Pneumonia is an infection that inflames the air sacs in one or both lungs. The air sacs may fill with fluid or pus (purulent material), causing cough with phlegm or pus, fever, chills, and difficulty breathing. A variety of organisms, including bacteria, viruses and fungi, can cause pneumonia.
Pneumonia can range in seriousness from mild to life-threatening. It is most serious for infants and young children, people older than age 65, and people with health problems or weakened immune systems.
SYMPTOMS OF PNEUMONIA
The Signs and Symptoms of Pneumonia vary from mild to severe, depending on factors such as the type of germ causing the infection, and age and overall health. Mild signs and symptoms often are similar to those of a cold or flu, but they last longer.
Signs and Symptoms of pneumonia may include:
- Chest pain when breathe or cough
- Confusion or changes in mental awareness (in adults age 65 and older)
- Cough, which may produce phlegm
- Fever, sweating and shaking chills
- Lower than normal body temperature (in adults older than age 65 and people with weak immune systems)
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
- Shortness of breath
Newborns and infants may not show any sign of the infection. Or they may vomit, have a fever and cough, appear restless or tired and without energy, or have difficulty breathing and eating.
CAUSES OF PNEUMONIA
Pneumonia is classified according to the types of germs that cause it and where got the infection.
Community Acquired Pneumonia
Community-acquired pneumonia is the most common type of pneumonia. It occurs outside of hospitals or other health care facilities. It may be caused by:
- Bacteria. This is the most common cause pneumonia.This type of pneumonia can occur on its own or after one had a cold or the flu. It may affect one part (lobe) of the lung, a condition called lobar pneumonia.
- Bacteria-like organisms. Mycoplasma pneumoniae also can cause pneumonia. It typically produces milder symptoms than do other types of pneumonia. Walking pneumonia is an informal name given to this type of pneumonia, which typically isn't severe enough to require bed rest.
- Fungi. This type of pneumonia is most common in people with chronic health problems or weakened immune systems, and in people who have inhaled large doses of the organisms. The fungi that cause it can be found in soil or bird droppings and vary depending upon geographic location.
- Viruses, including COVID-19. Some of the viruses that cause colds and the flu can cause pneumonia. Viruses are the most common cause of pneumonia in children younger than 5 years. Viral pneumonia is usually mild. But in some cases it can become very serious. Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) may cause pneumonia, which can become severe.
Hospital Acquired Pneumonia : Some people catch pneumonia during a hospital stay for another illness. Hospital-acquired pneumonia can be serious because the bacteria causing it may be more resistant to antibiotics and because the people who get it are already sick. People who are on breathing machines (ventilators), often used in intensive care units, are at higher risk of this type of pneumonia.
Aspiration Pneumonia : Aspiration pneumonia occurs when we inhale food, drink, vomit or saliva into our lungs. Aspiration is more likely if something disturbs normal gag reflex, such as a brain injury or swallowing problem, or excessive use of alcohol or drugs.
RISK FACTORS OF PNEUMONIA
Pneumonia can affect anyone. But the two age groups at highest risk are:
- Children who are 2 years old or younger
- People who are age 65 or older
Other risk factors include:
- Being hospitalized.
- Chronic disease.
- Weakened or suppressed immune system.
COMPLICATION OF PNEUMONIA
Even with treatment, some people with pneumonia, especially those in high-risk groups, may experience complications, including:
- Bacteria in the bloodstream (bacteremia). Bacteria that enter the bloodstream from lungs can spread the infection to other organs, potentially causing organ failure.
- Difficulty breathing. If pneumonia is severe or have chronic underlying lung diseases, may have trouble breathing in enough oxygen.
- Fluid accumulation around the lungs (pleural effusion). Pneumonia may cause fluid to build up in the thin space between layers of tissue that line the lungs and chest cavity (pleura). If the fluid becomes infected,one may need to have it drained through a chest tube or removed with surgery.
- Lung abscess. An abscess occurs if pus forms in a cavity in the lung. An abscess is usually treated with antibiotics. Sometimes, surgery or drainage with a long needle or tube placed into the abscess is needed to remove the pus.
PREVENTION OF PNEUMONIA
- Maintain good hygiene-To protect against respiratory infections that sometimes lead to pneumonia, wash hands regularly or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.as
- Avoid smoking- Smoking damages lungs' natural defenses against respiratory infections.
- Keep immune system strong- Get enough sleep, exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet.
- Take care of childrenespecially in winter season, regullary change the diapers.e.tc
HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINE FOR PNEUMONIA
Bryonia : Very useful when chest pain accompanies pneumonia. There is stitching pain in chest which get worse on coughing and deep breathing.Indicated when while coughing, the patient needs to hold the chest because of the intense pain. recommended for expectoration of rust or brick colored sputa.There is difficulty in breathing, and there may be fever accompanied by chills.
Arsenic Album : Useful medicine for pneumonia with difficult breathing and shortness of breath. Useful when scanty frothy phlegm is present.Effective homeopathic medicine for treating pneumonia from consuming chilled food items. Indicared when pain located specifically in the upper third of the right lung.There is suffocating feeling, which gets worse on lying down or while sleeping.
Antimonium Tart : Very effective medicine for pneumonia when there is an excessive rattling of mucus in the chest. Useful when lungs are full of mucus which is not expectorated. There is Short and difficult breathing.Useful in the last stages of pneumonia.Very helpful when there is the occurrence of jaundice with pneumonia.
Hepar Sulph : Very effective medicine for pneumonia when the sputa are purulent which may be offensive.Useful for pneumonia in the suppurative stage. There is a loose cough with a rattling of mucus.Also fever with chills accompanying the above symptoms.e.t.c
RL 32 : For All Types of Cough