3 minutes read.
Table of Contents
Facts About Pneumonia.
Pneumonia is the swelling or inflammation of the tissues in one or both of your lungs. This is usually caused by a virus (like COVID-19) or a bacterial infection.
There are other types of pneumonia such as:-
Aspiration pneumonia which is caused by breathing in vomit, a foreign object like a nut, smoke or chemical fumes.
Fungal pneumonia which is more likely to affect people with a weakened immune system.
Hospital-acquired pneumonia where you can develop this in the hospital while being treated for another condition or having an operation.
The people who are at a higher risk of developing this illness are those with asthma, cystic fibrosis, heart, kidney, or liver conditions, have weakened immune systems, having chemotherapy and those who take medicine after an organ transplant.
Anyone can get pneumonia but it is the very young and the very old who are at the greatest risk.
Unfortunately, the cases of pneumonia are increasing due to COVID-19, climate change, and conflict.
Children are particularly vulnerable if they live in areas with declining vaccination rates, rising malnutrition, and in homes that use polluting fuels for cooking and heating. The childhood rates of pneumonia are worse in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Older adults exposed to air pollution and smoking are also at risk. Almost half of the 1.6 million pneumonia deaths among adults aged over 50 are attributable to air pollution and smoking.
You can have this illness and not know. This is known as ‘walking pneumonia’ and the symptoms include mild fever, a dry cough lasting longer than a week, chills, shortness of breath, chest pain, and reduced appetite.
You can get pneumonia more than once in your life.
Symptoms of Pneumonia.
The symptoms can either develop suddenly over 24-48 hours or they may come on more slowly over a few days.
- A cough that may be dry or it could produce a thick yellow, green, brown or blood-stained mucus.
- Breathing difficulties. Your breaths may be rapid and shallow and you could feel breathless even when you are resting.
- A rapid heartbeat.
- High temperature.
- Generally feeling unwell.
- Sweating and shivering.
- Loss of appetite.
- Chest pain – which becomes worse when breathing or coughing.
Less common symptoms include:-
- Coughing up blood.
- Feeling sick or being sick.
- Joint and muscle pain.
- Feeling confused and disorientated; particularly elderly people.
Get emergency services if you or someone you care for is:-
- Struggling to breathe.
- Coughing up blood.
- Have blue lips or a blue face.
- Feeling cold and sweaty.
- Have pale or blotchy skin.
- Have a rash that doesn’t fade when you roll a glass over it.
- Collapsing or fainting.
- Confused or very drowsy.
- Have stopped peeing or peeing much less than usual.
4 Ways to Help to Prevent Pneumonia.
Pneumonia isn’t usually contagious but a good standard of hygiene will help germs from spreading.
1. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Immediately, throw away used tissues.
2. Wash your hands regularly to avoid transferring germs to other people or objects.
3. Stop smoking because it increases your chance of getting infections.
4. Reduce your alcohol consumption. Excessive and prolonged alcohol misuse also weakens your lungs’ defences against infections.
I’ve never had pneumonia, have you? Feel free to comment below.
Thank you for reading.
Sources: stoppneumonia.org, nhs.uk, mayoclinic.org, lung.org, who.int, healthline.com, blf.org.uk