Pneumonia is a lung infection that can be caused by germs, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. You may cough, run a fever, and have hard time breathing. For most people, pneumonia can be treated at home. It often clears up in 2 to 3 weeks. Although different types of pneumonia tend to affect children in different age groups, pneumonia is most commonly caused by viruses.
Pneumonia tends to be more serious than bronchitis. Sometimes bronchitis and pneumonia occur together which is called broncho-pneumonia. You can get pneumonia in your daily life, such as at school or work. You can also get it when you are in a hospital or nursing home.
Causes of Pneumonia
There are different causes of pneumonia:
Once organisms enter the lungs, they usually settle in the air sacs of the lung where they rapidly grow in number. This area of the lung then becomes filled with fluid and pus as the body attempts to fight off the infection.
Risk Factors of Pneumonia
Adults age 65 or older and very young children, whose immune systems aren't fully developed, are at increased risk of pneumonia. There are certain Risk factors of Pneumonia:
Signs & Symptoms of Pneumonia
Symptoms of pneumonia vary, depending on the age of the child and the cause of the pneumonia. Some common symptoms include:
Symptoms caused by viruses are the same as those caused by bacteria. But they may come on slowly and often are not as obvious or as bad.
Diagnosis of Pneumonia
To diagnose pneumonia, the doctor begins with a medical history and physical examination. Doctor may perform several kinds of test. If you are normally well, but then develop recurrent bouts of pneumonia, it may be the first sign of a problem of your lung or immune system. Following tests may be advised if pneumonia recurs for no apparent reason.
Sputum Test: Sputum sample can be collected and examined under the microscope. If the pneumonia is caused by bacteria or fungi, the organisms can often be detected by this examination.
Blood Test: A blood test that measures white blood cell count (WBC) may be performed. An individual's white blood cell count can often give a hint as to the severity of the pneumonia and whether it is caused by bacteria or a virus.
Bronchoscopy is a procedure in which a thin, flexible, lighted viewing tube is inserted into the nose or mouth after a local anesthetic is administered. The breathing passages can then be directly examined by the doctor, and specimens from the infected part of the lung can be obtained.
Sometimes, fluid collects in the pleural space around the lung as a result of the inflammation from pneumonia. This fluid is called a pleural effusion. If the amount of this fluid that develops is large enough, it can be removed by inserting a needle into the chest cavity and withdrawing the fluid with a syringe in a procedure called a thoracentesis.
Preventions of Pneumonia
There are a number of steps you can take to help prevent getting pneumonia.
Treatments of Pneumonia
In most cases, pneumonia can be treated with oral antibiotics given to your child at home. The type of antibiotic used depends on the type of pneumonia.
Sometimes oxygen and other supportive treatments are needed if you have severe pneumonia.
Serious Pneumonia can be life-threatening, go to your doctor right away if you feel symptoms of Pneumonia like chest pain, fever of 102 F or higher along with chills and sweats - or if you suddenly feel worse after a cold or the flu.
Home Treatment of Pneumonia
The effect of Pneumonia can be decreased by using following home remedies: