For years, people have been warned that if they have the flu, they should watch out for the dreaded pneumonia.
Moms warn their teenage kids about walking around with wet hair, even doctors warn patients to stay warm to avoid the dreaded condition…
Pneumonia can occur in anyone, even young and healthy people, however, it is most dangerous for older adults, infants, people with other diseases, and those with impaired immune systems.
But do we actually know what pneumonia really is?
Pneumonia is lung inflammation caused by bacterial or viral infection, in which the air sacs fill with pus and may become solid. Inflammation may affect both lungs (double pneumonia) or only one (single pneumonia).
The lungs become inflamed, and the tiny air sacs, or alveoli, inside the lungs fill up with fluid.
Medical News Today states that it is the leading cause of death due to infection in children younger than 5 years of age worldwide.
The first symptoms of pneumonia usually resemble those of a cold or flu. The person then develops a high fever, chills, and cough with sputum.
Common symptoms include:
- rusty or green phlegm, or sputum, coughed up from lungs
- fast breathing and shortness of breath
- shaking chills
- chest pain that usually worsens when taking a deep breath, known as pleuritic pain
- fast heartbeat
- fatigue and weakness
- nausea and vomiting
There are also many other symptoms.
It also causes confusion or delirium, especially in older adults
Some people experience a dusky or purplish skin color, or cyanosis, from poorly oxygenated blood.
Symptoms can vary depending on other underlying conditions and the type of pneumonia.
How is it treated?
Bacterial Pneumonia is treated with antibiotics. Treatment can be quite costly, so it is always best to be armed with an affordable health insurance provider like Affinity Health.
Also, it is a smart decision to shop around for the cheapest medical aid rates on the market, to be safe if you’re ever in the unfortunate circumstance of catching a dreaded illness.
Web MD says that if you have viral pneumonia, antibiotics won’t be enough. You’ll need to rest, drink a lot of fluids, and take medicines for your fever.
You may need to go to a hospital if your symptoms are severe or if you have other conditions that make you more likely to have complications. A hospital plan will be best to cover any bills you accumulate during your stay.
With any kind of pneumonia, you’re going to need lots of rest. You might need a week off your usual routines, but you might still feel tired for a month.
When are you most likely to catch it?
Smokers are at a higher risk of catching pneumonia
Also, when your immune system is compromised, for example if you have the flu, you are susceptible to catching it.
The majority of the germs that cause pneumonia are spread from person to person through droplets, from coughing or sneezing.
People who are frequently in close contact with others, such as college students and military personnel, are also more susceptible to the disease, Everyday Health reports.