines to prevent pneumonia, such as Prevnar 13 and Pneumovax 23, Flu vaccine, Hib vaccine
To diagnose the pneumonia doctor may start with knowing your medical history. Then they will take your physical exam with the help of stethoscope. Doctor may take several tests depending upon your symptoms and complications:
- Chest X-ray
- Blood culture
- Sputum culture
- Pulse oximetry
- CT scan
Although home remedies do not work much to treat pneumonia but you can use them to ease the symptoms. Cough is the most common symptom, you can relieve cough by taking gargling salt water or drinking peppermint tea. OTC medicines help to relieve the fever. However, you should not be completely depended on these remedies. It’s important to complete your treatment plan.
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- H.E Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari | Minister of MOPH Qatar
Source : https://www.healthline.com/health/pneumonia