What is “Pneumonia disease”?
Last Update: February 23, 2022
Medically reviewed by Alexandra E Brown, MD
| Signs and Symptoms | Causes | Complications | Risk Factors | Treatment | Prevention |
A disease called “Pneumonia disease” causes the air sacs in one or both lungs to become inflamed. The air sacs may swell with fluid or pus (purulent material), causing breathing problems, a fever, chills, and a cough that releases pus or phlegm. Pneumonia disease can be caused by a number of different species, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
The frequency of pneumonia disease can range from minor to life-threatening. The most vulnerable populations are infants and young children, seniors, people with health issues, and people with weakened immune systems.
1. Signs and Symptoms of pneumonia disease:
Pneumonia disease can present with mild to severe signs and symptoms, depending on the type of germ that caused the disease, your age, and general health. Mild signs and symptoms frequently resemble cold or flu symptoms, but they last longer.
Pneumonia symptoms and signs might include:
- Chest pain when you breathe or cough
- Confusion or changes in mental awareness
- Cough, which may produce phlegm
- Fever, sweating, and shaking chills
- Lower than normal body temperature
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Shortness of breath
Infants and newborns may not show any symptoms of the infection. Or they might vomit, have a fever and cough, seem agitated or exhausted and lacking in energy, have trouble breathing, or have trouble eating.
2. When going Doctor for a checkup:
If you experience breathing difficulties, chest pain, a prolonged temperature of 102 F (39 C) or higher, or a chronic cough, particularly one that produces pus, see a doctor.
It’s crucial that those who fall into these high-risk categories visit a doctor:
- Adults who are above 65
- Children under the age of two who exhibit certain symptoms
- Anyone with underlying health issues or weak immune systems
- Those undergoing chemotherapy or taking immunosuppressive drugs
Pneumonia disease can swiftly turn into a life-threatening condition for some older adults, people with heart failure, and those with chronic lung problems.
3. Causes of pneumonia Disease:
Different germs can cause pneumonia disease. Bacteria and viruses are most common in the air we breathe. Usually, your body saves you from harmful bacteria effects on your lungs. But even if your health is normally strong, these viruses frequently have the capacity to overwhelm your immune system.
According to the types of germs that cause illness and how you developed the infection. There are several varieties of Pneumonia disease.
The more typical type of pneumonia disease is community-acquired pneumonia. It takes place outside of hospitals and other medical facilities. It might result from:
- Bacteria: Streptococcus pneumonia disease is the most frequent type of disease that causes bacterial pneumonia disease in the USA This kind of pneumonia can develop independently or following a cold or the flu. One lobe of the lung can only be affected by lobar pneumonia.
- Organisms as Bacteria: Pneumonia can also be caused by Mycoplasma pneumonia. It frequently results in fewer serious symptoms than other types of pneumonia. This sort of pneumonia, which often isn’t significant enough to need bed rest, is known informally as “walking pneumonia.”
- Fungi: People with weak immune systems or chronic health conditions are more likely to get this type of pneumonia, as are those who have breathed high numbers of the microorganisms. Depending on the region, the fungus that causes it can be present in soil or bird droppings.
- Viruses like Coronavirus: Pneumonia disease can be brought on by several of the viruses that cause colds and the flu. The most frequent cause of pneumonia in children under the age of five is viruses. Normal viral pneumonia is not severe. But occasionally, it can get really bad. Pneumonia from the 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19) may develop into a serious case.
3.1. Hospital-acquired pneumonia:
Some patients who are in the hospital for another sickness also develop pneumonia disease. Because the individuals who contract it are already ill and because the bacteria that cause it may be more resistant to treatments, hospital-acquired pneumonia can be serious. Patients who use ventilators, which are widespread in urgent care units, are more likely to develop this type of pneumonia.
3.2. Healthcare-acquired pneumonia:
A bacterial infection known as “healthcare-acquired pneumonia” affects patients receiving care in outpatient clinics, such as kidney dialysis facilities, or who reside in long-term care homes. Healthcare-acquired pneumonia disease can also be brought on by germs that are more resistant to antibiotics than hospital-acquired pneumonia.
3.3. Aspiration pneumonia:
When you breathe food, drink, vomit, or saliva into your lungs, aspiration pneumonia happens. If something interferes with your natural gags response, such as a brain injury, swallowing issues, or heavy alcohol or drug usage, aspiration is more likely to occur.
Even with therapy, complications from pneumonia disease can arise for certain people, particularly for those in high-risk categories:
- Bacterial infection: When bacteria from your lungs enter your bloodstream, they can infect other organs and perhaps lead to organ failure.
- Difficult Breathing: You can find it difficult to breathe in enough oxygen if your pneumonia is severe or if you have underlying chronic lung conditions. While your lung heals, you might need to be admitted and utilize a ventilator.
- Pleural effusion: Pneumonia disease can cause a fluid obstruction in the tiny space between the tissue layers that line the lungs and chest cavity. You might need to have the fluid removed surgically or through a chest tube if it develops infected.
- Lung Abscess: If pus accumulates in a lung cavity, an abscess develops. Antibiotics are generally used in the treatment of abscesses. The pus may occasionally need to be removed through surgery or evacuation using a long needle or tube inserted into the abscess.
5. Risk Factors:
Anyone can suffer from pneumonia disease. However, there are two age groups that more at risk are:
- Mostly Children who are 2 years old or younger
- People who are 65 or more years older
Some risk factors of Pneumonia:
- Being Hospitalized: In a hospital or intensive care unit, you have a higher risk of developing pneumonia disease. Especially, if you depend on a breathing machine (a ventilator) is riskier.
- Chronic Disease: If you have asthma, heart disease, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), you are more probable to get pneumonia.
- Smoking: The natural protections your body has against viruses and bacteria that cause pneumonia are harmed by smoking.
- Have a weak Immune System: People who have HIV/AIDS, have undergone organ transplantation, are using long-term steroids, or have received chemotherapy are at risk.
6. Treatment of Pneumonia:
Rest, medications (if a bacterial infection is likely the cause), and plenty of water can usually treat mild pneumonia disease at home. More serious situations might require hospital care.
Even if you feel better, you should always finish an antibiotic treatment unless a medical practitioner instructs you differently.
The bacteria may develop antibiotic resistance if you stop taking an antibiotic mid-course.
Your symptoms should gradually go better when you start medication.
The degree of your pneumonia will determine how quickly they get better.
There are some possible ways to prevent Pneumonia disease:
Vaccination: There are vaccines available to protect against some strains of the flu and pneumonia. You should discuss having these shots with your doctor. Even if you are aware that you have previously had a pneumococcal vaccine, the immunization recommendations have changed over time, therefore it is important to discuss your vaccination status with your doctor.
Confirm children get Vaccination: For children under the age of 2 and for those between the ages of 2 and 5 who are particularly at risk for pneumococcal disease, doctors advise a separate pneumonia vaccine. Children who participate in a group daycare center also require vaccination. Children more than six months aged are also recommending getting flu vaccines.
Practice good hygiene: Regular hand washing or the use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer will help you prevent respiratory infections, which can occasionally develop into pneumonia disease.
Stop Smoking: The natural defenses of your lungs fighting respiratory infections are harmed by smoking.
Keep your immune system strong: Get adequate sleep, exercise frequently, and eat a healthy diet to maintain a powerful immune system.