Here are some common causes of pneumonia:
Bacterial infection: The most common bacterial causes of pneumonia are Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus), Haemophilus influenzae and Legionella pneumophila.
Viral infection: Viruses such as influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus (RS virus), adenovirus and coronavirus can cause viral pneumonia.
Fungal infection: Fungi such as Pneumocystis jirovecii can cause pneumonia especially in people with weakened immune systems.
Parasite infection: Some parasites can cause pneumonia.
Non-infectious causes: Pneumonia can also be triggered by non-infectious factors such as chemical substances (for example aspirated stomach acid), allergies, inhalation of harmful substances or traumatic injury to the lungs.
Nosocomial infection: Pneumonia that develops in hospitals known as nosocomial pneumonia is often caused by resistant bacteria and can be more difficult to treat.
Commonality: Some groups, such as older adults, infants, people with weakened immune systems or chronic lung diseases are at greater risk of pneumonia.
The cause of pneumonia is important to determine because treatment varies depending on the underlying factor. In many cases antibiotics are used to treat bacterial pneumonia while viral infections may need to be managed with antiviral drugs.
The symptoms of pneumonia can vary depending on the underlying cause of the disease, the age of the patient and health status. Here are some common symptoms of pneumonia:
Cough: A persistent cough is one of the most characteristic symptoms of pneumonia. The cough may be dry or produce mucus.
Fever: Many people with pneumonia have a high fever sometimes with chills and profuse sweating.
Difficulty breathing: Rapid breathing, gasping and feeling like you can't get enough air are common symptoms.
Chest pain: Some people may experience chest pain when they take a deep breath or cough .
Fatigue: Pneumonia can be taxing on the body which can result in general tiredness and weakness.
Treatment of pneumonia
The treatment of pneumonia varies depending on the underlying cause of the disease. Here is an overview of the treatment methods for pneumonia:
Bacterial pneumonia: If the pneumonia is caused by bacteria, antibiotics are usually the primary treatment method. The type of antibiotic used may vary depending on the strain of bacteria responsible for the infection. It is important to take the antibiotics as directed by the doctor and to complete the entire course of antibiotics to prevent recurrence.
Viral pneumonia: If the pneumonia is viral in nature such as influenza or respiratory syncytial virus (RS -viruses) antibiotics are ineffective because they do not affect viruses. Treatment for viral pneumonia usually focuses on relieving symptoms, including rest, hydration, and possibly antiviral drugs in some cases.
Hospital care: In severe or complicated cases of pneumonia, hospital care may be necessary . This may be the case if the patient has severe shortness of breath, a high fever, low oxygen in the blood or if they are in a risk group such as older adults or people with compromised immune systems. In hospital, the patient may receive intravenous antibiotic treatment and monitoring.
Recovery and rehabilitation: After the infection itself has been treated, patients may still experience long-term symptoms such as cough and fatigue. Recovery time can vary and may take weeks to months to fully recover. It is important to give the body time to recover and to follow up with the doctor if necessary.
It is important to seek medical attention if you suspect pneumonia, especially if the symptoms are severe or if you belong to a risk group.