Pneumonia Symptoms & Treatments
Pneumonia refers to inflammation and infection of the lungs. The air sacs may contain pus. Patients also commonly suffer from oxygen deprivation. This serious disease can result in death. Pneumonia has roughly 30 different possible causes, but the most common are bacteria, viruses and mycoplasmas. If you suspect you have pneumonia, see your doctor immediately. Your doctor will run tests, which may include a CAT scan of your chest, blood tests, including checking blood oxygen level, and tests for fluid in your lungs.
A healthy person’s throat may harbor pneumonia bacteria. If you have a compromised immune system, the bacteria can multiply and infect your lungs. Bacterial pneumonia symptoms can manifest rapidly or gradually. Patients may have chills that cause them to shake, a fever as high as 105 degrees, chest pain, coughing that brings up greenish mucus, sweating and increased breathing rate and pulse. Because the patient is deprived of adequate oxygen, the lips and nails may also have a bluish tint, and the patient may become delirious.
Many different kinds of viruses can cause pneumonia. Recovery can vary; some infections are less serious than others. Patients commonly suffer from dry coughing, headaches, fever and muscle aches. About a day after the symptoms first appear, coughing may produce mucus and the patient will feel weaker. Patients with severe viral infections won’t be able to get enough oxygen, making them feel breathless.
Researchers are unsure whether to classify mycoplasmas as bacteria or viruses. These microorganisms can cause pneumonia; however, mycoplasma pneumonia doesn’t commonly result in death. Mycoplasma pneumonia patients may have fever with chills, nausea and vomiting. Patients can experience violent coughing fits that may produce a small amount of white mucus.
Antibiotics, especially when administered early, can be effective in curing pneumonias caused by bacteria, and can aid in recovery from mycoplasma pneumonia. For certain viral pneumonias, doctors can prescribe antiviral medications. Doctors may also prescribe medications to relieve symptoms such as coughing and chest pain. Follow your doctor’s medication instructions exactly. Even if symptoms disappear, ceasing medication may lead to relapse, which can be more damaging than the initial infection.
Patients often won’t require hospitalization. If you suffer from oxygen deprivation, you may have oxygen administered in a hospital. Doctors will also advise you on a proper recovery diet, which can help the immune system. Patients need plenty of rest in order to recover. In the case of mycoplasma pneumonia, you may feel weak for weeks after the infection.