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MAIN Arrow to Health Health Arrow to Pneumonia Pneumonia

man coughing from pneumonia symptomsPneumonia is an infection of the lungs. It can affect anyone at any time, and often follows a cold or flu.

It is more likely to occur in infants, young children, the elderly or those with an impaired or weakened immune system and can be deadly if not treated.

Pneumonia can affect just one lung or both. When pneumonia is referred to as lobar pneumonia it means that a section or lobe of a lung has been infected.

Bronchial pneumonia affects patches in both lungs. There are several causes of pneumonia, and the symptoms may range from mild to severe.

Bacteria is the most common cause of pneumonia, followed by viruses that are responsible for the flu and the common cold. Fungal infections can also lead to pneumonia, although these are more commonly seen in those with an impaired immune system.


also see in Health:

Cold symptoms - sneezing, coughing, runny nose

common cold

Natural flu remedies


Pneumonia symptoms & diagnosis

The symptoms of pneumonia may vary depending upon the type and severity of the infection. Symptoms typically include fever, headache, cough, chills, shortness of breath, chest pain especially upon taking a deep breath, fatigue and wheezing.

People who have pneumonia may not seek immediate medical care because they often assume that they just have the flu and will be fine in a few days.

The term "walking pneumonia" refers people who continue to function as if it were a bad cold, only to seek medical attention when the condition worsens.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination, chest x-ray, blood and other tests.

Physicians often suspect pneumonia when they listen to the lungs through a stethoscope and can hear a crackling sound in the lungs. Tests are usually ordered thereafter to confirm the presence of pneumonia.


Treating pneumonia

Treatment for pneumonia depends on the type and severity of the condition. Pneumonia can usually be treated at home but in some cases hospitalization may be required. Bacterial pneumonia is treated with antibiotics. Pneumonia caused by a virus may be treated with an antiviral medication. Medications can also be taken for fever and pain relief. With proper treatment and care, pneumonia begins to resolve within a few days to a week given the patient is given adequate fluids and plenty of bed rest.


More about pneumonia around the Web:

Pneumonia - Merck Manual - Facts & information on causes, symptoms and treatment, with focus on how pneumonia is acquired in the hospital and within the community and by those with compromised immune systems.

Pneumonia - KidsHealth.org - Parent guide to symptoms and treatment, when to call a doctor, discussions on pneumonia vaccines for chronic lung or asthma conditions, and related feature articles and resources to more information.

Pneumonia - Alternative treatments for pneumonia - Discussion on how to treat symptoms and strengthen the immune system with nutritional and herbal supplements.


This information is intended as reference and not as medical advice.
All treatment decisions should be made by medical professionals.

 

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