Pneumonia is an inflammation of the alveoli (the air sacs) of one or both lungs. This inflammation is caused by an infection that can be bacterial, viral, or caused by fungi. In most cases, it is bacteria based. Because of this inflammation, the air sacs become filled with pus, a dense fluid, that impacts breathing. Pneumonia symptoms can range from causing mild pain to being life-threatening.
The most common symptoms of a pneumonia are the following:
- Coughing (with or without mucus)
- Chest pain
- Trouble breathing
- Fast heartbeat
In kids, other symptoms of pneumonia can be a fast paced breathing when under the age of 5 years old, while infants may vomit and refuse to eat/drink.
Types of pneumonias and treatment
A viral pneumonia is caused by a respiratory virus and is less likely to last long than a bacterial pneumonia. It can often be a consequence of a previous illness such as a bronchitis. A bacterial pneumonia is usually caused by an infection by some types of bacteria and require antibiotics for treatment. If presenting symptoms of pneumonia, it is important to come see a doctor as he may perform tests such as an X ray and mucus analysis in order to establish which kind of treatments would work best in helping avoid any life-threatening scenarios.