Pneumonia is a lung infection that can be life-threatening if not treated quickly and effectively. It causes breathing difficulties as the lungs fill with fluid and an accompanying cough that produces phlegm. The infection itself can cause further complications, such as pleural effusions, respiratory failure, renal failure, sepsis, and septic shock.
Approximately 1 million adults in the US seek medical care for pneumonia every year, and 50,000 individuals die from the disease. Young children, the elderly, and immunocompromised individuals are at greater risk of contracting the disease.
If you are experiencing symptoms of pneumonia, it is important to seek medical help immediately. A diagnosis is the first step in receiving treatment for the condition. Do not wait for your symptoms to worsen. Pneumonia is an infection that requires immediate, comprehensive medical treatment.
The diagnostic procedure for pneumonia generally starts with the doctor asking you about your symptoms and reviewing your medical history. Then, they will conduct a physical exam and use a stethoscope to listen to your breathing. A hallmark symptom of pneumonia is a distinct crackling or bubbling sound produced by the patient when breathing.
Further tests will be requested if the doctor detects abnormalities. A blood test can confirm the presence of an infection as well as the type of bacteria, virus, or fungi that caused the infection. A chest X-ray is also the standard diagnostic imaging test used in diagnosing pneumonia. The images can reveal the location and severity of the infection. Additionally, a pulse oximetry test will check for low oxygen levels in your blood, which is another sign of pneumonia. A sample of your mucus may also be taken via a sputum test to check for the source of the infection.
Depending on a couple of factors, such as age and overall health condition, your doctor may request further testing, especially if earlier diagnostic procedures do not produce clear results, to test the efficiency of treatment, or if the treatment fails to produce the desired results. Additional diagnostic tests include a CT scan, an arterial blood gas test, a pleural fluid culture, and a bronchoscopy.
The results of the diagnostic tests will depend on the type of pneumonia you have. Bacterial, viral, and fungal pneumonia cases are treated differently. Other considerations include your overall health or whether you are receiving treatment for other health conditions. Young children, the elderly, and individuals with compromised immune systems may need hospitalization or close and frequent medical supervision until they recover completely.
Lung Specialists in Weatherford, TX
At Lung & Sleep Specialists of North Texas, we provide breathing tests for a wide range of pulmonary conditions, including pneumonia. We believe in the critical importance of an accurate diagnosis, which is why our evaluation of your lung health will be thorough. We recommend the most comprehensive solution for your pulmonary problem that includes integrative therapies that help restore your lungs to optimal health.
We proudly serve the community of Parker County, Tarrant County, and the surrounding areas. If you have questions about our services or if you wish to schedule an appointment, call the Lung & Sleep Specialists clinic at (817) 594-9993 or fill out our online request form.