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What is Pneumonia?
Pneumonia can be defined as an inflammatory illness of the lung where lung parenchyma or alveolar inflammation occurs along with abnormal alveolar filling with fluid. It has been seen that pneumonia can be caused due to various reasons, which range from infections to chemical and physical injuries and also due to idiopathic causes, which are unknown causes. Basically this ailment is a very common ailment, which occurs in all age groups. Pneumonia is also the leading cause of death among the elderly and patients who had been suffering from chronic illnesses and terminal illnesses. There are vaccines available to prevent certain types of pneumonia but the prognosis depends on the type of pneumonia. Hence for treating this appropriate treatment and underlying complications and the person’s health has to be considered. There are various kinds of pneumonia and one of the most common types includes infectious pneumonia.

Symptoms of Pneumonia
Some of the most common symptoms associated with pneumonia are pain in the chest, cough, fever, and difficulty in breathing. Some of the diagnostic tools here include x-rays and examination of the sputum and then the treatment is prescribed based on the diagnosis. The people with infectious pneumonia are intense coughing which produces greenish or yellow sputum. A very common symptom of pneumonia is high fever that may be accompanied by shaking chills. Other symptoms of the disease include shortness of breath or pleuritic chest pain and a very sharp pain, which is experienced during deep breaths or coughs. Those who are suffering from pneumonia often cough up blood, experience headaches, and can develop the tendency of sweaty and clammy skin. Loss of appetite, blueness of skin, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and joint pains and muscle aches are common symptoms of the disease. The rarer occurring symptoms of this ailment include abdominal pain and diarrhea, severe weight loss and night sweats. Physical examinations like chest X-ray and blood tests and sputum cultures help to diagnose this ailment.


What are the causes of Pneumonia?
Studies have revealed that there are 30 different causes of pneumonia and they broadly fall into two categories, which include infective pneumonia and aspiration pneumonia. The infective pneumonia is caused due to inflammation and infection of the lungs and the bronchial tubes due to bacterial pneumonia or viral pneumonia entering the lungs and reproducing. The aspiration pneumonia is caused due to inflammation of the lungs and bronchial tubes when the person inhales vomit, mucous, or certain chemicals.

Treatments for pneumonia
The severe cases of pneumonia need to be treated through hospitalization but the more common forms are treated via oral antibiotics, fluids, and home care along with plenty of rest. Since this disease is contagious, children and the elderly should avoid contact with such patients, who should be restricted to certain areas of the home, till this disease is cured or till the rest period is over. Hospitals for such treatments include All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, PGIMER, Chandigarh and Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai.

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