Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Pneumonia

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What is pneumonia?

Pneumonia is an inflammation of lungs. There are 50 lung inflammatory diseases. Pneumonia is caused by pneumonic inflammation of the lungs which is caused due to collection of blood cells and cellular wastes within the air sacs in the lungs.pneumonia

Causes of pneumonia

Pneumonia is basically caused by infections and the culprits which are responsible for causing infections include fungi or protozoa, bacteria, rickettsia and mycoplasma.Respiratory infections that are caused by adenoviruses, influenza virus and rhinoviruses can also lead to pneumonia. There are many cases of viral pneumonia which are mild and can resolve within a week’s time.

Pneumonia symptoms

Symptoms of pneumonia which are caused by bacteria appear more quickly than pneumonia caused by virus. Small children and elderly persons may have mild symptoms. Symptoms usually begin with cold and flu accompanied by high fever, chill and cough with sputum. Depending on the underlying conditions, symptoms may vary. Common symptoms include:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Breath shortness
  • Chills
  • Pleuritic pain
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Dusky skin color due to poorly oxygenated blood
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Green or rusty sputum from lungs

How long does pneumonia last?

Most pneumonias are contagious. The length of pneumonia mainly depends on the specific organism which is responsible to cause pneumonia. Pneumonias commonly last for two to three weeks.

Treatment for pneumonia

Mostly patients ask doctors that how long does it take to cure pneumonia. It all depends on how contagious pneumonia is treated, types of pneumonia and the severity of symptoms. Bacterial pneumonia is treated with antibiotics while viral pneumonia is treated with plenty of fluids and rest. Fungal pneumonias are treated with antifungal medications.

Over-the-counter medications are also prescribed to manage pneumonia symptoms which include treatment for reducing fever, pain and suppressing cough. If symptoms are bad, hospitalization may be required where the patients are treated with intravenous antibiotics.

How can pneumonia be prevented?

In fact there are several ways to prevent pneumonia. There are two vaccines available to prevent pneumococcal disease: pneumococcal conjugate vaccine and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine but pneumonia vaccine may not completely prevent adults from getting pneumonia rather it can reduce the severity for a future pneumonia.

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