Description pneumonia

Pneumonia – lung infection. It affects the lower respiratory tract, which include the Bronchioles and alveoli (the air sacs in the lungs).

Развитие пневмонии

Causes of Pneumonia

There are three the main reasons for:

  • Bacterial pneumonia, caused by bacteria – most often streptococcal pneumonia;
  • Virus pneumonia, caused by viruses;
  • Atypical bacterial pneumonia, that can lead to serious and potentially fatal inflammation of the lungs.

Other causes of pneumonia include:

  • Fungal infections – mainly in people, AIDS patients.

Pneumonia is sometimes described by place, where you purchased it:

  • Community-acquired pneumonia – occurs in a group (eg, at school, at work, gym);
  • Hospital-acquired pneumonia – occurs during hospitalization in hospital;
    • Can be very dangerous, especially for patients with lung diseases;
  • Aspiration pneumonia – there, When foreign substances (often the contents of the stomach) into the lungs.

Развитие аспирационной пневмонии

Risk factors

Factors, that increase the likelihood of contracting pneumonia include:

  • Age: 65 and older;
  • Flu or other respiratory illness;
  • Chronic diseases, such as heart disease or lung;
  • Stroke (aspiration pneumonia can occur due to problems with swallowing);
  • Weakened immune system due to AIDS or chemotherapy;
  • Chronic bronchitis;
  • Malnutrition;
  • Pregnancy;
  • pneumonia often occurs in infants and young children;
  • Substance abuse;
  • Smoking;
  • Prolonged exposure to certain chemicals (eg, work in construction or agriculture).

Symptoms of pneumonia

Symptoms may vary depending on the type of pneumonia.

Bacterial pneumoniaVirus pneumoniaSARS
FeverFeverFever, often mild
Coughing green, yellow, or reddish mucusDry coughCough; may be made from time to time strong; produces white mucus
Pain in the chestHeadacheThere may be nausea or vomiting
Profuse sweatingMuscle weaknessWeakness
Bluish lips and nails due to the decrease of oxygen in the bloodBluish lips and nails due to the decrease of oxygen in the blood

Diagnosis of pneumonia

The doctor asks about the symptoms and medical history, and performs a physical exam. Diagnosis is based on symptoms and chest listening stethoscope. Tests may include the following:

  • Chest X-ray – to take pictures of structures inside the body, in this case the chest;
  • CT scan – type of X-ray inspection, to make pictures of structures inside the chest;
  • Blood tests;
  • Bronchoscopy – examination of the upper respiratory tract;
  • Testing of phlegm and mucus, released when coughing;
  • Pulse oximetry – measuring the amount of oxygen in the blood;
  • Analysis of gases, dissolved in arterial blood – oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen.

Treatment of pneumonia

Treatment of pneumonia depends on the:

  • Type of pneumonia;
  • The severity of symptoms;
  • Other factors.

Treatment approaches include:

  • For bacterial pneumonia – antibiotics;
  • For viral pneumonia – It may be prescribed antiviral drugs for small children and people with weakened immune systems;
    • Attention: Antibiotics are ineffective for treating viral pneumonia.
  • SARS – antibiotics.

It is very important to take medications, prescribed by a doctor. Early discontinuation of treatment may lead to relapse.

General rules for treatment of pneumonia include:

  • Recreation and drinking large amounts of fluids;
  • Healthy eating (consuming large amounts of fruit and vegetables). It is recommended to take vitamin c – to 1000 mg per day;
  • Medications to reduce fever, pain and cough;
  • Hospitalization (in severe cases).

Prevention of pneumonia

Some vaccines can prevent pneumonia:

  • Vaccination against influenza to persons at high risk of respiratory infections, especially in the elderly (Pneumonia may be a complication of the flu);
  • Pneumococcal vaccine – Common recommendations include:
    • Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PKV) – for children;
    • Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV) – for adults aged 65 and older and for young people, that belong to the high risk of infection.

Other preventive measures include:

  • Avoid smoking. Smoke weakens the resistance to lung infections;
  • Avoiding close contact with people, who are sick with cold or flu;
  • You need to wash your hands after contact with infected people;
  • The use of protective equipment (mask, respirator, gas mask) at work, that can cause pneumonia;
  • Intake of healthy foods. Particular attention should be paid to enter the body of sufficient vitamin c and zinc;
  • It is necessary to fully relax;
  • Need to do regular physical exercise.

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