What Is Pneumonia
What is Pneumonia: Causes and Symptoms of this Adult and Child Illness
Although some consider it little more than a bad cold, learning what pneumonia is, and its causes and symptoms, can help prevent more serious health issues. Both children and adults can contract the various forms of this illness. This bacterial, viral, or fungal infection has a variety of effects from mild congestion to death.
What is Pneumonia?
When certain bacteria, viruses, fungus, or other things invade your lungs, it infects the internal tissues. This makes the alveoli, the air sacs that help us breathe, swell and fill with pus or liquid instead of air. When these swell up, the inner surface of the lungs is thicker and takes up more of the space for air inside. The patient feels like it is more difficult to catch their breath and cannot get enough air into their lungs to process it quickly.
Walking pneumonia is a term you may have heard. Although people who have other types can certainly walk around still, however, fatigued, it specifically applies to those who do not have sick symptoms at all, or those who are very mild. It is possible to have the swelling in the lung’s air sacs without feeling very ill in general.
How Do You Get Pneumonia?
There are three main pneumonia causes: bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Streptococcus pneumoniae is responsible for the majority of bacterial cases. The flu virus can cause it as well. People whose immune systems are weak or compromised in some way are more susceptible to fungal infections. In a small number of cases, breathing in harmful chemicals or foreign bodies can cause it too.
Is pneumonia contagious?
If a patient is afflicted by bacteria, virus, or fungus, they can spread the infection to other people nearby. These come out when the person coughs, sneezes, or even breathes. Children, elderly men and women, and people who have existing problems with their lungs are much more likely to contract this illness.
Most Common Symptoms Pneumonia Patients Experience
Although other symptoms exist depending on the type and severity of the illness in the individual, these XXXXX symptoms are the most common.
- Difficulty breathing
- Frequent coughing
- Fever with chills
- Lack of energy and fatigue
- Pain in the chest
- Reduced appetite
- Upper respiratory complaints
The last item on the list includes common cold symptoms like sinus congestion and a sore throat. These are frequently the first signs that child or adult pneumonia is developing.
What is the Difference Between Adult and Child Pneumonia?
Besides the increased susceptibility to contracting the illness in children due to their less-formed immune systems, they can also have slightly different symptoms. Young people are more likely to have fast breathing and a higher fever. Babies could experience extra fussy moods and lack of interest in nursing or feeding.
Contracting pneumonia brings uncomfortable symptoms that could greatly impact your life for days or even weeks. It has the unfortunate potential to become more serious and threaten lives, especially if the patient is immunocompromised, elderly, very young, or a smoker. Knowing the symptoms well can lead to getting medical treatment more quickly, which maximizes the chance of a quick recovery.