Pneumonia is an acute respiratory infection commonly caused by viruses or bacteria. It can be seen in people of all age groups and is one of the leading causes of death in the country when it comes to senior citizens, adults, or even children. Thus, any type of infection leading to an inflammatory response when it comes to the lung is pneumonia. Though pneumonia mainly happens due to bacterial infections, fungal infections or viral infections like influenza or Covid-19 virus can also take a toll on the lungs inviting this condition.
To mark World Pneumonia Day approaching soon on November 12, OnlyMyHealth editorial team talked to Dr. Prabhakar Shetty, Pulmonologist, SRV Hospitals Goregaon, to know about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of pneumonia. It is important to raise awareness related to this fatal respiratory health condition. Remember that timely treatment is key to tackling it.
Causes of pneumonia
In our country Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the commonest causes of lung Pneumonia. Individuals who work in chemical factories, have underlying chronic respiratory conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or have had severe COVID infection may get pneumonia. Smoking, use of alcohol and illicit drugs also contribute as risk factors for pneumonia. Other factors are lack of enough nutrition in children, poor ventilation at home or workplace, HIV, and use of steroids or other immunosuppressant medications for organ transplants or autoimmune disorders.
Symptoms of pneumonia
Some of the most common symptoms of pneumonia are fever, chills, loss of appetite, cough with yellowish or green-colored sputum and even breathlessness. Consult the doctor once you notice the above symptoms immediately. It is imperative to avoid neglecting this condition and initiate the right kind of treatment.
Diagnosis and treatment of pneumonia
One will have to opt for a chest X-ray or a CT scan in order to confirm the diagnosis of this condition along with blood and sputum tests. The treatment of pneumonia is in the form of antibiotics and supportive care to overcome this condition.
Vaccines like influenza and pneumococcal can reduce the risk of this condition. So, do not skip vaccination. Avoiding smoke, alcohol and drug use will reduce the risk of pneumonia. Have a healthy diet consisting of vital nutrients, exercise daily, control diabetes, follow cough etiquette, and avoid going to crowded places.