Pneumonia is caused by specie of bacteria known as Streptococcus pneumonia also known as pneumococcal pneumonia. Complicated pneumonia may result in fatal consequences thus the need to report your symptoms early. Pneumonia may be viral or bacterial.
In this article you will learn the following:
1. What is Pneumonia?
2. Symptoms of pneumonia.
So what is pneumonia? It is the inflammation of the lungs characterized with swelling and aggregation of fluid within the air-sacs also known as alveoli.
Pneumonia symptoms are very similar to other medical conditions such as chronic bronchitis, congestive pulmonary respiratory diseases, pneumothorax (also known as collapsed lungs) and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD).
The symptoms of pneumonia in children may include but not limited to: lethargy, hypothermia (or low body temperature), and poor feeding with lack of energy to play.
According to a report from International Medical Corp.
about 1.6million children die from pneumonia yearly, and it is the leading cause of death in children, accounting for about 18% of deaths in children under five years old. One of the earliest signs of pneumonia is pain on the two sides of the chest.
Risk factors for pneumonia includes cigarette smoking, drinking alcohol, chronic bronchitis, and previous trauma surgery could pose post-op fevers one of which could be pneumonia, compromised or depressed immunity.
When checking for signs of pneumonia, your doctor will often look for signs of dry cough and increased breathing rate over a 60-minute period.
Signs and symptoms of pneumonia
Generally, the symptoms of pneumonia in adults are slightly different from how children feel when suffering from pneumonia. Adults may experience stabbing chest pain which may spread to the back, coughing and sputum production.
Symptoms of pneumonia include the following:
There is a sickly feeling which may be accompanied by pain at the joint and fever.
2. Loss of appetite
Loss of appetite is very common with most infections.
3. Increased sputum as the infection progresses
One of the characteristic hall-mark of pneumonia is sputum or phlegm production which increases over time. As the irritation of the windpipe and fluid buildup progresses, more sputum is produced.
4. White nail syndrome
White nail syndrome is a situation where the nails appear whitish than normal. It is one of the signs doctors look out for while evaluating pneumonia.
5. Pressure within the chest
As the inflammation of the alveoli progresses, more fluid buildup within the lung cavities which may give rise to pressure within the chest.
6. Blood-filled cough is another sign of complication
The inflammation of the alveoli which spreads to other tissues may result in pulmonary hemorrhage and embolism and in turn blood-filled cough.
7. Unexplained weight loss
General malaise may be accompanied by weight loss as you lose interest in foods. This may partly account for weight loss, however, unexplained weight loss is always a thing of concern as it may point to a lot of disorders in the body.
8. Shortness of breath and wheezing
As fluid build increases within the lungs and the surrounding cavities, oxygen transport may be impacted negatively which results in forceful breathing to take in more oxygen into the body as the lungs gets weaker.
This is common in children, a condition characterized by seizures and mouth frothing if not attended to promptly.
10. Crackling and bubbling chest sounds
This is noticeable during medical checkups as it may not be so obvious to patients suffering from pneumonia.
Antibiotics and IV fluids helps to resolve most pneumonia cases, also, oxygen treatment might be necessary to aid breathing in cases where there is collapsed lung or fluid buildup makes breathing difficult.