Human nasal passages are lined with mucosa and hair to protect from microbes, dust and other infectious agents. When the nasal mucosa is unable to prevent this from happening, these infectious agents tend to settle in the internal organs and divide profusely, leading to diseases.
Pneumonia is one such condition where microbes settle in the alveoli, also known as air sacs, and cause accumulation of fluid (mixture of cellular debris, respiratory secretions, dead blood cells and microbes). It is a life threatening condition if left unattended.
Certain bacteria such as streptococci can cause pneumonia after a common cold attack. Bed rest, along with proper treatment is needed to cure such bacterial infections. In other cases, community-acquired bacteria and some bacteria like microbes can also cause pneumonia. Although pneumonia caused from mycoplasma is not severe, it may still have devastating consequences if left unchecked.
Viruses responsible for causing flu can further aggravate pneumonia if treatment is not proper, or in situations when the person’s immunity is compromised (such as HIV). Influenza virus has been known to cause pneumonia with acute respiratory attacks, but usually viral pneumonias are not as severe as bacterial ones.
Fungal pneumonia is usually reported in individuals who consumefungal contaminated foods or waste material such as bird feces or infected meat. It has been observed that individuals with vulnerable or weak immune system are at much higher risk of developing severe disease than immunocompetent individuals.
In a hospital, carelessness, poor hygiene or disinfection error can result in hospital acquired pneumonia. Such kind of pneumonia is caused by species of certain pathogenic microbes that are usually drug resistant and so difficult to treat.
People who are in constant exposure to hospital, environment and procedures such as follow-up checkup’s and dialysis etc., are at much higher risk of developing this variety of pneumonia, which is also hard to treat.
It is also called aspiration pneumonia. When solid or liquid substances (that are traditionally meant to pass through the esophagus) accidently pass into the lungs, the risk of such kind of pneumonia increases. Certain drugs and alcoholism can also cause increase the risk of aspiration pneumonia.
When to See a Doctor
If you feel uncomfortable after a cold or flu suddenly, or if you cough, feel pain in chest or have a fever, see your doctor at once.
Some home remedies can help dealing with symptoms of pneumonia. Taking enough rests and peaceful sleeping can help in dealing with fatigue and discomfort. Drinking lots of water helps in clearing up the lungs. Take regular medications as prescribed and make sure you follow the course of medicines. Seek medical assistance if your symptoms are not improving or worsening despite medications.
Medications include a combination of different drugs to treat different symptoms.For example, antibiotics for bacterial pneumoniaalong with a cough medicine and an anti-pyretic agent can reduce fever. For fungal or viral pneumonia, anti-viral and anti-fungal medicines are given in combination with other drugs. In some cases, hospitalization may be needed if pneumonia has progressed to advanced or severe stages. In other cases, if resistant strains of bacteria are found, multiple antibiotics may be administered.
Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) is a common vaccination when a child is born. Adults can get pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV) or PCV, depending on various things. Other vaccines can be taken to avoid diseases that may lead to pneumonia, such as measles, chickenpox, flu, etc.
Maintain healthy person hygiene. Washing your hands often can reduce the ratio of getting bacteria or virus infection.
If you belong to the people who are at high risk of getting pneumonia, or you haven’t gotten vaccine, you should pay special attention to the infected people and stay away with them.
The best ways to avoid pneumonia is to stay away from smoking. If you smoke, you will have a higher risk of getting pneumonia.
Since smoking has great effect on your lung and pneumonia, get some tips to quit smoke from the video: