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Pneumonia: Symptoms and Treatments

Thursday, 08 May 2014 12:47 AM

Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lung tissue caused due to viral or bacterial lung infection. It may be life-threatening in some cases. This inflammation of the lung tissue is more serious than bronchitis or the infection of bronchi. Major symptoms associated with it include heavy cough, fever, chills and shivering, chest pain, and shortness of breath. Though the lung infection of pneumonia can be treated at home, in severe cases, hospitalization is advisable. Antibiotics are considered among the most important and effective treatments for pneumonia. Let us discuss the various symptoms and treatments for this serious lung infection.

Symptoms of Pneumonia

A few marked symptoms arise in the beginning of this serious lung infection or pneumonia, which can make you weak. The symptoms of this lung infection may initially be confused with those of bronchitis. However, symptoms of bronchitis are rarely as severe as those of pneumonia. This lung tissue inflammation lasts for two to three weeks, though it may last longer in severe cases. They also vary from patient to patient and are different based on the type of the infection affecting the lung, i.e., bacterial or viral infection.
In bacterial lung infection, symptoms include heavy sweating, rapidly increased breathing, and fast pulse. In this lung infection, the body temperature usually rises to as high as 105˚F. Due to a lack of oxygen, the lips may turn bluish in a bacterial infection.
In case of viral infection in the lungs, symptoms resemble the symptoms of influenza or bronchitis. These include fever, headache, body pain, and dry cough. In a day, these symptoms deteriorate to breathlessness, worsening cough with mucus, and high fever.

Some general symptoms can help identify pneumonia, the common lung infection:
  • Cough with mucus
  • Mild to high fever, reaching up to 105˚F
  • Shivering and chills
  • Shortness of breath or sharp chest pain
  • Headache and body ache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Appetite loss

Distinguishing Bronchitis From Pneumonia

In bronchitis, the symptoms are usually milder than pneumonia. In bronchitis, fever is absent or mild, whereas pneumonia causes high fever. A patient of bronchitis has dry cough, which may later develop mucus. However, in pneumonia, the cough starts with mucus. Another important difference between pneumonia and bronchitis is the period of infection. Bronchitis clears faster with the symptoms usually easing within two to three weeks. However, symptoms of pneumonia may last longer.
Treatments for Pneumonia

The treatments for pneumonia vary according to the symptoms and general condition of a patient. This lung infection can be treated at home during its mild phase. Some treatments for pneumonia without the need of hospitalization include:
  • Antibiotics taken orally as tablets or in liquid form
  • Pain-relieving medications
  • Drinking plenty of water to get rid of the phlegm
  • Paracetamol or aspirin for fever

In case there is a need of hospitalization, the following treatments are followed:
  • Intravenous supply of antibiotics through a drip
  • Oxygen to aid breathing
  • Ventilators are also used in case of serious breathing issues and the patient is kept in the ICU.

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Pneumonia is a serious lung tissue inflammation occurring due to infection in lungs. It may be life-threatening. Primary symptoms of this serious pulmonary infection include cough, fever, shortness of breath, and shivering. Usually, antibiotics are used to treat this inflammation.
pneumonia, symptoms, lung, treatments, bronchitis
Thursday, 08 May 2014 12:47 AM
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