How to Tell If You Have Pneumonia
Pneumonia occurs when inflammation caused by viral, bacterial or fungal infection occurs in your lung. Many people often fail to identify the signs of pneumonia because of two reasons: first, pneumonia occurs frequently in the winter when other health problems, including cold, fever and coughing, are common; second, the initial signs of pneumonia are quite similar to the signs of other respiratory problems, including the mildest and negligible ones. They become aware that they are having pneumonia only after their condition has become severe.
So, How to Tell If You Have Pneumonia?
To make certain that the respiratory problem you are suffering is pneumonia, you should mind the following factors.
Risk of pneumonia
Pneumonia can be suffered by anyone, regardless of their age and gender; however, a group of people are more vulnerable to pneumonia than the others. The group includes people who live with chronic respiratory diseases, such as asthma and emphysema; elderly people; diabetic people; people who smoke and consume much alcohol; people with AIDS; people with mobility challenges caused by such conditions as stroke and cerebral palsy; people with organ transplant; and people who take steroids or chemotherapy drugs. If you think that you are in that group, you should beware of pneumonia because your chance to suffer it is relatively big.
Signs and symptoms
When pneumonia occurs, three signs that are easy to identify are chest pain, difficulty of breathing, and tachycardia or rapid heart rate. If you experience any or all of those symptoms, you have to be alert because you may have suffered pneumonia.
Pneumonia is primarily caused by bacterial infection, although in rare situations, virus and fungus may also cause the infection. If you live in a place where air is unfiltered, you become more vulnerable to pneumonia because all airborne bacteria or spores may enter your lung and cause infection. You should be alert especially in the winter when the air becomes damp. In the winter, pneumonia is more likely to occur.
Finally, the most accurate way to tell if you have pneumonia is by consulting a doctor. A doctor will hear the sound of your lungs when you are breathing using a stethoscope. This simple medical procedure is enough to determine whether or not you have pneumonia.
Now you know how to tell if you have pneumonia. If you indeed have pneumonia, you should know how to treat it because without treatment, pneumonia may worsen and even cause fatal consequences if it is suffered by people with specific medical conditions.
How to Treat Pneumonia
Because pneumonia is caused by infection, antibiotics are often the most reliable remedies to treat it. If you consult a doctor, he/she will mostly prescribe an antibiotic to you. The type of antibiotic given by your doctor depends on what causes the infection and your overall health condition. If you take the drug regularly, your pneumonia will start to disappear after about a week. If the problem has become quite serious, more time might be needed for the healing process to proceed.