4 Pneumonia Facts You Need to Know

Classified as an acute respiratory infection of the lungs, pneumonia is a serious condition that deserves proper understanding. Unfortunately, most people don’t think much about this infection until they or someone they love is diagnosed with it.


With this guide and your doctor's help, you will learn a few key facts about pneumonia.

Classified as an acute respiratory infection of the lungs, pneumonia is a serious condition that deserves proper understanding. Unfortunately, most people don’t think much about this infection until they or someone they love is diagnosed with it.


With this guide and your doctor's help, you will learn a few key facts about pneumonia.


1. Pneumonia Is Common


Most people do not care to learn about pneumonia because they do not feel they will ever develop it. In reality, pneumonia is more common than most people think.


Pneumonia affects millions of people in the United States each year. From babies and children to teens to adults and elderly patients, pneumonia does not discriminate against age or gender — anyone can develop pneumonia.


2. Pneumonia Spreads in Numerous Ways

Another interesting fact is that pneumonia can spread in a few different ways because it is caused by different infectious agents. You may contract pneumonia through a virus or bacteria. In some cases, a pneumonia infection may stem from a fungus.


Most viral or bacterial cases of pneumonia spread through inhalation. For instance, you may inhale the pneumonia virus or bacteria from airborne droplets that were released from an infected person's cough or sneeze.


If you are already sick, the virus or bacteria living in your throat or nose can spread to your lungs. This leads to pneumonia, as well. Therefore, you will have a higher risk of developing pneumonia if you are already sick with a cold, sinus infection, or the flu.


3. Pneumonia Is Uncomfortable

Again, pneumonia is an infection in the lungs. This infection causes inflammation of the air sacs. In some cases, the air sacs will fill up with fluid that leads to pressure and discomfort.


Each person is different, so you may experience different symptoms from another patient with pneumonia. However, pneumonia causes a good amount of discomfort.


The inflammation and fluid that builds up in the lung's air sacs cause chest tightness and pressure. Most patients struggle to breathe because of the inflammation and pressure.


Taking deep breaths or even talking can be challenging. Some patients experience a sharp stabbing sensation in the chest that only worsens when taking deep breaths.


Patients with pneumonia will most likely cough up green or yellow mucus. More severe cases of pneumonia cause inflammation that damages the lungs, air sacs, and airways. These patients may cough up bloody mucus.


Fever, chills, dizziness, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue are also uncomfortable side effects of pneumonia. Older patients tend to experience confusion.


4. Pneumonia Can Be Deadly

If you believe you or a family member has pneumonia, visit a doctor immediately because the infection can be deadly if you are part of a higher risk group of patients. On average, 50,000 people die from pneumonia each year in the U.S.


For example, patients 65 years of age and older, children under 5 years old, and individuals who have a weakened immune system from another type of illness or disorder would be classified as high-risk.


Fortunately, many treatment options are available to not only cure the infection but also to heal the lungs and prevent further complications.


Antibiotics are most commonly used to treat the underlying infection. Cough medications may also be prescribed to decrease the need to cough, which can reduce inflammation in the lungs and airways.


Ibuprofen or aspirin can help manage your fever.


If you are experiencing severe breathing difficulty and chest discomfort or you are classified as a high-risk patient, hospitalization will be recommended. An IV antibiotic will be used to treat the infection. A breathing machine, or ventilator, may be necessary to improve your breathing capabilities.


For more information on diagnosing or treating pneumonia, contact MyHealth Urgent Care today.

0 0
Feed