Pneumonia is an illness that frightens many, but with the right knowledge, you can keep yourself safe from it. Today, we’re going to be talking about pneumonia, the causes, the symptoms, and how you can treat it.
Some of the common signs and symptoms of pneumonia are a high fever accompanied by chills, a feeling of sudden physical weakness and feeling generally poorly, coughing with phlegm, shortness of breath, and a racing pulse. You should also know, however, that these don’t always occur at once. Older people or children may show symptoms such as diarrhea, stomach pains, or drowsiness at inopportune times.
Pneumonia is mainly caused by the bacteria pneumococci but can also be caused by other types of bacteria, such as Haemophilus influenzae or Mycoplasma pneumoniae. If you already have an infection in your airways, like the flu, you’re more at risk for pneumonia, as bacteria can grow easier infected airways.
Germs start their passage to the lungs when inhaled by tiny droplets of spit or water, otherwise known as droplet infection. However, that’s not the only way you can become infected. You can also contract the illness because you swallow the wrong way. Accidentally aspirating germs from your mouth and throat can cause bacteria to grow in your airways, leading to pneumonia as well. This is better known as aspiration pneumonia.
Developing pneumonia is incredibly high for those who are babies or over 65 years old. If your immune system has been weakened because of health issues such as diabetes, kidney problems, or cancer, you also are at an increased risk of developing pneumonia. Not only that, but if you have a prior history of lung issues such as asthma or COPD, heart diseases, or a history of smoking, you can also be more susceptible to pneumonia.
If you’ve developed pneumonia, have no fear! There are treatments available to help you. Luckily, because pneumonia is a bacterial infection, treatment is easily accessible with a 5 to 7-day course of antibiotics. This medicine can either be taken as a tablet or in a syrup form. Depending on the severity of pneumonia, however, you may need to stay in the hospital, where you can get the antibiotics in the form of an infusion. If your pneumonia is more severe, you can also be given antibiotics through a steroid injection.