Pneumonia: Catching The Symptoms And Treating the Infection

Pneumonia is most commonly caused by viruses or bacteria. It affects one or both the lungs by causing inflammation in the air sacs on the lungs. When this happens, the air sacs get filled with pus and it can become very difficult for a person to breathe, making them very weak. While most people recover easily from this illness, it could be life threatening if it affects people who have other underlying conditions.Very young children as well as those older than 65 are also at a higher risk of falling ill than others.

Common Symptoms

The infection shows a lot of symptoms that are very similar to the flu. However the symptoms generally develop very quickly and can escalate as a fast pace. The most common ones to look out for include a fever, dry cough, chest pain, wheezing, nausea and vomiting, a rapid heartbeat or rapid breathing, shaking chills and muscle aches. While these are common signs and should be treated, if any of the following also appear in addition to the above, medical attention should be sought immediately because it could get very serious if not treated at once.

• Very labored breathing
• A bluish tone in the skin due to lack of oxygen
• Very high fever (anything above 102 ° F)
• Blood in the sputum
• A rapid heartbeat
• Confusion

Treatment for Pneumonia

In most cases, the doctor will prescribe certain medicines when you are diagnosed and you will have to continue the treatment for the period prescribed. Sometimes, they also take a chest X-ray after the treatment is complete in order to make sure that the lungs are clear and the infection has completely gone. But treatment varies a little depending on the type of pneumonia that you have.

Viral Pneumonia

This type lasts longer than a lot of others and antibiotics are useless if the infection is caused by a virus. However, antiviral drugs are normally prescribed and they will help to treat the condition, especially if it has been caught in the early stages. Normally, viral pneumonia will last for a couple of weeks before the symptoms begin to clear.

Bacterial Pneumonia

Antibiotics are most commonly used to treat this form of the infection. It is essential that you follow your doctor's orders properly and take the entire course of antibiotics that has been prescribed. A lot of people start feeling better soon and then do not complete the course. But this could make your body vulnerable and the pneumonia could return. With the regular course, you will start to feel better in two to three days.