Pneumonia: Causes and cure
Pneumonia is a lung infection that affect one or both the lungs. The infection occurs when the air sacs in the lungs or alveoli, will fill up with fluids or pus. It is basically characterized by inflammation of the airspace in the lungs, due to an infection. This can make it hard to breathe in enough of oxygen to reach the bloodstream. The infection can range from mild to severe. It is generally more serious when it affects older adults, infants and young children with chronic medical conditions or weak immunity.
Classification of pneumonia is based on where or how it was acquired by an individual. The types include- Hospital- acquired pneumonia (HAP), Community- acquired pneumonia (CAP), Ventilator- associated pneumonia (VAP) and Aspiration pneumonia.
Causes of Pneumonia
Various infectious agents can cause pneumonia like:
Bacterial pneumonia- Streptococcus pneumonia is the most common cause of the bacterial pneumonia. Some of the causes include, Mycoplasma pneumonia, Haemophilus influenza and Legionella pneumophila.
Viral pneumonia- Respiratory viruses like influenza or flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and rhinoviruses are often the causes of pneumonia. This is usually milder and can be treated within 0ne to three weeks.
Fungal pneumonia- Pneumonia is caused from fungi of soil or bird dropping. People with weak immune system are prone to this types of pneumonia. Few fungi that causes pneumonia include Pneumocystis jirovecii, Cryptococcus species and Histoplasmoisis species.
Symptoms of Pneumonia
Some of the symptoms of pneumonia include-
·Sweating or chills
·Phlegm or mucus production while coughing
·Normal activities or even while resting may experience shortness of breath
·Occurrence of worst chest pain while breathing or coughing
·Fatigue or tiredness
·Loss of appetite
·Nausea or vomiting
Other symptoms that that vary according to age and health conditions are-
·Infants show symptoms sometimes like vomiting, lack of energy, or may have trouble eating and drinking
·Children under the age of five years can have fast breathing and wheezing
·Old aged people might exhibit confusion or a lower body temperature than normal.
Treatment for Pneumonia
Treatment method will depend on the type of pneumonia one has, how severe it is and the general health.
Medicine prescription- The doctor may prescribe a medication to treat pneumonia. The prescription will depend on the specific cause of pneumonia.
Oral antibiotics is an option of treatment in most cases of bacterial pneumonia. It is advisable to always take the entire course of antibiotics, even if you begin to feel better. In failure to do so, can prevent the infection from clearing, and it make it harder to treat in the future.
While antibiotic medications don’t work on viruses. In such cases, doctor may prescribe an antiviral. However, many cases of viral pneumonia clear on their own with at-home care.
Also, antifungal medications are used to fight fungal pneumonia. One may have to take this medication for several weeks to clear the infection.
Your doctor may also recommend over-the-counter (OTC) medication to relieve your pain and fever, as needed. These may include: aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and acetaminophen (Tylenol). One can avail these from e- pharmacy like 3MEDS, the best healthcare service provider in India.
The doctor may also recommend cough medicine to calm your cough so you can rest. Keep in mind coughing helps remove fluid from your lungs, so you don’t want to eliminate it entirely. One can recover and prevent a recurrence by getting a lot of rest and drinking plenty of fluids.
If hospitalized due to severe symptoms, doctors will keep track of the heart rate, temperature, and breathing. Hospital treatment may include: intravenous antibiotics injected into a vein, respiratory therapy, which involves delivering specific medications directly into the lungs or teaching you to perform breathing exercises to maximize your oxygenation and oxygen therapy to maintain oxygen levels in your bloodstream which is received through a nasal tube, face mask, or ventilator, depending on severity.
Prevention of Pneumonia
Pneumonia can be prevented by getting a vaccination. Some of the vaccines include Prevar 13 and Pneumovax 23, Flu vaccine or Hib vaccine. Some of the other prevention tips are quit smoking, wash hands with soap and water regularly, cover your mouth while you sneeze or cough.
On the whole maintain a healthy lifestyle to strengthen the immune system. Have enough of rest, consume balanced healthy diet and keep yourself active by regularly exercising. The e- pharmacy of Delhi, 3MEDS, is available for your health needs.