Pneumonia is an infection in the lungs caused by a variety of organisms. One of the biggest myths about this condition is that it’s always caused by bacteria. The truth is pneumonia is an infection, but it might involve:
Part of the diagnostic challenge faced by professionals like Dr. Mehta or nurse practitioner Li Chin Sun is figuring out what type of organism is invading the air sacs of the lungs.
When a person has pneumonia, the air sacs can fill with a pus or fluid, making it very difficult to get oxygen into the blood. The condition ranges from mild to extremely severe and can lead to long-term complications, such as:
Pneumonia can even lead to death, so it's not something that should be left untreated.
One of the reasons pneumonia is such a challenge is sometimes the symptoms are very mild. A patient might think he or she has a little cold that will go away over time, instead of an acute infection. Some common symptoms include:
Newborn babies can have pneumonia with no symptoms at all.
If you suspect you have pneumonia, don't wait. The quicker you get treatment, the better the chances of avoiding potential complications. This is especially true for high-risk groups. If you:
For these individuals, mild pneumonia can quickly become life-threatening. If you feel bad enough to wonder if you have pneumonia, don’t hesitate to make an appointment. It's a treatable condition, so there is no reason to suffer with it.
That depends on many factors including the source of the infection, your age, and your overall health. In most cases, it is treated at home with medication. In severe cases, Dr. Mehta or Li Chin Sun may recommend hospitalization for more aggressive treatment.
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