Pneumonia is a health condition where the lungs or one of the lungs get infected. The infection causes the inflammation of air sacs. The sacs get filled with fluid or pus which makes it difficult to breathe. The infection can be caused by bacteria, fungus, virus, etc.
The Pneumonia symptoms can vary from patient to patient depending on the intensity of the attack. The Pneumonia symptoms can be a cough, cough with phlegm, difficulty in breathing, chest pain, sweating, chills, fever, etc. The Pneumonia symptoms differ depending on the age of the patient and the type of pneumonia.
Let us look at the classification of pneumonia based on the germs that cause the infection.
Pneumonia symptoms caused by bacteria: The bacteria called Streptococcus pneumonia can cause the Pneumonia. The other kinds of bacteria such as Chlamydophila pneumonia and Legionella pneumophila can also cause bacterial pneumonia.
Pneumonia symptoms caused by the virus: Pneumonia caused by viruses is less dangerous than bacterial pneumonia. Viral pneumonia usually affects children and older people as the lungs are weaker when compared with the younger and middle-aged people.
Pneumonia symptoms caused by Mycoplasma: Pneumonia caused by Mycoplasma is less severe when compared to pneumonia caused by bacteria and virus. The adults and children above 12 years get infected with this kind of pneumonia.
Pneumonia symptoms caused by the fungus: People with weak immune system get infected with this type of pneumonia where the fungi from the soil, bird droppings or any other source can cause the infection.
Let us look the classification of Pneumonia based on the place where it was acquired:
- A person can get infected with bacteria during his/her stay in the hospital. This infection is dangerous as the bacteria would have become resistant to all kinds of medicine.
- A person can get infected with Pneumonia in an environment other than the hospitals which make it less dangerous comparatively.
Pneumonia can be classified based on how and from where the infection occurs:
- Pneumonia can occur when the bacteria enters into the lungs through food, drink, or saliva, etc.
- A person can also get infected with Pneumonia when the patient is on the ventilator.
Methods used to diagnose Pneumonia:
Anyone can get infected with Pneumonia and especially children and old aged people are at risk as they can get easily infected. Individuals who have experienced a heart attack, those with weak immune system, or those suffering from cancer can easily get infected with Pneumonia.
Let us look at some of the methods used to diagnose Pneumonia:
- A blood test can be used to diagnose the Pneumonia, but it is not possible to find the source of infection through this test.
- If the origin of the infection has to be known, then a sputum test can be done. The content of the lung is tested in this test to know the source of the infection.
- A urine test can also help in finding the presence of particular kind of bacteria which causes Pneumonia.
- The diagnosis can also be done by taking a CT scan which gives a clear picture of the lungs.
- The test done on the fluid sample can also reveal the cause of the infection.
Treatments for Pneumonia
The treatment for Pneumonia depends up on the severity of infection and whether it is caused by bacteria, fungus or virus.
The infection caused by bacteria can be reduced by taking antibiotics. Some medicines such as Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, etc. can be used to reduce the infection.
The prescribed medicines by doctors have to be used in case of Pneumonia. The doctors may also prescribe anti fungal or anti viral medicines in case the infection is caused by a fungal or viral attack.
Usually, over the counter medicines are prescribed to reduce the infection caused by Pneumonia. In some severe cases, the patient needs to get hospitalized to reduce the infection. Antibiotics are directly induced into the veins which will reduce the infection. In some cases, procedures are used to find the oxygen levels in the blood and oxygen is supplied to the patient if the oxygen levels are low in the blood.
Recovering from Pneumonia
Recovering from Pneumonia can take several weeks if the infection is severe. However, if the severity of infection is not severe, it can take a few days to recover. Taking rest and proper medication helps in reducing the infection.
The infection may be severe at times causing the formation of pus in cavities of lungs; Pneumonia can affect the patient in several ways such as shortness of breath, the formation of pus, lack of oxygen in the blood, etc. The patient can sometimes die due to Pneumonia if the infection is severe.
Preventive steps for Pneumonia
Preventive vaccines are available for Pneumonia which can help in preventing Pneumonia caused by some kinds of bacteria. Flu shots are also used to prevent Pneumonia. Prevnar 13 is one vaccine which helps in preventing Pneumonia caused by 13 types of bacteria. Pneumovax 13 is another preventive vaccine for Pneumonia which can prevent the infection caused by 13 kinds of bacteria. Pneumovax 23 is another vaccine which can prevent infection from 23 types of bacteria.