Pneumonia is a kind of pulmonary infection caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi. This condition is characterized by the inflammation and swelling of the airways of your lungs, making it difficult to breathe.
Your air sacs can also be filled with mucus, pus, or other fluids that cause heavy coughing. In this article, we’ll look into its symptoms, risk factors, and ways to prevent pneumonia.
Signs and Symptoms of Pneumonia
Some cases of pneumonia are mild, but others are more serious and can be life-threatening. The severity of the illness depends on factors like your age, general health, and what caused the infection.
Some of the early signs of pneumonia are the following:
● Intense coughing
● Difficulty breathing
● High fever or low body temperature
● Chest pains
● Confusion and reduced awareness (older adults)
● Difficulty eating (young children)
Who Is at Risk of Pneumonia?
Pneumonia is the primary infectious cause of death worldwide among children under the age of 5. That is why it is so important to get vaccinated against some of the viruses and bacteria which can cause pneumonia in the first place, and these helpful vaccines include:
● Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
● Pertussis (whooping cough)
● Varicella (chicken pox)
People who have not had those vaccines are at a higher risk of developing pneumonia and other lung conditions. In addition, people who have a high chance of acquiring this disease are the following:
● Children under the age of 5
● Adults aged 65 and above
● Individuals with heart and lung conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease
● People who are frequently exposed to second-hand smoke and toxic chemicals for long periods
● Individuals with a weak immune system due to autoimmune diseases, AIDS, or immune-suppressing medication
● Recipients of an organ transplant
● People who require ventilators to aid their breathing (due to potential exposure to bacteria that can cause pneumonia)
Complications of Pneumonia
Pneumonia can cause several complications:
First, breathing may continuously be painful to the point that you would need a breathing machine or oxygen therapy. It can get worse if you also have another lung disorder.
Second, the bacteria can enter your bloodstream, which may be dangerous because the infection will spread to your organs. If this occurs, you may be required to take antibiotics.
Third, another complication can be pleural effusion, or fluid buildup in your lungs. When the fluid gets infected, you may need surgery to drain it.
Fourth, you may also experience lung abscess, which can happen when pus forms in your lung. To treat this, a doctor would typically prescribe antibiotics, surgery, or drainage through a tube.
These complications can occur even if you are receiving treatment for pneumonia.
Preventing pneumonia is much easier than treating the disease after it is already contracted. In addition to the measures listed above measures that can help you avoid this illness include:
Strengthen Your Immune System
To keep your immune system strong, make sure that you follow a healthy diet while getting proper exercise and sleep. Remember to practice good hygiene as well, and always wash your hands; avoid touching your nose and mouth unless your hands have been washed immediately before.
Avoid Sick People
Viruses can weaken your immune system, so stay away from areas where people may be sick. Also, avoid sharing utensils or objects that can transmit germs.
Seek Treatment Immediately
If you have any of the symptoms listed above for pneumonia, see a doctor right away. Whether you have pneumonia or another type of lung issue, it should be treated immediately by a physician to prevent further repercussions to your health.
Lung Doctors in Weatherford Texas
If you have any concerns regarding pneumonia, pulmonary issues, sleep medicine, or allergies, then look no further than Lung & Sleep Specialists of North Texas. Located in Weatherford, Texas, we have a dedicated team of medical specialists who will help you maintain optimum health.
Each treatment program is geared toward addressing your particular health needs and improving your quality of life. You can contact us by calling (817) 594-9993. We look forward to serving you!