Pneumonia: Causes & Symptoms

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated -

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One of the most frightening sensations is the inability to breathe normally, and when someone suffers from pneumonia, this fear becomes a reality.

What is Pneumonia?

Characterized as an inflammatory condition of the lungs, primarily the tiny sacs where the air is exchanged (alveoli), pneumonia comes in multiple varieties and can be caused by a number of things. Bacterial cases usually present with a very high fever, while viral cases initially resemble influenza in their presentation.

Causes

The most common causes of pneumonia are:

  • Bacterial or viral infections
  • Fungi, parasites, and mycoplasmas
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Certain medications

Other factors can also put you in danger of this disease such as:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic illnesses that weaken the immune system
  • Recent respiratory trauma
  • Cerebral palsy or other cognitive conditions

Symptoms

The common symptoms of pneumonia include:

  • Painful stabbing sensations during deep breathing
  • A heavy cough (may produce sputum or blood, or it can be dry)
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Shortness of breath
  • A headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Confusion
  • Excessive sweating

The condition is typically identified through a chest X-ray or a sputum test, and if you are experiencing one or more of these pneumonia symptoms, it is of the utmost importance to see a medical professional as soon as possible, given how dangerous and potentially infectious this inflammatory condition is.

Pneumonia is commonly a secondary symptom of a larger or more serious problem, but if left untreated, it is often fatal. Bacterial infections that cause pneumonia can commonly be taken care of with antibiotics, but other forms of this disease are much harder to treat.

About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve is a health and wellness enthusiast and started working on Organic Facts since 2012 and is currently responsible for managing it. She follows naturopathy and believes in healing with foods. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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