Pneumonia Definition: Pneumonia is an acute or chronic disease marked by inflammation of one or both lungs. An inflammation of the lungs caused by viruses, bacteria, or other microorganisms and sometimes by physical and chemical irritants.
The air sacs in the lungs fill with pus and other liquid. Oxygen has trouble reaching your blood. If there is too little oxygen in your blood, your body cells can’t work properly. Because of this and spreading infection through the body pneumonia can cause death.
Pneumonia can range from very mild to very severe, even fatal. The severity depends on the type of organism causing pneumonia as well as your age and underlying health.
Pneumonia may be defined according to location of the lung as:
- Lobar Pneumonia (occurs in one lobe of the lung).
- Bronchopneumonia (tends to be patchy)
Causes of pneumonia:
Bacteria, Viruses, and Other Causes of Pneumonia
Some of the important bacterial causes are:
- The most common cause of pneumonia is the gram-positive bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae (also called S. pneumoniae or the pneumococcus ).
- Staphylococcus (S.) aureus , the other major gram-positive bacterium responsible for pneumonia, accounts for about 2% of community acquired pneumonias . It is associated with viral influenza, and can develop about five days after the onset of flu symptoms.
- Streptococcus pyogenes or Group A Streptococcus : This bacteria affects the functions of the lung, which in turns leads to pneumonia.
- Haemophilus (H.) influenzae is the second most common organism causing community acquired pneumonia.
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a major cause of pneumonia that occurs in the hospital. It is a common pneumonia in patients with chronic or severe lung disease.
- Other gram-negative bacteria that cause pneumonia include E. coli , Proteus and Enterobacter .
Viruses: A number of viruses can cause pneumonia either directly or indirectly, and include the following:
- Influenza. Pneumonia is the major serious complication of viral influenza (the “flu”) and can be very serious.
- Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). RSV is a major cause of pneumonia in infants and people with damaged immune systems.
- Herpesviruses. In adults, herpes simplex virus and varicella-zoster (the cause of chicken pox) are generally causes of pneumonia only in people with impaired immune systems.
Other possible causes of pneumonia may be:
- Pneumonia is caused by an infection or injury to the lower respiratory tract resulting in inflammation. Pneumonia can also result from the aspiration of gastric contents, water, or other irritants.
- Pneumonia can also be caused by inhaling substances, such as caustic chemicals, food or vomit into the lungs. This is known as “aspiration” pneumonia.
- Smoking, heavy drinking, heart failure, diabetes, or having a lung disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), also increase the risk of developing pneumonia.
Symptoms of pneumonia:
The symptoms of pneumonia vary from person to person, and few people experience all of them.
The possible symptoms may be :
- Fever, which may be less common in older adults.
- Fast heartbeat is one of the primary symptom of pneumonia.
- Feeling very tired or feeling very weak .
- Loss of appetite may occur in case of pneumonia.
- Vague pain under and around the breast bone may occur, but the severe chest pain associated with typical bacterial pneumonia is uncommon.
- Patients may experience a severe hacking cough, but it usually does not produce sputum.
- Cough, often producing mucus from the lungs. Mucus may be rusty or green or tinged with blood.
- difficulty breathing
- Sometimes nausea, vomiting, muscle aches occurs.
- Mental confusion.
- Coughing up sputum containing pus or blood.
Home remedies for pneumonia:
Parsnip Juice: The juice of parsnip, a root vegetable botanically known as Pastinaca sativa, is very effective for the treatment of pneumonia. Basil: Rub the oil of basil on the chest of the patient and give internally the juice of 5 leaves of basil mixed with a little ground black pepper at six hourly intervals. This will induce sweating and relieve the patient from pneumonia.
Vegetable Juices: The juice of carrots, in combination with spinach juice, or beet and cucumber juices, helps in the healing process.
Toss the Cigarettes: Smokers are much more likely to develop bronchitis than nonsmokers. If you stop smoking, you may cough up even more mucus for a time, but that’s actually a good sign. “It means that your lungs are working to clear themselves out.
Turpentine Oil: The pain of pneumonia can be relieved by rubbing oil of turpentine over the rib cage and wrapping warmed cotton wool over it.
Eat Onions: Onions contain a number of ingredients, including quercetin, a compound in the bioflavonoid family that may help protect the lungs from infection