Pneumonia is disease involving infection of lungs, most commonly caused by some bacteria or virus but can also be caused by inhaling vomit or other harmful substances. Lets take a closer look on the various causes, symptoms and treatments of pneumonia.
The pneumonia can be divided into two major types based on the cause that is infective pneumonia and aspiration pneumonia.
The infective pneumonia is caused by bacterial or some types of viral infections. This is the more common type of pneumonia. This is infective and can spread by coughing or sneezing.
The aspiration pneumonia is caused by inhalation of harmful chemical substances, fume, vomit etc. This is much more uncommon and is not communicative.
There are over 30 causes of pneumonia. All of these pneumonia causes can be categorized in to infective and aspiration pneumonia.
The infective pneumonia is caused by infection of lung and bronchial tube by a virus or bacteria. Based on whether the infection is caused by a bacteria or virus the pneumonia is called bacterial pneumonia or viral pneumonia. The most common pneumonia cause in case of infective pneumonia is Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria or Pneomococcus. The pneumonia caused by this virus occurs only in lobar form; i.e. it infects only one section of the lung.
Beside pneomococcus some other bacteria and an increasing number of viruses are also identified as the cause of pneumonia.
Aspiration pneumonia can be caused by inhaling vomit or other bodily fluid, fumes or harmful chemical substances. Increased exposure to such substances can lead to losing the lung elasticity and an increased risk of lung and airway diseases.
As there are many causes of pneumonia, the pneumonia symptoms vary greatly as well. Pneumonia may start with cold followed by high fever. Common symptoms also include shortness of breath and chest pain which is increased whenever you take a deep breath. Discolored and / or bloody sputum in the cough may also be a symptom of pneumonia.
Pneumonia symptoms can also seem like a worsening cold with muscle aches and headache. Cough may not be a big problem if the infection is located farther from the airway. In children pneumonia symptoms can also include fever.
Infective pneumonia treatments may include antibiotics, over the counter medicines like ibuprofen and acetaminophen for pain and fever relief, bed rest etc. Cool mist humidifier can be used to make breathing easier as well.
Aspiration pneumonia treatments focus on breathing support and may include giving endotracheal tube, cleaning of breathing tube etc.
As we can see the pneumonia can be caused by several reasons and the symptoms, and treatment of it vary accordingly as well.