Pneumonia is the infection in one or both lungs. It causes buildup of pus or fluid in the air sacs of lungs. Pneumonia can range from mild to severe. Different types of pneumonia according to the cause are:
- Community acquired pneumonia: it occurs outside hospitals or other health care facilities.
- Hospital acquired pneumonia: it occurs during a hospital stay. It is caused by bacteria and is more resistant to antibiotics.
- Health acquired pneumonia: it occurs in people who live in long-term health care facilities such as dialysis centers.
- Aspiration pneumonia: this type of pneumonia occurs when food, water or saliva enters the airway and reaches your lungs.
Pneumonia can be caused by different types of:
Common symptoms of pneumonia include:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Cough (with phlegm)
Diagnosis of pneumonia includes:
- Review of signs and symptoms
- Medical history
- Blood test
- Sputum test
- Chest X-ray
- Pulse oximetry
- Sputum test
- CT scan
- Pleural fluid culture
Preventive measures for pneumonia include:
- Get vaccinated.
- Practise and maintain good personal hygiene
- Keep surroundings clean
- Avoid smoking
- Keep immune system strong
- Follow a healthy lifestyle.
Treatment for pneumonia depends on the cause of the condition.
- Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections, antivirals for viral infections and antifungal medicines for fungal infections.
- Oxygen therapy may be given if blood oxygen level is low.
- Cough syrups, fever reducers, pain relievers may be given for pain and other discomfort.
- Taking rest and staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water is also important for recovery.
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