What is Pneumonia?
Pneumonia is a bacterial, viral, or fungal disease that affects either one or both lungs. It is a severe infection in which the airways of your lungs load up with mucus or another substance called alveoli. People with weak immune systems and children are more prone to getting this disease. If your child is symptomatic of pneumonia you should immediately consult the Best Child specialist in Lahore.
Whether it is viral or bacterial pneumonia, the disease is highly contagious. It can transmit from one person to another if a healthy person inhales or comes in contact with droplets released by a sneeze or cough of an infected person.
What Are the Types of Pneumonia?
Below mentioned are three different types of pneumonia:
- Bacterial Pneumonia:
This type of pneumonia is caused by bacteria. You can get bacterial pneumonia if you come in direct contact with an infected person or breathe in the bacteria filled air.
- Viral Pneumonia:
Viral pneumonia is caused by a virus. It causes symptoms similar to flu. You can contract this type of pneumonia by encountering a cold or being exposed to pneumonia-causing virus.
- Fungal Pneumonia:
Fungal pneumonia is a type of pneumonia caused by fungal spores present in air and soil. It causes fever, cough, headache, and chest pain.
What Are the Symptoms of Pneumonia?
Following are some common signs and symptoms of pneumonia:
- Lips and nails become discolored and turn to a bluish tone
- Green, yellowish, or crimson mucus
- Excessive perspiration
- Appetite loss
- Excessive fatigue
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Shortness of breath
What Causes Pneumonia?
Pneumonia occurs when bacteria, virus or fungal spores attack your lungs. As a result, the air sacs of your lungs swell up. This swelling is your immune system’s response to the infection. Later this swelling or inflammation in the air sacs becomes clogged with mucus and fluids that cause pneumonia.
How is Pneumonia Diagnosed?
The Best Child specialist in Islamabad and other healthcare professionals identify pneumonia after doing a comprehensive physical examination. Also, they use these diagnostic procedures to diagnose pneumonia:
- Chest X-ray
- Blood tests
- Pulse Oximetry
- Sputum culture
- Chest CT scan
- Pleural fluid culture
How is Pneumonia Treated?
Treatment options for pneumonia vary according to the type of pneumonia you are suffering from. Some common treatments that physicians suggest after examining a patient’s situation are:
For most pneumonia patients oral medicines are prescribed to treat pneumonia. The type of medication chosen for you will be determined by assessing the underlying cause of your pneumonia. For example:
- Most cases of bacterial pneumonia are treated with oral antibiotics. It is important to take medication according to the prescribed dose for the recommended period of time. Otherwise bacterial pneumonia can reoccur and create serious complications.
- Fungal pneumonia is treated with antifungal medicines. You may need to continue taking medication for some weeks to eliminate the fungal spores from your system completely.
- In addition to treatment medications your doctor will aprescribe over-the-counter medication that will help with your discomfort and fever. Some over the counter medications prescribed to pneumonia patients are: Aspirin, Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen.
If a patient’s condition is not getting better with oral medication, doctors will suggest hospitalization for them. IV antibiotics are given to pneumonia patients who are hospitalised.
Even though home treatments or remedies cannot cure pneumonia completely, they can help in relieving the symptoms of pneumonia. Some home remedies that may be helpful for pneumonia patients are:
- Coughing is a frequent symptom of pneumonia. What you can do to ease a cough is gargle with salt water or drink spearmint tea.
- Fever can be reduced with cool compresses.
- Chills can be alleviated by drinking warm water or hot soup.