Pneumonia involves infection in the lungs. Most cases of infections are either bacterial or viral. In some instances, it can be caused by fungi especially among those who have a weakened immune system.
Remember that the condition is mild or can be serious or anything in between.
The usual indications of the condition include the following:
- Fever, sweating and shivering
- Difficulty breathing
- Appetite loss
- Feeling tired or unwell
Possible causes of pneumonia
Pneumonia is brought about by an infection in the lungs. Most of the infections are triggered by either viruses or bacteria.
- Streptococcus pneumonia (bacteria)
- Influenza virus and respiratory syncytial virus (virus)
- Mycoplasma pneumonia
There are instances in which pneumonia is triggered by fungi. This is common among those who have a poorly functioning immune system such as those who have HIV or those under treatment for cancer.
Some individuals who face the higher risk for acquiring pneumonia or severe disease include the following:
- Infants and young children
- Those who have lung diseases
- Individuals with a weakened immune system or under medications that suppress the immune system
- Individuals with kidney, heart or liver disease
- Those who smoke
If an individual is suspected with pneumonia, it is vital to consult a doctor as soon as possible. If the individual finds it hard to breath, bring him/her to the nearest emergency department.
The main treatment for pneumonia are antibiotics. In mild cases, these medications are taken orally. As for severe cases, they are administered by injection, at least initially. These are given at the first sign of pneumonia even if it is still unclear whether the condition is triggered by a bacterium or a virus.
Adequate rest, increased intake of fluids and paracetamol for fever are also vital. Some individuals might also require physiotherapy to clear up the lungs. Many individuals who have the condition should stay home, but some require treatment in a healthcare facility.
If hospitalized, oxygen therapy or other aggressive forms of treatment are started. Cough medications are not suitable though since it helps eliminate the mucus from the lungs and clears the infection. Additionally, it is vital to stay away from smoke.