Pneumonia and Its Causes, Risk Factors and Diagnosis

There are are mechanisms to protect your lungs from infection at each stage of the respiratory stage, but because you are very much exposed to viruses and bacteria sometimes these mechanisms fail in protect your respiratory system and you develop pneumonia. The infectious agents are attacked by white blood cells and all the process determins inflammation and difficult breathing.

Varius types of pneumonia include: Community-acquired pneumonia that is aquired at school, work or the gym which may be mistaken with the acute eosinophilic pneumonia developed by soldiers. Nosocomial pneumonia which occurs in hospitalized people, especially in those who are on a mechanical ventilator, are in the intensive care unit or have a compromised immune system. This type is severe especially in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases or HIV/AIDS.

Aspiration pneumonia which has been described in a brain injury or other condition affects your normal gag reflex, when the content of the stomach is inhaled in your lungs after vomiting.
Opportunistic pneumonia appears in people with compromised immune systems, with AIDS, sickle cell disease, other conditions that impair the immune system. For example, P. carinii pneumonia that almost never occurs inhealthy people.

Risk factors
Persons aged 65 and older, very young children, persons with immune deficiency diseases as HIV/AIDS and chronic illnesses, removed spleen, impaired immune system. It has been proved that smoke and abuse alcohol are dangerous too. People who require mechanical ventilation are particularly at risk because the breathing tube, patients hospitalized in an intensive care unit, exposion to certain chemicals or pollutants, toxic fumes. Exposion to fungus as: Coccidioidomycosis, found in the US, Southern California and the desert Southwest or histoplasmosis moslty found in Ohio and Mississippi River valleys.

When to seek medical advice if you experience shortness of breath, chest pain that fluctuates, cough, an unexplained fever with chills and sweats. If you have heart failure or lung ailments, pneumonia can prove fatal in as little as 24 hours.

Screening and diagnosis
After your doctor exams you and diagnosis the pneumonia you will be sent to chest X-rays and if the image is not clear enough then you may have a more sophisticated imaging test known as a computerized tomography (CT) scan, which takes a series of computer-directed X-rays. Blood tests are necesary and sometimes the examination of your phlegm.

Complications

In young and healthy people your pneumonia is treated with succes, but with the age and if your health is deteriorated: heart failure or lung ailments pneumonia is harder to cure. You may develop the following complications: Bacteremia if the infection invades your bloodstream this way it spreads quickly to the other organs, interferes with your ability to breathe because inflammates your lungs. Pleural effusion occurs when sometimes fluid accumulates between the thin, transparent membrane (pleura) covering your lungs and the chest wall.

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