Many viruses and bacteria that cause pneumonia can already live in your nose or throat. Your immune system generally keeps pneumonia away from your lungs. However, your immune system may be weakened because you are already battling another disease or because of other factors such as an organ transplant. Immune strength decreases with age, so the risk of pneumonia is higher if you are over 65 years old.
It is an infection that infects the air sacs in one or both lungs. The air sacs can fill with fluid or pus (purulent substance) and cause mucus or pus, fever, chills, and also, difficulty breathing. Various organisms including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. can cause it. It can be serious and range from mild to fatal. This situation is especially serious for Infants and young children, people over 65, and people with health problems or a weak immune system.
Symptoms range from mild to severe and depend on factors such as the type of germs causing the infection and age and general health. Mild signs and symptoms are similar to the common cold or flu, but they last longer.
Its Symptoms may include:
- Chest pain when breathing or coughing
- Confusion or change in mental level awareness (in adults 65 and over)
- Coughing that may produce phlegm·
- Fever, sweating and tremors ·
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea ·
- Dyspnea . Many germs can cause it.
Types of Pneumonia
These are mostly bacteria and viruses in the air we breathe. Your body usually prevents lung infections from these germs. However, sometimes these germs can defeat your immune system even when your overall health is good.
- Infection site bacteria: Streptococcus is the main cause. This type of it can occur alone or after a cold or flu. It can affect the part (patch) of the lungs, a condition called pneumonia.
- Bacteria-like organisms: Mycoplasma can also cause pneumonia. It generally causes milder symptoms than other types of pneumonia.
- Ambulatory pneumonia is an informal name for this type of pneumonia, which is usually not severe.
- Fungi: This type is more common in people with chronic health problems or a weak immune system, as well as in people who inhale large doses of these organisms. The fungi that cause them are found in the soil and vary depending on geographic location.
- Viruses: Some viruses that cause cold and flu can cause pneumonia. Viruses are the leading causes in children under the age of five. Viral infection is usually mild. In some cases, it can be very serious.
Risk factors for pneumonia
- It can affect anyone. The two most vulnerable age groups are:
- Children under 2 years · People over 65 years of age Other risk factors are:
- Hospitalization: The risk of pneumonia is higher if you are in an intensive care unit, especially if you use a device that helps you breathe (the ventilator).
- Chronic disease: If you have asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or heart disease, you are more likely to get it.
- Smoking: smoking can damage the body’s natural defenses against the bacteria and viruses that cause pneumonia.
- Weakened or suppressed immunity: people living with HIV / AIDS and others who have had the disease.
- Organ transplants, those who have received chemotherapy or who have had long-term use of steroids, have an increased risk of developing pneumonia.
It can be prevented by Vaccination:
Vaccines are available to prevent certain types of pneumonia and influenza. Talk to your doctor. The vaccination recommendation has changed over time. So, be sure to check your doctor’s vaccination status, even if you remember that you’ve already received its vaccine. Make sure children are vaccinated: Doctors recommend another vaccine for children under 2 years old and children 2 to 5 years old, especially children at risk for pneumococcal disease. Children attending groups should also be vaccinated. Doctors also recommend flu shots for children over 6 months of age.
To protect yourself from respiratory infections, which sometimes cause pneumonia, also, wash your hands regularly or use alcohol-based disinfectants. No smoking: Smoking damages the lungs’ natural defense mechanisms against infections of the respiratory tract.