Man Suffering With Pneumonia and Coughing

Pneumonia is a term that often refers to infection of the lung. Bacterial pneumonia means that inflammation is caused by a bacterial infection. Bacteria gain access to the lungs either through inhalation or via the bloodstream. Infections occur when the bacteria overwhelm the defense mechanisms.


What are the Symptoms of Pneumonia?

Common symptoms are fever, cough, chest pain, and shortness of breath. Phlegm may be yellow or green and contain blood. With some types of pneumonia, muscle aches, nausea/vomiting, fatigue, and weakness are prominent.


Who is at Risk of Getting Pneumonia?

The following conditions may weaken the defense mechanisms and thus increase the risks for bacterial pneumonia: old age, smoking, chronic alcohol use, chronic lung disease, congestive heart failure, diabetes, chronic kidney failure, HIV infection, use of drugs that lower the body's immune system (anti-cancer agents, prednisone), and recent viral respiratory tract infections. If you are at risk a pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine is helpful in the prevention of this type of pneumonia.


How is Pneumonia Diagnosed?

There are several tests performed to diagnose the cause and severity of pneumonia. These tests often include chest x-rays, along with blood and sputum cultures.


How is Pneumonia Treated?

Anibiotics are often used to treat pneumonia

Antibiotics are the main treatment and should be started as soon as pneumonia is suspected. Duration of antibiotic therapy ranges from 7 to 10 days in most cases. Therapy for 14-21 days or longer may be necessary for certain types of bacteria and in those individuals with other chronic medical conditions.


Call Our Office Today if You Suspect You or a Loved One Have Pneumonia!

If suspect you or a loved one have pneumonia it is important to get a diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible. The longer it is left untreated, the worse it can become. Complications of pneumonia include inflammation and infection of the pleura (the layer of cells lining the outside of the lung), lung abscess, and lung failure. Call our office today to see one of our pulmonary specialist doctors that will provide quality and compassion patient care.


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