Pneumonia is an infection that occurs when the air sacs around your lungs are filled with pus or fluid. Pneumonia may cause you to cough up pus or phlegm, and cause a fever, difficulty breathing, and chills. Various organisms, including fungi, viruses, or bacteria cause pneumonia. The infection can be mild to life-threatening, but it is usually only serious for infants, children, and those older than 65. If you are experiencing any of the below symptoms, contact us for an appointment and pneumonia treatment Los Angeles.
Pneumonia symptoms can range from mild to severe and depend on what type of germ is causing the infection. Your overall health and age can also play a factor. Symptoms of a mild infection are similar to those of the flu or a cold but tend to last longer. Some of these symptoms include:
- A cough, that may produce phlegm
- Chest pain when you cough or breath deeply
- Fever, shaking, chills, and sweating
- Shortness of breath
- Diarrhea, nausea, and/or vomiting
- Low temperature
If your newborn has pneumonia, he or she may not show any symptoms. However, obvious symptoms can include a fever, a cough, restlessness, tiredness, or having difficulty breathing and eating.
Several germs cause pneumonia. The most common are viruses and bacteria in the air you breath. Although your immune system is built to keep them from infecting your lungs, they can overpower your body’s defense. Pneumonia is classified in accordance with where you came in contact with it and what type of germ is causing it.
The most common is one that you contract outside of a hospital and can be caused by:
- Cold and flu viruses – These can also cause pneumonia. Children 5 years old and younger are infected more often than any other age group. While it can be a serious infection, it tends to be milder.
- Bacteria-like organisms – These types of organisms cause more mild symptoms than others. Walking pneumonia is another name for this infection and bed rest is not required since it is not severe enough.
- Streptococcus pneumonia – The most common cause since it is bacterial pneumonia and is likely to occur after a cold or flu.
- Fungi – Those with a weakened immune system or chronic health issues are most affected by this type of pneumonia. The fungus that causes pneumonia is found in bird feces and soil.
Medication can treat some types of pneumonia. Symptoms will subside after a few days, but you may have continued tiredness that lasts for over a month. Your treatment will depend on your age, overall health, type of pneumonia, and how severe the infection is.
- Antibiotics – Used to treat bacterial pneumonia.
- Fever reducers and pain relievers – Used to reduce your fever and discomfort.
- Cough medicines – Used to reduce the amount of coughing. Coughing moves fluid out of your lungs, so it is important not to completely eliminate your cough.
Hospitalization is usually not required but may become necessary if you:
- Are experiencing confusion
- Are older than 65
- Have declined kidney function
- Are breathing rapidly
- Have a temperature lower than normal
- Require breathing assistance
- Have a heart rate above 100 or below 50
Children may require hospitalization if they:
- Are younger than 2 months old
- Are excessively sleepy
- Have low blood oxygen levels
- Are dehydrated
- Are experiencing labored breathing
If you suspect that you or your child are suffering from pneumonia and require assistance, please contact us at (213) 386-2511 or schedule an appointment online.