This used to be a fatal disease affecting the chest region before the new generation of drugs made it easy to control and treat. Essentially it is a lung disorder caused by infection. The infection can be caused by any kind of micro organism such as bacteria, viruses and fungi. There is no standard infection in the case of this pulmonary disease.
What is pneumonia’s physical indication?
The lung disorder usually begins with a mild cold and cough. The air sacs present inside the lungs tend to fill up with pus and mucous. These liquids in the lungs make it difficult to function normally. There can be fever and sharp pains in the chest. Breathing can become difficult for the patient. The pulmonary disorder can be caused by a bacteria, virus or fungus. If the patient has inhaled any foreign substances they can cause the disease.
What is pneumonia’s diagnosis?
If the disease is suspected, the doctor will order a chest x-ray. This will confirm the disease.
The doctor will also hear some abnormal sounds in the chest region when he listens through his stethoscope. These are caused by the liquids in the air sacs of the lungs.
Blood and sputum tests can also be done to collect a specimen of the organism causing the pneumonia. That way the doctor can aim his treatment specifically at a bacteria, virus or fungi that is causing the disorder in the patient.
A lung biopsy may also be needed in severe cases to determine the correct treatment. The easiest and most popular of these diagnostic tools are the physical examination of the patient using the stethoscope and the follow up with a chest X-ray.
What is pneumonia’s treatment?
The treatment of the disease is tricky because while antibiotics will cure a bacterial based pneumonia they will be totally useless against a viral pneumonia. In case the doctor does a more detailed diagnosis and verifies the source of infection, the medical will be on trial and error basis. In case the infection is not too severe over the counter medication can be taken to control the fever and the pain. Infection specific medication can be prescribed by the doctor.
In case it is a very severe form of pneumonia the endotracheal tube may also be required. This is essentially a breathing tube which is inserted in to the trachea, or main lung air passage. Through the tube oxygen is sent into the lungs to help the patient breath normally. It can also be used for suction to clean out the airways so that the patient is able to breathe freely.
What is pneumonia’s prognosis?
The state of health of the person will determine how well their body can fight the disease. The type of pneumonia will also affect the recovery of the person. In most cases the prognosis of a patient with pneumonia is good. The person is likely to recover fully. It can be dangerous for infants as they do not have the immune system to fight the infection.