Symptoms and prevention tips for pneumonia

Pneumonia can affect anyone at any age. This is a common respiratory infection that makes it hard for a person to breathe. This is because it causes the alveoli or air sacs in the lungs to fill up with fluid. Young children, people suffering from chronic diseases such as asthma and elderly adults have a high risk of suffering from pneumonia. Some of the factors that can increase a person’s risk of suffering from this disease are viral respiratory infections, chronic lung disease, cerebral palsy, heart disease, recent surgery and cigarette smoking.

Pneumonia symptoms vary from person to person depending on their age and overall health. Some of the most common symptoms include:

• Persistent cough
• High fever
• Chills
• Yellow or greenish phlegm
• Bloody mucus
• Shortness of breath
• Sharp, stabbing chest pain
• Headaches
• Excessive sweating
• Tiredness
• Loss of appetite
• Loss of energy

Infants suffering from this disease typically appear dull and listless while elderly people may also begin to show signs of confusion.

Pneumonia symptoms can also be affected by its cause. High fever that touches 105 degrees Fahrenheit is typical of bacterial pneumonia. This type of fever is often accompanied by excessive sweating along with an increased heart and pulse rate. It can also put the patient in a confused state of mind. The patient’s lips and nails may also begin to turn blue as a result of lack of oxygen. Viral pneumonia symptoms are similar to those of common flu. These include a low fever, dry cough, headaches, tiredness and muscle pains. The patient may also expect a little mucus.

Treatment and prevention of pneumonia
Pneumonia can be easily treated, but if not addressed in time, it can cause a number of complications such as respiratory failure, sepsis, and lung abscesses. Young infants and elderly people are most susceptible to such complications.

Treatment for pneumonia can take anywhere between 3 to 8 weeks depending on the patient’s overall health. It is usually treated with oral antibiotics. In some cases, antibiotics may also need to be given intravenously for which hospitalization is advised. Along with medication, the patient must also get plenty of rest and drink lots of water.

Pneumonia can be easily prevented. One way of reducing your risk of suffering from this disease is to vaccinate yourself against bacterial pneumonia and flu. This is especially necessary for children and adults over the age of 65. Washing your hands before eating and cooking can help keep you safe from pneumonia. Following a healthy diet and lifestyle can also help boost your immunity and lower the risk of pneumonia. Lastly, if you smoke, quit. Tobacco damages your lungs and reduces your lungs’ ability to fight infections.