Pneumonia: Know Symptoms, Causes And Risk Factors For This Disease

Pneumonia can be caused because of bacteria and virus. Know different symptoms and risk factors for this disease.

Puru Bansal
Written by: Puru BansalPublished at: Dec 01, 2021Updated at: Dec 01, 2021
Pneumonia: Know Symptoms, Causes And Risk Factors For This Disease

Diseases and infections go with each other. Lung infections are increasing around the globe and it is important to understand the cause behind it. A person should particularly be very attentive towards any symptoms that give signs of lung diseases. Pneumonia is a disease that can cause life threatening complications and is a very contagious disease. It spreads from person to person and could spread by mere cough or sneezing. Today we will discuss about all the possible causes, symptoms and risk factors that are associated with pneumonia. Pneumonia is of both viral and bacterial infection; let us understand this disease in detail. 

What is Pneumonia?

Pneumonia is an infection which gets affected by both bacteria and virus. According to Dr. Sumeet Nigam, General Physician of Sahara Hospital, Lucknow, and this disease causes infection in the lungs. The infection caused in the air sacs limits the air flow in the body and promotes fluid build-up in the alveoli. This pus or fluid buildup in the air sacs make it difficult for the person to breathe and he needs strict medical attention to recover from that stage. 

pneumonia_cough

Pneumonia spreads rapidly and can affect another person which just being in contact in the same environment. It travels through air and water droplets which could cause viral disease to other person as well. Pneumonia can also be affected because of coming in contact with the contaminated object. 

How can Pneumonia Affect you?

Pneumonia can affect you because of various possible reasons. It spreads from different ways that need to be prevented if possible. 

1. Hospital acquired pneumonia 

Hospital acquired pneumonia is when you are admitted to the hospital because of some other disease or reason and you get pneumonia in the process. This happens because there is variety of infections and diseases which spread in the hospital causing pneumonia. It also makes you resistant to antibiotics and some other medications. Therefore a person must be aware of the preference of hospital and its sanitization.

2. Community acquired pneumonia

This refers to pneumonia which spreads outside a medical setting as in normal environment. In this condition, pneumonia is usually occurred because of airborne disease and reasons thereby. Community acquired pneumonia can be troublesome and needs immediate medical support to prevent it from spreading to other people as well as reducing the threat to that person.

3. Ventilator associated pneumonia

This is one of the most common causes of mortalities in case of pneumonia. Whenever a person is put on a ventilator, the chances of him surviving are very less already. Being infected with pneumonia at that stage because of ventilator could worsen the condition of patient and reduce his chances of survival. 

4. Aspiration pneumonia

In this method the pneumonia is affected because of inhaling particular bacteria from air or food, etc. Acquired pneumonia also spreads through saliva and getting from the drink. This type of pneumonia could cause problems related to breathing difficulties very often. You must go to the hospital and get medical attention as soon as you get symptoms of this disease. 

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Symptoms of Pneumonia

Pneumonia has varied symptoms but majority of symptoms remain same for everyone. This consists of the following-

  • Chest pain
  • Fever
  • Persistent cough with phlegm 
  • Sweating and chills
  • Chest pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Feeling tiredness or fatigue
  • Shortness of breath while doing very general activities
  • Headaches

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Why is Pneumonia Caused?

Pneumonia happens because of infection in lungs due to bacterial presence or viral infection. It may also be caused because of fungi growth. The immune system gets affected because of this and it can create problems in the air flow in the lungs. Lungs get inflamed because of pneumonia infection which eventually ends up building fluids that can result to breathlessness and serious problems. Rest of the problems as associated with the type of infection it has been caused by. Therefore the cause of pneumonia depends on those reasons.

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Risk Factors of Pneumonia

Risk factors of pneumonia include conditions that could possibly increase the risk of falling for this disease. Here are some factors you need to know about-

  • Infants and children till 2 years of birth
  • People over 65 years
  • People that have weak immune system
  • While pregnancy
  • Having HIV increases the risk
  • Use of certain medications such as steroids or cancer drugs
  • People with asthma
  • Liver disease
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • COPD
  • Kidney diseases
  • Have had heart failure before
  • Those having diabetes
  • People who have been recently hospitalized or admitted

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