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Understanding How to Deal With Pneumonia

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Understanding How to Deal With Pneumonia

The lungs have air sacs called alveoli where the body's oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange between the lungs and blood. Pneumonia is when the alveoli are filled with liquid or pus, making breathing hard.

Symptoms of Pneumonia

Pneumonia symptoms can vary. Some people barely know they are experiencing it. In severe cases, you need to receive medical attention. The reaction depends on several factors, including the type of infection you get, your age, and your overall health.

Here are some of the common pneumonia symptoms to watch out for:

  • Coughs that produce greenish, yellowish, or bloody mucus.
  • Shallow breathing
  • General shortness of breath
  • Fever that may be accompanied by shaking and chills
  • Loss of appetite
  • Decrease in energy
  • Stabbing chest pains when coughing or even breathing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion, which is common among older people

The Types of Pneumonia

The most common form of pneumonia is bacterial, and it is the most dangerous. Symptoms are often severe enough to require medical attention.

People suffering from bacterial pneumonia often experience high fever, reaching 105 degrees Fahrenheit. It is accompanied by profuse sweating and a sharp increase in breathing and pulse rate. You can also check the lips and nailbeds. They can turn blue due to the lack of oxygen in the blood. Because of the severe symptoms, the patient can become delirious and confused.

Viral pneumonia symptoms develop over several days. Early signs include fever, dry cough, muscle pain, headaches, and fatigue. After a few days, they may get worse, including high fever and blueness of the lips and nailbeds like that mentioned earlier.

Specific demographics can have their symptoms. Newborns and infants can experience vomiting alongside the usual signs. Those with compromised immune systems face complications and different reactions altogether.


Diagnosing Pneumonia

Because of the variability of the symptoms, pneumonia is challenging to diagnose. It does not help that, on the surface, it looks like influenza or a cold. To properly diagnose the condition, a doctor will investigate your medical history, perform a physical exam, and run tests.

It starts with asking about your work, travel, and potential exposure to other people. That helps determine if you were infected by a bacteria, virus, or fungi.

Using a stethoscope, the doctor will listen to your lungs for sounds when you inhale. Crackling or rumbling sounds may point to an infection.

Diagnostic tests to determine pneumonia include:

  • Blood tests to identify and confirm infection
  • Chest X-ray to assess inflammation of the lungs
  • Sputum test to look for the source of the infection

When to Call a Doctor for Pneumonia?

Out of 1.5 million people diagnosed with pneumonia in the United States in 2018, there were over 40,000 casualties. Because it affects the lungs, pneumonia can be very dangerous as it affects your breathing. On top of that, it can complicate other conditions you may already have.

That is why it is recommended that you seek medical attention immediately if you know you have pneumonia. If your pneumonia symptoms are mild, do not wait for it to get worse before finding treatment. That is especially true for kids, older adults, and others at high risk for pneumonia.

Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care – Navarre

Visit Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care

Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care's emergency room is open 24/7, and urgent care is available from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day. Appointments are unnecessary - walk in, and our healthcare professionals are ready to help at both of our locations.

Navarre - 8888 Navarre Pkwy., Navarre, FL 32566. Call the center at 850-750-5698.

Nine Mile - 9400 University Parkway Suite 101A Pensacola, FL 32514. Call the center at 448-227-4600.

Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care is comprised of board-certified ER-trained physicians and professionally trained ER nurses who deliver quality medical care. Our urgent care and emergency room can effectively treat various medical conditions. From fever to fractures, allergies to abdominal pain, and colds to concussions, we have you covered with on-site labs, CT, X-rays, and ultrasound.