Pneumonia is an infectious disease of the lungs. It is the most dangerous lower respiratory tract infection. The inflammation of alveoli of the lung disturbs oxygen supply mechanism.

 

Pneumonia can affect everyone regardless of age factor. Elderly person and infants with low immune power are most likely to face serious consequences of pneumonia infection.

 

Causes:

 

Pneumonia has bacterial, viral and fungal causes.

 

Pneumonia is classified according to the causes as follows.

 

Bacterial pneumonia:

 

Bacterial pneumonia are caused by the bacterium such as

 

STREPTOCOCCUS PNEUMONIAE

 

KLEBSIELLA PNEUMONIAE

 

MYCOPLASMA PNEUMONIAE

 

LEGIONELLA PNEUMONIAE

 

CHLAMYDIA PNEUMONIAE

 

Viral pneumonia:

 

Viral pneumonia is caused by the viruses such as

 

ADENO virus

 

RHINO virus

 

INFLUENZA virus

 

PARAINFLUENZA virus

 

Respiratory SYNCYTIAL virus

 

Fungal pneumonia:

 

The fungal infections causing pneumonia are

 

HISTOPLASMOSIS

 

COCCIDIMYCOSIS

 

BLASTOMYCOSIS

 

ASPERGILLOSIS

 

CRYPTOCOCCOSIS

 

Risk factors for pneumonia:

 

The risk factors responsible for the cause of pneumonia are

 

Age – pneumonia occurs irrespective of age. But mostly the old aged people and infants with low immunity are affected.

 

Chain smoking – smoking continuously will damage the immune systems fight against bacterial and viral infection causing pneumonia.

 

Alcohol addiction – excess intake of alcohol disturbs the immune mechanism and increase the chance of pneumonia.

 

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) – makes the infection of pneumonia easier.

 

Few conditions – HIV, asthma and emphysema are most likely risk factor for cause of pneumonia. Even the heart and lung disease also contribute to the cause.

 

Drugs – few drugs taken mainly the immune suppressant drugs are more likely to cause pneumonia.

 

Mal nutrition – intake of less nutritious food will definitely reduce the immune power.

 

Chemicals – direct contact or exposure to the harmful chemicals can increase the risk of pneumonia.

 

Pollutants – exposure to certain pollutants or toxic substances increases the risk of pneumonia.

 

Hospitalization – patient in the ICU and being hospitalized for long period are more vulnerable to attack of pneumonia causing organisms.

 

Symptoms of pneumonia:

 

The most commonly seen symptoms are

 

Cough – commonly seen as dry or with thick mucus, sometime seen with blood in it.

 

Chest pain and discomfort.

 

Shallow breathing – even feel breathlessness at resting position.

 

Rapid heartbeat – the heart beat tends to rise faster.

 

Generalized fever.

 

Shaking or shivering chills.

 

Loss of appetite – reduction in the desire to eat.

 

Lack of body energy.

 

Excessive sweating.

 

Severe head ache.

 

Muscle aches.

 

Joint pains.

 

Diarrhea and vomiting

 

Mental confusion.

 

Fatigue – excessive tiredness.

 

Diagnosis:

 

Patient history:

 

The history of the patient is very important in diagnosing pneumonia. Doctors clearly check the history to rule out the other lung diseases and detect the risk factor involved.

 

Physical examination:

 

Stethoscope is used to detect the pneumonia presence. Crackling sounds heard in the lying position indicate the presence of pneumonia.

 

Percussion test