Breathing is an imperative part of life. Unfortunately, certain illnesses and viruses can prevent you from breathing in a clear, effective, and efficient manner. Pneumonia, for example, is one of the most severe illnesses that can affect your breathing, but most people do not take this illness seriously. With this guide and your doctor's help, you will understand the severity of pneumonia.
Symptoms May SEEM Minor
Many people confuse pneumonia with other less-severe illnesses because the symptoms may SEEM minor. In most cases, pneumonia starts with a cough, which may not seem too severe. However, if the cough does not improve after a few days, you most likely have fluid building up in your lungs and airways, which is pneumonia.
Besides a persistent cough, symptoms of pneumonia include the following:
- Chest pain when coughing or breathing
- Cough that produces phlegm
- Fever and chills
- Shortness of breath
- Lower body temperature (most common in elderly patients)
- Nausea and vomiting
Again, the above symptoms may occur if you have another type of virus or a more simple illness, such as the common cold, but you should take these symptoms seriously due to the breathing difficulty.
Symptoms Can Be Life-Threatening
The signs and symptoms of pneumonia can be uncomfortable, preventing you from completing normal everyday activities, such as working or completing housework. Unfortunately, the symptoms can also be life-threatening if immediate medical care is not administered.
While surprising to hear, pneumonia is the leading cause of hospitalizations in children and adults. In addition, tens of thousands of people die each year from pneumonia. These deaths usually stem from complications from pneumonia.
For example, if bacteria from the lung enter the bloodstream, patients can become septic, which is life-threatening.
Also, pneumonia can cause fluid to build up around the lungs, causing further breathing complications. This fluid can also become infected, requiring a surgery that drains the fluid and IV antibiotics to treat the infection.
If you have been diagnosed with pneumonia, doctors will prescribe a series of medications including antibiotics and cough medications. If you have been admitted into the hospital for your pneumonia, treatment will be conducted intravenously.
It is important to note that young children and elderly patients should be admitted into the hospital if they have pneumonia. Because these patients have weaker immune systems, hospitalizations are the best options for managing pneumonia safely.
Pneumonia should be taken seriously – no matter what symptoms you are experiencing. This guide will help you understand and treat pneumonia. If you suspect you have pneumonia, visit an urgent care center immediately.