Women health


Causes of lung infection

A disease called pneumonia causes the air sacs in one or both lungs to become inflamed. The air sacs may swell with fluid or pus (purulent material), which can lead to a cough that produces pus or phlegm, a fever, chills, and breathing difficulties. Pneumonia can be brought on by a number of different species, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

The severity of pneumonia can range from minor to life-threatening. The most vulnerable groups include newborns and young children, adults over 65, and those with health conditions or weaker immune systems.


Pneumonia symptoms range from minor to severe, depending on your age and general health as well as the sort of bacterium that is infecting you. Mild symptoms and indications frequently resemble the common cold or flu, but they remain longer.

Pneumonia can show these signs and symptoms:

  1. cough or breathing in your chest hurts
  2. confusion or shifts in consciousness (in adults age 65 and older)
  3. coughing, which could result in phlegm
  4. Fatigue
  5. High temperature, perspiration, and chills
  6. a body temperature that is below average (in adults older than age 65 and people with weak immune systems)
  7. diarrhea, vomiting, or nauseous
  8. breathing difficulty

There may be no symptoms of the infection in newborns and young children. Also possible are vomiting, fever & cough, agitation, exhaustion, and lack of energy, as well as problems breathing and eating.

when to visit the doctor

Consult a physician if you experience breathing difficulties, chest pain, a persistent temperature of 102 F (39 C) or higher, or a chronic cough, particularly if you are coughing up the pus.

People in these high-risk groups should make an appointment with a doctor immediately:

  1. persons over the age of 65
  2. Children under the age of two with symptoms
  3. individuals with a compromised immune system or underlying medical conditions
  4. those who are receiving chemotherapy or using immunosuppressive drugs

Pneumonia can swiftly turn into a life-threatening condition for some elderly individuals, as well as for those with heart failure or chronic lung conditions.


Pneumonia can be brought on by several bacteria. The most prevalent are the germs and viruses in the air we breathe. Normally, your body protects your lungs against infection by these microbes. Even if you normally have good health, these viruses occasionally have the capacity to overwhelm your immune system.

Pneumonia is categorized based on the types of germs that cause it and the location of the infection.

  • Pneumonia acquired in the community

The most typical form of pneumonia is community-acquired pneumonia. It happens outside of hospitals or other healthcare facilities. It might be brought on by:

  • Bacteria

Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most typical bacterial pneumonia culprit in the US. This particular form of pneumonia can develop on its own or following a cold or the flu. The illness is known as lobar pneumonia and may only affect one lung lobe.

  • organisms resemble bacteria

Another pneumonia-causing agent is Mycoplasma pneumoniae. Compared to other varieties of pneumonia, its symptoms are often less severe. This type of pneumonia, known colloquially as "walking pneumonia," is frequently not severe enough to call for bed rest.

  • Fungi.

People with weak immune systems, chronic health conditions, and those who have breathed high concentrations of the organisms are more likely to get this type of pneumonia. Soil contains the fungus that causes it.

  • viral infections, such as COVID-19

Some viruses that cause the common cold and the flu can also lead to pneumonia. Pneumonia in children under the age of five is typically brought on by viruses. Most viral pneumonia is not severe. It can, however, occasionally get terrible. Pneumonia that might result from the 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) is serious.

  • Pneumonia contracted at a hospital

When they are in the hospital for another sickness, some patients develop pneumonia. Due to the possibility that the bacteria causing it may be more resistant to medications and the fact that those who contract it are already ill, hospital-acquired pneumonia can be dangerous. The risk of developing this type of pneumonia is increased in those using ventilators, which are frequently employed in intensive care units.

  • Pneumonia acquired in a medical facility

People who reside in long-term care facilities or who receive medical attention in outpatient clinics, particularly kidney dialysis facilities, are at risk for developing healthcare-acquired pneumonia, a bacterial infection. The same bacteria that can cause hospital-acquired pneumonia can also produce healthcare-acquired pneumonia, which is more difficult to treat with medications.

  • pneumonia due to aspiration

When you inhale food, drink, vomit, or saliva into your lungs, aspiration pneumonia happens. Aspiration is more common if something interferes with your natural gags response, such as brain damage or swallowing issue, or if you use alcohol or drugs excessively.

Risk factors

Anyone can get pneumonia. However, the two age groups that are most at risk are:

  1. children that are under 2 years old
  2. Those who are at least 65 years old
  3. Additional danger signs consist of:

  • getting hospitalized

In a hospital intensive care unit, especially if you're using a breathing machine, you're more likely to develop pneumonia (a ventilator).

  • persistent illness

Asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and heart disease increase your risk of developing pneumonia.

  • Smoking

Smoking impairs your body's natural safeguards against the viruses and bacteria that cause pneumonia.

  • the repressed or weakened immune system

The risk group includes those with HIV/AIDS, organ transplant recipients, chemotherapy patients, and those on long-term steroids.

Consequences Even with therapy, certain pneumonia sufferers, particularly those in high-risk groups, may still experience complications, such as:


  • infection in the blood (bacteremia).

The infection may spread to other organs and result in organ failure if bacteria from your lungs reach the circulation.

  • breathing challenges.

You can have problems getting adequate oxygen if your pneumonia is severe or if you have long-term lung conditions. You might need to stay in the hospital and use a ventilator while your lung repairs.

  • Pleural effusion: fluid buildup around the lungs

The lungs and chest cavity's narrow space between tissue layers may get clogged with fluid as a result of pneumonia (pleura). You could require a chest tube to remove the fluid if it becomes contaminated.

  • Abscess in the lung.

When pus accumulates in a lung cavity, an abscess develops. Antibiotics are frequently used to treat an abscess. To drain an abscess of pus, surgery or a lengthy tube or needle inserted into the abscess may be required.


Pneumonia prevention:

Consider buying a vaccine.

Some strains of influenza and pneumonia can be prevented using vaccines. Regarding getting these shots, consult your doctor. Even if you remember getting vaccinated against pneumonia in the past, immunization recommendations have changed over time, so it's important to discuss your vaccination status with your doctor.

Don't forget to immunize your kids.

For children under the age of 2 and those who are particularly at risk for pneumococcal disease, those between the ages of 2 and 5, doctors advise a separate pneumonia vaccine. Immunization should be given to all kids who go to a daycare facility for multiple. For children older than 6 months, doctors also advise flu vaccines.

Maintain proper hygiene.

Regular hand washing or the use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer will help you prevent respiratory infections, which can occasionally develop into pneumonia.

Avoid smoking.

The natural defenses of your lungs against respiratory infections are harmed by smoking.

Maintain a robust immune system. Get enough rest, work out frequently, and maintain a balanced diet.


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