Inflammation of the lungs (pneumonia) – a group of lung diseases in humans and animals, which is characterized by inflammation in the alveoli in the lung tissue and bronchial tubes. In humans, it’s caused by viruses, pneumatic or staphylococci and other microorganisms. Depending on the amount of damage the doctors distinguish croupous pneumonia (pleuropneumonia, with the defeat of the lobe), focal (bronchopneumonia, with lesions adjacent to the bronchi) and interstitial.
- The deterioration of general health. Chills.
- Cough, expectoration.
- The high temperature.
- Shortness of breath.
- Rapid pulse.
- Chest pain.
Usually, inflammation of the lungs is caused by bacteria (pneumococci, staphylococci, streptococci, etc.), or viruses. It can begin by inhalation of toxic substances, too hot or too cold air, and as a result of the injury. The primary acute pneumonia include pneumonia as a distinct disease, as well as another manifestation of the disease, which has nosological specificity (eg, influenza, plague pneumonia). Secondary acute pneumonia is often a complication of many diseases, e.g., pertussis, measles, malaria, cancer, as well as impaired immune system.
Infection is not always the cause of pneumonia. There are non-infectious pneumonia, which are caused by an allergic reaction of the body, such as toxic substances, metal vapor, radioactive radiation, some drugs and dust.
Treatment of pneumonia is mostly carried out in the hospital. Sometimes, if the disease is not very serious, treatment is possible at home.
Regardless of the type of pneumonia, the patient must comply with bed rest and drink plenty of liquids (tea, juice), complete diet, and fortified digestible food. The room should be regularly ventilated; the air must be fresh and moist. Painkillers and drugs that suppress the dry, painful cough, phlegm, and facilitating expectoration are appointed. With a shortage of oxygen shortness of breath occurs, blood circulation is disturbed, there is a cyanosis. In this case, the patient is given oxygen. Causal treatment depends on the causative agent of the disease, that is determined by laboratory tests of blood. Bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics, such as pneumococcal pneumonia is usually prescribed with penicillin.
When there is bacterial pneumonia and pronounced symptoms of the disease, patients usually cause a doctor at home. In other types of pneumonia symptoms may be less pronounced. In the dry irritating cough, headache, muscle pain, high temperature, you should contact your doctor.
At a temperature, chills, chest pain, cough doctor may suggest the presence of pneumonia. To confirm the diagnosis the doctor performs X-rays and blood tests. Pathogens are detected by laboratory tests. Sometimes, it’s necessary to make biopsy of the lung, blood gas analysis to determine the degree of violation of respiratory mechanics and gas exchange in the lungs, which is caused by inflammation.
People who lead a healthy lifestyle, is less prone to pneumonia. However, any disease can cause the occurrence of pneumonia, so treatment should be brought to a full recovery in order to avoid complications. With a weakened immune system, it is recommended to be vaccinated against pneumonia.
Course of the disease depends on the pathogen and the disease severity of the inflammatory process. Usually bacterial pneumonia typically is more severe than those from mycoplasmas or viruses. However, complications (eg, pleural effusion or lung abscess) are rare. Despite the advances of modern medicine, pneumonia can lead to death. If lung damage persists for more than 6 or 8 weeks (that is visible on x-rays), it is considered chronic inflammation.
Who usually gets sick with pneumonia?
You can get sick with pneumonia at any age. Pneumonia usually affects children in the first year of life and the elderly over 60 years. Predisposing factors – alcoholism, weakening defence reactions, disorders of consciousness, neurological disease, which affects the respiratory muscles, and reduced resistance to various pathogens and cold. Pneumonia can be a distinct disease, and complication. It develops in the presence of infectious disease of the airways and lungs (eg, pertussis, measles, flu), and cancers (eg, leukemia). Today, the most common causative agent is mycoplasma. However, it can be caused by many other bacteria and viruses and fungi. The disease is characterized by acute onset. There are chills, fever, headache, irritation of the throat, pain when inhaling, breathing becomes rapid, superficial. In abdominal pain may occur, the patient becomes restless, he reduced appetite, face red, rash, nausea may occur too.
The most common pathogen – pneumococcus or Streptococcus pneumoniae. Causative agents of the upper airway enter the lungs and bronchial tubes are reinforced in it. Usually pneumonia starts suddenly – with shivering attack. Then there is fever, pain when coughing, shortness of breath, and cough with phlegm. This inflammation is treated with penicillin.
Pathogen – Staphylococcus aureus. Symptoms are similar to those, which are observed with pneumococcal pneumonia. The disease is treated with antibiotics. Due to the fact that there are very severe complications, mortality is 30-40%.
Pneumonia, which is caused by Haemophilus influenzae
Pneumonia, which is caused by these bacteria, affects predominantly children. This pneumonia is treated with antibiotics. Haemophilus influenzae causes other diseases, such as meningitis. In most cases, a precursor of pneumonia is a running nose. Inflammation of the meninges, which is caused by this bacterium, is extremely dangerous. Recently, pneumonia, which is caused by Haemophilus influenzae, is very rare.
Lung inflammation can be caused by different viruses, but most often by RS-virus, adenovirus, parainfluenza and influenza. At first, viruses penetrate the epithelium and cause bronchiolitis. The spread of infection leads to pneumonia. Symptoms – headache, fever, muscle aches, cough with phlegm. Elderly people over 65 years of age and children up to 4 months with viral pneumonia are hospitalized. In the treatment antibiotics and antiviral drugs are used.
Pneumonia is also caused by fungi and parasites. In such cases, antibiotics are prescribed. The factors that contributes to pneumonia – mixed flora entering a foreign body in the airway (often occurs in young children and patients with neurological diseases).
If Legionnaires’ disease (legionellosis) is complicated by inflammation of the lungs, it is very dangerous to health. In the respiratory tract bacteria enters with tiny droplets of water. Elderly are the most often die from this disease.
How to protect yourself?
- To avoid complications such as pneumonia it’s necessary:
- Do breathing exercises.
- Oral hygiene.
- Lift the upper part of the patient’s body.
- Humidify the air in the room.