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Respiratory System

How do you know if you have pneumonia?

If you have pneumonia, you will have the following common signs and symptoms :

  • Coughing possibly production of sputum. In bacterial infection, the sputum is red-brown, yellow, and green whereas in viral and mycoplasma pneumonia the sputum is a thin whitish color.
  • Sweating
  • Fever and shivering chills.
  • Chest pain that gets worse by deep breathing and coughing which is also known as Pleuritic pain
  • Muscle pain and weakness
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Tachypnea, dyspnea
  • Increased breathing rate
  • Chest indrawing
  • Crepitation or wheeze sound heard
  • Diarrhea, Nausea, or Vomiting
  • Cyanosis.
  • Confusion, convulsion, or coma.

What is pneumonia?

how do you know if you have pneumonia?

Pneumonia is the infection of lung parenchyma. It is an inflammation of the lung parenchyma.

It is caused by microorganisms which include bacteria, mycobacteria, viruses, and fungi.

  • Incidence of pneumonia among :
  • Children younger than 5 years is 35-40 per 1000
  • Adolescents of age 12-15 years – 7 per 1000

The mortality of pneumonia in developed countries is 1 per 1000.

What is the classification of pneumonia?

1) Aetiological classification :


a) Bacterial pneumonia:

  • Pneumococcus, streptococcus, staphylococcus, klebsiella, H. influenza, etc.


b) Viral pneumonia:

  • Influenza and parainfluenza virus, rhinovirus, adenovirus, etc.


c) Mycoplasma:

  • It is another cause of pneumonia.
  • These organisms contain traits of both bacteria and viruses but don’t belong to either of the categories.
  • Pneumonia caused by mycoplasma is not usually severe.


d) Allergic pneumonia:

  • This type of pneumonia is due to allergens such as hot, colds, dust, etc.


e) Aspirated pneumonia:

  • It is due to the aspiration of food from the stomach to lung.


f) Chemical pneumonia:

  • It is due to exposure to petroleum products.


g) Fungal pneumonia:

  • It is caused by fungi from soil or bird droppings

2) Anatomical classification:


a) Lobar pneumonia:

  • It involves a single lobe.


b) Lobular pneumonia:

  • It involves more than one lobe.


3) Pathological classification:


a) Lobar pneumonia:

  • In this pneumonia, only lobes are involved.


b) Bronchopneumonia:

  • Bronchioles and alveoli are involved.


c) Interstitial pneumonia:

  • Interstitial tissue are involved in interstitial pneumonia


d) Military pneumonia:

  • Blood vessels and lymphatic are involved.


4) Radiological classification


a) Upper zone: right and left
b) Middle zone: only right
c) Lower zone: right and left


5) Classification on the basis of Location :


a) Community-acquired pneumonia:

  • Community-acquired pneumonia is acquired in social surroundings and does not involves hospitals and health care facilities.

b) Hospital-acquired pneumonia:

  • This refers to bacterial pneumonia that is acquired during a hospital stay.
  • Hospital-acquired pneumonia is more serious as the patient has other medical conditions.


c) Ventilator acquired pneumonia:

  • This is a type of pneumonia that is acquired by a person when he is in a ventilator

What is the pathophysiology of pneumonia?

  1. Exposure to the causative agent.
  2. Causative agent goes to the bronchioles and alveoli of the lungs
  3. Induces an intense inflammatory and immune response
  4. The influx of neutrophils and macrophages in the lung parenchyma
  5. Hypersecretion of mucus glands
  6. Increase secretion of mucus
  7. Activation of neutrophils and macrophages
  8. Antigen-antibody reaction
  9. Pneumonia

What are the risk factors of pneumonia?

The risk factors of pneumonia are :

  • Newly born babies and children below the age of two.
  • People of age above 65 years
  • Winter months
  • Smoke environment
  • Lower socio-economic
  • Risk is more in male than female
  • Regular Smokers
  • Chronic illness of lung
  • Those with weak immune systems possibly because of certain medical conditions. Underlying illness such as :
  • Sickle cell,
  • cystic fibrosis,
  • gastroesophageal reflux disease,
  • bronchopulmonary dysplasia,
  • reactive airway disease,
  • congenital heart disease,
  • immunodeficiency syndromes,
  • neuromuscular disease, seizure disorder etc.

How do you know if you have pneumonia?


The signs and symptoms of pneumonia differ every patient depending upon infection and patients states of health. If you have pneumonia you will have the following signs and symptoms:

  • Coughing possibly production of sputum. In bacterial infection, the sputum is red-brown, yellow, and green whereas in viral and mycoplasma pneumonia the sputum is a thin whitish color.
  • Sweating
  • Fever and shivering chills.
  • Chest pain that gets worse by deep breathing and coughing which is also known as Pleuritic pain
  • Muscle pain and weakness
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Tachypnea, dyspnea
  • Increased breathing rate
  • Chest indrawing
  • Crepitation or wheeze sound heard
  • Diarrhea, Nausea, or Vomiting
  • Cyanosis is caused by blood that is not well oxygenated.
  • Confusion, convulsion, or coma.

What are the investigations or diagnosis of pneumonia?

The diagnosis of pneumonia includes :

  • All routine examination with –
  • Chest x-ray
  • Blood test
  • Sputum examination ( for Acid Fast Bacilli, gram staining, culture, and sensitivity)
  • Pulse Oximetry
  • Bronchoscopy
  • CT-scan

What are the complications of pneumonia?

The complications of pneumonia are :

  • Bacteremia (Presence of bacteria in the bloodstream)
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Pleural effusion
  • Endocarditis
  • Lung abscess
  • Septic arthritis
  • Respiratory failure
  • Shock

What is the treatment of pneumonia?


1) For Bacterial Pneumonia:

  • Antibiotics ( Cotrimoxazole, amoxicillin)
  • Antipyretics / analgesics
  • Oxygen inhalation
  • Bronchodilator (Asthaline)

2.For viral, chemical, allergic, aspirated, and fungal pneumonia

  • Symptomatic treatment
  • Supportive treatment
  • Antibiotics for prophylaxis
  • Anti-histamine for allergic

What are the preventive measures of pneumonia?

The preventive measures of pneumonia are :

  • Stop smoking
  • Get a yearly flu shot
  • Get a pneumonia vaccine if younger than 6, older than 65 or have certain health problems.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you get walking pneumonia?

The bacteria that causes walking pneumonia is M. pneumonia. It damages the lining of the respiratory system ( windpipe, lungs, or throat). It is contagious because it can transmit through airborne droplets that are dispersed when an infected person talks, sneezes, coughs or laughs.

How to treat walking pneumonia?

Walking pneumonia is a commonly used term for a mild case of pneumonia that does not cause disability or requires hospitalization. Like regular pneumonia, walking pneumonia is a lung infection. Walking pneumonia begins gradually. In fact, it usually takes 1 to 3 weeks to reach the full stage. You can differentiate walking pneumonia from the common cold because cold will get better after weeks, whereas walking pneumonia tends to get worse. Generally, a doctor will prescribe antibiotics after making a walking pneumonia diagnosis. As the antibiotics begin to work, you will gradually feel better, but typically takes about a week after you start taking them to full recovery.

How can you get pneumonia?

We can get pneumonia by microorganisms which include bacteria,(Pneumococcus, streptococcus), mycobacteria, viruses, (Influenza and parainfluenza virus), fungi (fungi from soil or bird droppings), due to allergens such as hot, colds, dust, etc, due to the aspiration of food from the stomach to lung and due to exposure of chemical substances such as petroleum products, etc.

Does pneumonia hurt?

If you have pneumonia, you will have the following common signs and symptoms :

  • Coughing possibly production of sputum. In bacterial infection, the sputum is red-brown, yellow, and green whereas in viral and mycoplasma pneumonia the sputum is a thin whitish color.
  • Sweating
  • Fever and shivering chills.
  • Chest pain.
  • Muscle pain and weakness
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Tachypnea, dyspnea
  • Increased breathing rate
  • Diarrhea, Nausea, or Vomiting
  • Cyanosis.
  • Confusion, convulsion, or coma.

How to treat viral pneumonia?

  • Symptomatic treatment
  • Supportive treatment
  • Zanamivir, oseltamivir or peramivir for influenza virus
  • Ribavirin for Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)

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