Pneumonia is a form of acute respiratory infection that affects the lungs whereby the sir sacs in one or both lungs fill with fluid or pus which can range in severity from mild to severe.
This disease can be caused by bacteria,fungi or viruses.
A person is at a higher risk of getting pneumonia if:They smoke,they have a weakened immune system,they have other chronic diseases like asthma,are hospitalized or using a ventilator.
There are several types of pneumonia like;
*Walking pneumonia which is a type of pneumonia which is not severe enough.
*Viral pneumonia which is an infection of the lungs caused by a virus.
*Bacterial pneumonia which is an infection of the lungs caused by bacteria.
*Chemical pneumonia which is an inflammation of lung tissue caused by poisons or toxins.
Pneumonia is normally categorised according to the area of the lungs it affects.Bronchial pneumonia or bronchopneumonia affects areas in both lungs.Lobar pneumonia affects one or more lobes of the lungs.
Pneumonia progresses in different stages like
*The congestion phase or stage 1 whereby the lungs become very heavy due to accumulated fluid in the air sacs.
*Red hepatization or stage 2,the lungs have a reddish pigment due to red blood cells and immune cells that have entered the lungs to fight the infection.
*Gray hepatization or stage 3,the red blood cells will disintegrate in this stage giving the lungs a grey colour.
*The resolution phase or stage 4 and is also called the complete recovery phase as the immune system gets rid of the infection.
A cough with phlegm or pus,fever,chills or difficulty breathing,sharp chest pain,dehydration,loss of appetite,wheezing,shortness of breath,clammy skin,sweating,loss of appetite,shallow breathing,fast heart rate or cough are some of the symptoms pneumonia can cause.
Pneumonia is a serious disease that makes it difficult to breath because the air sacs are filled with fluid which makes it hard for the oxygen breathed to get into the blood stream. It can cause more serious complications like bacteremia,difficulty breathing,pleural effusion or fluid accumulation around the lungs and lung abscess.
Vaccination, stopping smoking,practising good hygiene,getting enough sleep,eating healthy and exercising are some of the ways this disease can be avoided.
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