Dec 30, 2016 by Glenn Savage
Usually caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi or other organisms, pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs according to the chief medical officer for the American Lung Association. This inflammation causes an outpouring of fluid in the infected part of the lungs, affecting either one or both lungs. The blood flow to the infected portion of the lung (or lungs) decreases, meaning oxygen levels in the bloodstream can decline.
Pneumonia can be caused by more than thirty different organisms. This variety of strains means that the symptoms may vary from case to case, however, some of the following symptoms may indicate the presence of pneumonia:
Part of the issue is that someone with pneumonia may think they only have a code or flu. The elderly are often prone to having fevers and some respiratory problems which either makes them more susceptible to pneumonia or masks the presence of it.
At a high level, there are two types of pneumonia: viral and bacterial. The only way to be certain of which type a person has is from a blood or phlegm test administered by a medical professional. In the case of viral, some patients may be prescribed antiviral medications – antibiotics are typically not effective against viral strains. For viral strains the patient usually heals via a regimen of plenty of rest, fluids and by eating healthy foods. Bacterial pneumonia is always treated with antibiotics. The only way to be certain whether pneumonia is present or not (and the type) is through tests administered by a doctor or certified medical professional.
Pneumonia is usually transmitted through the air or by hand-to-hand contact with an infected person and strikes people with weakened immune systems – meaning the elderly are more vulnerable. There are some steps you can take to keep the disease at bay.