Pneumonia-Causes,Symptoms and Treatment

What is pneumonia and how do you get it? Is this question lurking in your mind right now? Well, with every breath you take, there is always the risk of disease-causing agents entering your body. While the human body has its own mechanism of dealing with such situations, there are times, when our body is not able to fight these disease-causing bacteria, viruses or other such pathogens. When these pathogens enter our lungs and start multiplying, there is a great possibility of our lungs getting infected. Pneumonia is one such respiratory condition that occurs when the lungs are exposed to pathogens. Whenever these disease-causing agents enter our body, the body's immune system gets activated. As an immune response, white blood cells are sent to the site of infection, which, in this case, are the air sacs present in the lungs. Normally lungs are filled with air, but this infection causes a buildup of fluid and pus, which in turn, gives rise to breathing problems and various distressing symptoms. Now you have a basic idea on what is pneumonia, let's find out how does one contract this infection and how it affects your lungs.

Causes of Pneumonia

As mentioned earlier, pneumonia is a lung infection that is caused by environmental toxins, bacteria, viruses or fungi. Wondering how does one get pneumonia?
Well, several pathogens are present in our surroundings. In fact, certain types of bacteria are present on the human body itself. Streptococcus pneumoniae is one such bacteria that can be found at the back of the nose and at times, might make a way into the lungs and cause pneumonia. If one's immune system is weakened due to other illnesses, the ability to fight such infections is deeply impacted. There is another aspect that must be mentioned. Many a time, staying close to an infected person might make one susceptible as well. All forms of pneumonia are not contagious, but at times, these pathogens might be inhaled in through respiratory secretions. This occurs when you are close to an infected person when he/she coughs or sneezes. 

Sharing clothing or any other personal belonging of the infected person will also put one at an increased risk of developing this respiratory condition. This is more likely to occur in case of people with a weakened immune system. Influenza A and B, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), herpes simplex, varicella zoster virus, adenoviruses or parainfluenza viruses are some of the viruses that can cause pneumonia. Many a time, cold or flu might also develop into pneumonia. Some of these viruses or bacteria might be community-acquired while some might be hospital-acquired. So, take precautions if you ever visit a hospital. Pneumonia can be life-threatening in case of people diagnosed with serious medical conditions. This is why signs and symptoms of pneumonia must never be ignored.

Symptoms and Treatment of Pneumonia

Now that you have a basic idea on what is pneumonia and how do you get it, let's move on to the symptoms and treatment of pneumonia. As mentioned earlier, cold or flu might worsen and develop into pneumonia. At this time, pneumonia symptoms might start appearing. Shallow breathing, chills, cough, sweating, headache, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, fatigue or malaise are some of the common pneumonia symptoms. Generally chest X-rays, sputum analysis and blood tests are done so as to formulate a diagnosis. Doctors can chalk out a pneumonia treatment plan once they have identified the causal organism. If a bacterial lung infection is responsible for causing pneumonia, then pneumonia treatment will involve the use of antibiotics. Rest coupled with the use of antibiotics will certainly prove beneficial. 

One must also stay well-hydrated at all times. If accumulation of fluid in lungs is causing severe breathing problems, oxygen therapy might be required. Various strains of bacteria have become immune to antibiotics, so, taking preventive measures such as immunization with pneumonia vaccine will provide protection against this respiratory disease. If one is suffering from viral pneumonia, use of anti-viral drugs might be recommended. Since cold and flu viruses can cause this condition, taking flu shots will also prove beneficial. Since pneumonia can prove dangerous for elderly, adults must take pneumonia shots, especially during the flu season. Certain anti-flu drugs such as amantadine, oseltamivir, rimantadine or zanamivir might be prescribed. 

This was some information on what is pneumonia and how do you get it. Since the pathogens responsible for causing this illness can spread to others through person-to-person contact, one must take all possible steps to avoid contact with an infected person. Administration of pneumonia shots is one of the precautionary measures that will prove beneficial. Smoking can also make one prone to respiratory illnesses, thus, quitting smoking would be in one's interest.


sai krupa said...

The post which you had shared on the Pneumonia is reliable in getting the detailed idea on it along with its treatment, Thanks for sharing with us.

james mathew said...

If pneumonia is diagnosed in person that it becomes important to intake good amount of fluid to recover the loss of water from body and follow the prescribed medication.
Contagious Pneumonia

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