Pneumonia Symptoms, Causes, and Risk Factors
Kalyan nagar, Bengaluru Feb 9, 2017
Pneumonia is a general term for lung infections that can be caused by a variety of virus and bacteria. Pneumonia begins after an upper respiratory tract is infected with symptoms starting after 2 or 3 days of a cold or a sore throat, gradually moving towards the lungs. Pediatric pneumonia is a leading health issue among children and poses a serious threat to their well-being.
ARE YOU AT RISK?
Some genetic and lifestyle influences put your kid at a greater risk of developing pneumonia.
- Premature birth
- Second-hand smoking
- Heart defects, such as ventricular septal defect (VSD), atrial septal defect (ASD), or patent ductus arteriosus (PDA)
- Poor nutrition
- Weakened immune system
- Indoor or outdoor pollution
- Lack of appropriate breastfeeding for the first six months of life
- Inadequate zinc intake
SYMPTOMS & SIGNS
The few visible symptoms of pneumonia are generally fever or cold. Symptoms may vary from person to person.
- Very fast breathing or trouble breathing
- Chest pain
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Pale or bluish lips, fingernails, or toenails
- Stuffy nose
- Wheezing sounds
Treatment options will depend on the type of pneumonia (viral or bacterial) with which a person is infected. Bacterial pneumonia is treated with antibiotics. Viral pneumonia is treated with antiviral medicines. Many patients start recovering after taking the prescribed medications. Additional care may be needed if the patient doesn't feel better after 2 to 3 days of treatment. A hospital stay could be necessary if symptoms are extreme.
- Practicing good hygiene and health habits such as frequent hand cleaning, coughing or sneezing into a handkerchief instead of hands, avoid interaction with those who are sick, receiving proper nutrition and getting adequate rest can all help ward off pneumonia.
- Avoiding tobacco smoke and other types of pollutants (indoor and outdoor).
- Increasing access to immunization and vaccination.
- Breastfeeding during the first six months is extremely critical in preventing pneumonia.