PNEUMONIA

Things you need to know about PNEUMONIA

Pneumonia is an infection in one or both lungs caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. The infection leads to inflammation in the air sacs of the lungs, which are called alveoli. The alveoli fill with fluid or pus, making it difficult to breathe.

Both viral and bacterial pneumonia are contagious. This means they can spread from person to person through inhalation of airborne droplets from a sneeze or cough.

You can also get these types of pneumonia by coming into contact with surfaces or objects that are contaminated with pneumonia-causing bacteria or viruses.

Pneumonia is further classified according to where or how it was acquired:

Hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP). This type of bacterial pneumonia is acquired during a hospital stay. It can be more serious than other types, as the bacteria involved may be more resistant to antibiotics.
Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). This refers to pneumonia that’s acquired outside of a medical or institutional setting.

Pneumonia stages
Pneumonia may be classified based off the area of the lungs it’s affecting:

Bronchopneumonia can affect areas throughout both of your lungs. It’s often localized close to or around your bronchi.

Lobar pneumonia affects one or more lobes of your lungs. Each lung is made of lobes, which are defined sections of the lung.

Symptoms
Pneumonia symptoms can be mild to life threatening. They can include:

1 coughing that may produce phlegm (mucus)
2 fever
3 sweating or chills
4 shortness of breath that happens while doing normal activities, or even while resting
5 chest pain that’s worse when you breathe or cough
6 feelings of tiredness or fatigue
7 loss of appetite
8 nausea or vomiting
9 headaches

Causes
Pneumonia happens when germs get into your lungs and cause an infection.

Several types of infectious agents can cause pneumonia, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

Diagnosis
You can start by taking your medical history. They’ll ask you questions about when your symptoms first appeared and your health in general.

Depending on the severity of your symptoms and your risk of complications, you may also order one or more of these tests:

1, Chest X-ray

2 Blood culture

3, Sputum culture

4, Pulse oximetry

5, CT scan

Treatment
Your treatment will depend on the type of pneumonia you have, how severe it is, and your general health.

Prescription medications
Your Pharmacist may prescribe a medication to help treat your pneumonia. What you’re prescribed will depend on the specific cause of your pneumonia.

Oral antibiotics can treat most cases of bacterial pneumonia. Always take your entire course of antibiotics, even if you begin to feel better. Not doing so can prevent the infection from clearing, and it may be harder to treat in the future.

Antibiotic medications don’t work on viruses. In some cases, your Pharmacist may prescribe an antiviral. However, many cases of viral pneumonia clear on their own with at-home care.

Antifungal medications are used to treat fungal pneumonia. You may have to take this medication for several weeks to clear the infection.

OTC medications
Your Pharmacist may also recommend over-the-counter (OTC) medications to relieve your pain and fever, as needed. These may include:

aspirin
ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
acetaminophen (Tylenol)
Your Pharmacist 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.

Pneumonia can be life threatening especially in children and elderly or patients with other respiratory challenges, early detection or management and referrals could save many a life.

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