As horrible as it sounds, pneumonia is basically an infection caused due to fungi, viruses, or pneumonia bacteria, depending on its type. The infection is caused in either one or both the lungs, where the lungs’ air sacs become inflamed and filled with fluids that cause difficulty breathing.
If pneumonia is either the pneumonia bacteria or the viruses that make it viral pneumonia, this horrendous disease can be contagious.
Pneumonia can transfer from one person to person if the person having pneumonia either sneezes or coughs, and the other person gets to inhale the airborne droplets. Fungal pneumonia does not spread from person to person as it is caught from the environment.
Higher Risks of Getting Pneumonia:
A person may have higher risks of getting affected by the pneumonia bacteria if:
- The person is suffering from other conditions that may have affected his body’s defense mechanism.
- If the person smokes.
- The person is habitual of consuming too much alcohol.
- If the person doesn’t eat healthily or get enough vitamins.
- 65 or more age.
- If the person is recovering from some kind of surgery.
- The person having a weak immune system.
The severity of Pneumonia caused by Pneumonia Bacteria:
The severity of pneumonia that is caused due to the pneumonia bacteria depends on the following factors:
- The overall health of the person suffering from pneumonia.
- The age of the person who has got attacked by the pneumonia bacteria.
- The strength of the pneumonia bacteria in particular.
- Whether the person suffering from pneumonia has other diseases.
- Last but not least, how quickly the pneumonia is diagnosed and treated.
Symptoms of Pneumonia:
These are the most prominent symptoms of pneumonia that are caused due to pneumonia bacteria.
- The kind of chills that makes you shake even if the weather is not that cold.
- Fast heartbeat and breathing.
- Very much low appetite.
- If you see greenish, yellowish, or bloody mucus when you cough.
- Difficulty in catching your breath when you have moved a lot.
- If you see your fingernails or lips turning blue.
- Severity in sweating.
- Feeling kind of sharp chest pain while coughing.
- High fever that reaches the level of almost 105’F.
The cause of Bacterial Pneumonia:
If pneumonia caused due to the pneumonia bacteria is something you want to understand in easier and simpler words, this portion will cover it for you. The pneumonia bacteria make their way towards the lungs and then multiply in numbers causing the disease to become problematic.
The doctors classify this kind of pneumonia to know whether the pneumonia was developed inside a hospital or outside. Here are the two classifications of pneumonia bacteria .
The Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia (HAP):
If you get exposed to germs in a doctor’s office or a hospital, the pneumonia is called hospital-acquired pneumonia. It occurs basically two or three days after you have been exposed to the germs. This type of pneumonia can be extremely serious and sometimes prove fatal for the people suffering from it.
Here are the major causes of the HAP:
- The person has had major surgery like chest surgery.
- The person is on a breathing machine.
- If the person has had a major treatment like cancer treatment and has a weak immune system.
- The person is not alert about the major problems caused due to swelling after a stroke.
- Have some long-term chronic lung diseases.
- Due to illnesses or medicines.
The HAP can also be spread due to the passing of germs from the health workers either from their hands, tools they used, or even from person to person. This is why it is extremely emphasized to use clean gowns, wash hands and follow proper safety measures in a hospital.
Community-Acquired Pneumonia (CAP):
The most common type of bacterial pneumonia is CAP. When you get exposed to germs or bacteria outside a hospital or a health care setting, the pneumonia is called Community-Acquired Pneumonia. This kind of pneumonia is contagious as you can easily get it from inhaling droplets or even with the skin-to-skin kind of contact.
CAP’s causes are almost the same except that they don’t include the hospital in the scenario. Here are the main causes of CAP occurring in a person:
- The excessive use of alcohol.
- If the person is having health problems like kidney failure.
- The person is having some lung problems already.
- The immune system is weak due to health problems.
- Coming in contact with other people suffering from pneumonia.
- The influenza flu virus is one of the major causes of Community-Acquired Pneumonia to occur.
How is Bacterial Pneumonia Diagnosed?
Here is how the doctor gets the proper diagnosis of bacterial pneumonia:
- First and foremost, the doctors will listen to the chest sounds and observe if the breathing indicates the heavy secretion of mucus.
- The higher number of white blood cells indicates infection; therefore, the doctor will take a blood sample to check.
- After that, a blood culture will be taken to help identify the bacteria that has caused the infection and determine if the bacteria has spread to the bloodstream.
- The sample of mucus is also taken to check the bacteria which are causing the infection.
- At last, the doctor will ask for chest X-rays to confirm all the observations made.
How to prevent Bacterial Pneumonia:
Here is how you can prevent bacterial pneumonia:
Regularly wash your hands:
Either you are about to prepare food or are going to eat food, wash your hands. Additionally, make sure to properly wash your hands after blowing your nose, use the bathroom, or change your baby’s diapers. Washing your hands can prevent getting germs inside your body.
Take Vaccination Seriously:
The children below 5 and the adults who are above 65 should get vaccinated against a very common bacterial pneumonia, called pneumococcal pneumonia. This vaccine is also recommended for adults and children who have other health problems to prevent the occurrence of bacterial pneumonia.
That cigarette that you smoke just for the sake of fun can cause huge damage to your health. Tobacco present in cigarettes highly affects the lungs’ capability of fighting off infections, and thus the smokers possess a higher risk of getting infected with pneumonia.
Pay Attention to your Overall Health:
Here are some of the prominent things you should pay attention to:
- Get a proper and healthy diet, a good exercise routine, and some rest.
- Be aware of any respiratory symptoms that may remain for more than a few days.
- Get proper guidelines from your doctor for your children and follow the prescriptions they may assign you religiously.
Bacterial Pneumonia – Conclusion:
The name itself sounds as horrible as the disease is. The symptoms may be visible, and the doctors may diagnose pneumonia caused by pneumonia bacteria; however, prevention is always better than cure. Take your health seriously and get yourself checked as soon as the symptoms remain for more than a few days and get treated according to the doctor’s prescription.