Pneumonia

It is an inflammation of the air sacs or alveoli in the lungs. Pneumonia is not a single diseases but rather several types of diseases each one occurs due to a different contaminant (bacteria, virus, or fungus). The contaminants reach the lungs through inhalation, blood, or infection near the lungs. When infected, the alveoli may be filled up with fluid.

There are two types of Pneumonia: pneumonia acquired in health institutions (hospital or nursing care institutions), and also community-acquired pneumonia.

The first type is often more severe because the patients already has a another disease, the reason why he got to the hospital in the first place. In this case, the inflammation would aggravate and worsen his condition. The people at high risk for pneumonia are: diabetic patients, alcoholics, patients with heart failure, COPD patients (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases), people with weak immunity (HIV and organ transplant patients) and also smokers.

The development or aggravation of pneumonia in people with chronic lung diseases can indeed worsen their health condition.

Causes for Pneumonia:

  1. Bacteria, viruses, or fungi that we may breathe such as Streptococcus pneumonia, Staphylococcus aureus, Legionella, Hemophilus influenzae, Varicella zoster, Histoplasmosis capsuliti and Coccidiosis imitis.
  2. Bacteria that one may get from hospitalization.
  3. Respiratory Pneumonia that occurs due an entry of a foreign body to the lungs like food, drink or vomit.
  4. Age: The elderly above the age of 65 and also children under the age of 2.
  5. Weak immunity.
  6. Smoking.
  7. Chronic diseases like asthma, pulmonary embolism as well as various heart diseases.
  8. Complications of cold and influenza is a major cause for pneumonia.
  9. Surgery in the abdomen.
  10. Chest injury.
  11. Inhalation of toxic substances.

Symptoms

  1. Cough which may induce phlegm. Phlegm may be yellow, green, brown or blood stained.
  2. Wheezing.
  3. Fever and trembling.
  4. Difficulty breathing is one of the symptoms of Pneumonia.
  5. Chest pain especially when inhaling air or coughing.
  6. Nausea and vomiting.
  7. Tachycardia.
  8. General feeling of tiredness or fatigue.
  9. In the elderly, the symptoms are usually less severe, without high temperature or sputum. However, there might be symptoms of confusion and cognitive disruption.

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