What is Pneumonia?

Pneumonia is an infection that causes inflammation of the air sacs in one or both lungs. While many germs can cause pneumonia, bacteria and viruses that live in the air we breathe is the most common cause. Our bodies usually prevent these germs from causing infection in the lungs, but sometimes, these germs can overpower the immune system, causing pneumonia.

Pneumonia can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi, and can be more severe in older adults, young children infants, or those with weakened immune systems. However, the most common cause of pneumonia is a form of bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae. Viral pneumonia can be caused by the measles, influenza or chickenpox viruses.

Common symptoms of pneumonia include:

  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Chest pain when breathing or coughing
  • Fever, sweating, or chills
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Shortness of breath

Treatment of Pneumonia

The treatment used will depend on the type and severity of your pneumonia, as well as your age and overall health. Treatment options may include:

Antibiotics- Are used to treat bacterial pneumonia.

Cough Medicine- Can be used to calm a cough so that you can rest during recovery.

Fever Reducers- Can be taken as needed to address fever and discomfort. These medications may include aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen.

Individuals should also get plenty of rest, stay hydrated, and take medication as prescribed during recovery.  Those who are very young or elderly who are experiencing difficulty breathing or have severe symptoms should visit an emergency room, as pneumonia could be life-threatening.

If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of pneumonia, visit Springfield Urgent Care today to be seen by one of our medical professionals.

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