Pneumonia is an illness that affects the lungs, and that used to be the disease with the largest number of deaths in the beginning of the century. It is an inflammation of the lungs that is caused by a virus or a bacteria, but fortunately since the discovery of antibiotics it can be easily cured, especially if it’s discovered early. But it can still be dangerous for the elder people or for those with a weak defense system.
The pneumonia symptoms usually depend on its cause, but most of the patients cough, have fever and chest pain. These symptoms appear at all the patients with pneumonia, no matter what caused it.
More than half the pneumonia cases are cause by viruses. In this case, the pneumonia is called a viral pneumonia. Viral pneumonia symptoms are:
-the chest pain is accompanied by headache and fever
-the cough is dry
-the patient experiences a general feeling of weakness and exhaustion
Some of the pneumonias are caused by a bacteria. In this case the most common symptoms that occur are:
-a general sensation of cold, which causes shivering and accelerated heart beat
-a blueish color of the skin
-the cough produces a green liquid
Pneumonia mostly affects elder people and young children. The elders usually have viral or bacterial pneumonia, while those that are under 40 years old and suffer from pneumonia mostly have mycoplasmal pneumonia. This form is very contagious, once it affected a family member it will soon affect the others too. It is not as dangerous as the first two forms, but it can cause serious complications if it’s not treated. The common symptoms of the mycoplasmal pneumonia are:
-dry cough accompanied by fever
-a sore throat
-a general sensation of weakness and fatigue
-pain in the joints
When pneumonia affects young children it causes quite a disturbing feeling of illness and it also makes the skin turn slightly blue. The child will have high fever and breathlessness.
If you have two or more of the pneumonia symptoms you should call your doctor as soon as you can because pneumonia causes severe complications if you don’t treat it. If you start coughing blood then it means that the disease has advanced and it needs immediate treatment. If the illness is discovered early it can be treated at home with a few antibiotics, but if it’s not then the patient needs hospitalization.