Although pneumonia is a condition that most people have heard of, a lot of people do not actually have a full understanding of what it is.

Pneumonia is an infection in the lungs which causes the tissue in the lungs to swell. The infection can be present in either one or both of the lungs, and it can spread from one lung to the other. It is caused by a bacterial infection or virus entering the lungs.

This is one of the main health risks of the coronavirus pandemic. Covid-19 is a respiratory virus, so those who get infected with Covid can end up developing pneumonia as a result.

Who is at Risk for Pneumonia?

In terms of who is most affected by pneumonia, people with weaker immune systems like children and the elderly are usually affected the worse, but ultimately anyone can develop pneumonia. Another group that can be affected by pneumonia are people with pre-existing health conditions, such as asthma.

Because pneumonia is an infection, those who do not have a strong immune system can struggle to fight off the infection, which can lead it to become a more severe case. If a younger person or an elderly person develops pneumonia, they are more likely to be hospitalized as they will need stronger treatment.

Greatly at risk are people who smoke. Smoking causes serious damage to the whole body, but particularly the lungs. If you are a smoker, then you could be increasing your changes of pneumonia as your lungs are already weakened and therefore cannot fight off the infection as well. It is always important to notice if you have any sudden changes to your breathing and if you regularly start getting out of breath. While it could be nothing, it is always worth getting it checked out if you are worried.

Signs And Symptoms

So how do you know if it’s just a challenging cold or if it’s more serious? Here are some of the signs and symptoms of pneumonia. There are quite a few symptoms of pneumonia, some of them very common and some which are less common.

Pneumonia does not always present the same way in everybody, so it is important that you know the signs, to make identification a lot easier. Two of the most common symptoms are coughing and difficulty breathing. The type of cough can vary too, some people suffer from a dry cough, while others have one that produces phlegm. You may also realise that you are getting out of breath quickly or that you are struggling to catch your breath, even when resting. Some other common symptoms are a rapid heart, loss of appetite, and high temperature. A lot of these symptoms overlap with flu symptoms, which is why sometimes pneumonia is misdiagnosed.

Some less common symptoms of pneumonia are feeling confused and disorientated, which can lead to someone feeling stressed and anxious. This symptom is something that is more common in elderly people, as they can easily lose where they are and feel confused. People can also start coughing up blood with pneumonia and being physically sick. Both of these are less common symptoms, but they are very severe. Coughing up blood in any situation is a bad sign, so if any of these symptoms are present within someone, then they need to seek immediate medical attention.


Of course, if any of these symptoms occur and you are worried about what they may be, then it is always best to phone your doctor. If symptoms seem to come on suddenly. Or quickly worsen, it may be critical to go to the emergency room.  It’s important that if you feel things worsening, you should  make a doctor’s appointment. But if your symptoms are severe, then you may need to go to the hospital. Particularly with some of the symptoms like confusion and coughing up blood, a hospital visit will be needed.

It should go without saying, but in the event of an emergency, you should call 911 so the individual can be seen to immediately. If they are struggling to breathe to the point that they are turning blue, or they have collapsed, then you will need to phone an ambulance for them.

In terms of treatment for pneumonia, if the case is mild, then the patient can be treated at home. They will just need to get plenty of rest, take antibiotics, and stay hydrate and the infection will soon pass. Those who are already healthy should recover pretty quickly from pneumonia, but they may find that they have a lingering cough.

If you are in an at risk-group, then you will likely need to be treated at an urgent care facility or a hospital to ensure that there are no further complications. The hospital can keep an eye on you and make sure that you are fit and healthy before you are discharged.

It’s important to be reminded that being healthy can go a long way to living a life that feels nourishing.

When you are aware of how quickly a respiratory infection can turn into pneumonia, you are more able to react. You only have one body and taking care of yourself is always of value.

A healthy lifestyle goes a long way to helping create a life you love.

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