Pneumonia is the infection of the lungs due to any pathogen-bacteria, virus or fungi involving the whole of lungs with the alveolar sacs.
The infection causes inflammation in the alveolar sacs and alveoli becomes filled with the fluid and leads to difficulty in the breathing during exhalation.
The pathogen that causes the pneumonia is contagious in nature and can spread from person to person.
Bacterial and viral germs can spread to other person through droplets, sneezing, coughing.
Pneumonia can affects both in adults and children.


Causes of Pneumonia

Different types of pneumonia are present according to the causative organism-bacterial, viral, or fungal.

1. Bacterial pneumonia-the most common cause of this pneumonia is Streptococcus pneumonia, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenza.

2. Viral pneumonia- rhinovirus, respiratory Syncytial virus (RSV).

3. Fungal pneumonia- Cryptococcus species, Histoplasmosis species.

Symptoms of Pneumonia

Pneumonia can causes life threatening symptoms–

  • Fever
  • Night chills
  • Coughing with mucus
  • Chest pain
  • Congestion in the chest
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headache and dizziness
  • Wheezing sounds in children


Types of Pneumonia

Pneumonia can be categorized according to the acquired environment.

1. Hospital acquired pneumonia
2. Aspiration pneumonia
3. Ventilator associated pneumonia
4. Community based pneumonia

Hospital acquired pneumonia

It is the longer hospital stay or working all the time in the hospital. It is more serious because pathogens are more resistant to the antibiotics in that particular environment.

Aspiration pneumonia

It occurs when inhalation of bacteria into the lungs from food, drink or saliva.
This mainly occurs in any neurological problems in swallowing or 
coughing while eating.

Ventilator associated pneumonia 

It occurs when person it attached with the ventilator system.

Community based pneumonia

Community based pneumonia means any environment nearby that is polluted or infected from pathogen.


Diagnosis of pneumonia

Diagnosis can be done by taking symptomatic history of the person if there is presence of wheezing sound, breathing shortness, crackling sounds with coughing for longer duration.

Vitals of the body are very helpful in diagnosis of pneumonia oxygen level, high temperature, respiratory rate or heart rate.

Chest X-ray can confirm a pneumonia diagnosis by showing particular part of the lungs affected.

For further details CT scan can be helpful.

Blood test for detecting type of pathogen that causes the infection in the lungs.

Sputum analysis can also be helpful in detection of the type of organism infected the lungs.

Lastly all these tests does not provides the confirm diagnosis then Bronchoscopy can be done.


Treatment of pneumonia

Treatment of pneumonia depends on the symptoms in the body.

·    Bacterial pneumonia is treated with the help of antibiotics.

·    Fungal pneumonia is treated with the help of antifungal medications and with changes in the diet.

·    Viral pneumonia can be treated with antiviral and drink lots of fluids. Antiviral are useful in influenza flu.

·    Anti-inflammatory medication for the reduction of the fever, cough, pains and aches.

·    Proper rest to taken along with the healthy diet. Plenty of fluids to be taken.

Risk factors of pneumonia

Ø  Most common categories get infected through pneumonia are-

  • Children under 5 years and elderly people above 65 years.
  • Chain smoker, consume large alcohol or both are more prone for the infection of the pneumonia.
  • Other diseases of kidney failure, liver diseases, cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • Immunological disorders such as HIV infection, AIDS, cancer have the more chances to get easily infected from the pneumonia infection.
  • Malnutrition also the important risk factor which causes the poor immunity level in the body leading to infection very easily.
  • Occupational lung diseases are more prone for the pneumonia infection.

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