What is Pneumonia
Pneumonia is a lung infection that causes the air sacs (alveoli) in the lungs become inflamed. These inflamed alveoli can then fill up with fluid or pus, making it hard to breathe.
Symptoms of pneumonia include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Sharp or stabbing chest pain
- Loss of appetite
- Fatigue or tiredness
- Nausea and vomiting, especially in children
- Confusion, especially in seniors
Pneumonia has more than one cause, but the most common causes are viruses, bacteria, or fungi (found in soil or bird droppings) in the air we breathe.
Normally our immune system prevents viruses and bacteria from causing infection, but sometimes they can overpower the body’s defenses, especially in people with weakened immune systems.
The treatment method will depend on the cause of the pneumonia, but will often include medication.
A doctor will be able to diagnose the cause of the pneumonia, and prescribe the needed antiviral, antibacterial, or antifungal medication.
When to See a Medical Doctor
If you have difficulty breathing, chest pain, or a persistent high fever or cough, speak to a doctor; especially if you are older than 65, or have a young child, with these symptoms.
A doctor will be able to properly diagnose you, and offer professional advice regarding the best treatment options for you.