Pneumonia is a common lung infection caused by bacteria or fungi. You may cough, run a fever, and have a heard time breathing, and anyone can get pneumonia.
Risk factors that increase your chances of getting pneumonia include:
Many different germs can cause pneumonia, however, the five main causes are bacteria, viruses, mycoplasmas, other infectious agents such as fungi, and various chemicals.
Symptoms can vary from mild to severe, depending on the type of pneumonia you have, your age and health. The most common symptoms are:
Additional symptoms include:
Your physician will perform a physical exam and listen to your lungs. If you have pneumonia, your lungs may make crackling, bubbling, and rumbling sounds when you inhale. You may also be wheezing, and it may be hard to hear sounds of breathing in some areas of your chest. Your physician will order a chest X-ray if pneumonia is suspected, to look at your chest.
Depending on the type of pneumonia you have and how severe it is, and if you have other chronic diseases, treatment varies. The goals of treatment are to cure the infection and prevent complications. Most people can be treated at home with the following steps:
If your pneumonia becomes so severe that you are treated in the hospital, you may receive fluids and antibiotics in your veins, oxygen therapy, and possibly breathing treatments.