Pneumonia is a form of acute respiratory infection that is most caused by viruses or bacteria. It can cause mild to life-threatening illness in people of all ages. The lungs are made up of small sacs called alveoli, which fill with air when a healthy person breathes. When an individual has pneumonia, the alveoli are filled with pus and fluid that makes breathing painful and limits oxygen intake.
- Shortness of breath
- Fever, sweating and shaking chills
- Chest pain
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
- Loss of appetite
- Confusion, especially in older adults
- Viruses such as influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and SARS-CoV-2
- Bacteria such as pneumococcus
If an individual has difficulty breathing, develops a bluish color in your lips and fingertips, has chest pain, a high fever, or a cough with mucus it is an Emergency and need to seek medical care so go to an Emergency or call Emergency Help. It is especially important to get medical attention for pneumonia if you are in a high-risk group, including adults older than age 65, children age two or younger, people with an underlying health condition or weakened immune system.
If an individual has symptoms that do not need emergency help it is recommended to go to a General Practitioner or Internal Medicine or Infectious Disease and Clinical Microbiology or Pulmonary Medicine or Allergy and Immunology specialist in near days.
- Medical History: Questions about signs and symptoms, and how and when they began.
- Physical Exam: Listen to lungs with a stethoscope
- Blood Tests
- Imaging Tests
- Pulse Oximetry
- Arterial Blood Gas Test
- For further examination if doctor need extra information
- Sputum Test
- Pleural Fluid Culture
- Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.
Some conditions that share similar symptoms with pneumonia, and which your doctor may be trying to rule out, include:
- Acute bronchitis
- Upper respiratory tract infection
- Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- Based on the cause of infection such as antibiotic or antifungal or antiviral therapy
- Get vaccinated
- Be careful about hygiene such as washing hands
- Eat a healthy diet
- Get regular light exercise
- Increase fluid intake
- If there is need, oxygen therapy can be considered
- Do not drink alcohol or use illegal drugs
- Do not smoke
- Get plenty of sleep
- Take a couple of deep breaths
Does pneumonia go away on own?
Viral pneumonia usually goes away on its own.
Can I have pneumonia without a fever?
It is possible to have pneumonia without a cough or fever. Symptoms may come on quickly or may worsen slowly over time.
- World Health Organization. Health Topic: Pneumonia. Retrieved April 24, 2021, from https://www.who.int/health-topics/pneumonia#tab=tab_1
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (March 9, 2020). Pneumonia. Retrieved April 25, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/pneumonia/
- American Lung Association. (2020, October 23). Pneumonia. Retrieved April 24, 2021, from https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/pneumonia
- John Hopkins Medicine. Pneumonia. Retrieved April 24, 2021, from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/pneumonia
- National Hearth, Lung and Blood Institute. Pneumonia. Retrieved April 24, 2021, from https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/pneumonia
- National Health Service. (2019, June 30). Pneumonia. Retrieved April 24, 2021, from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pneumonia/
- Mayo Clinic. (2020, June 13). Pneumonia. Retrieved April 25, 2021, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pneumonia/symptoms-causes/syc-20354204
- American Thoracic Society. (2020). What is Pneumonia?. Retrieved April 25, 2021, from https://www.thoracic.org/patients/patient-resources/resources/what-is-pneumonia.pdf
- Klompas M. (2021). Clinical evaluation and diagnostic testing for community-acquired pneumonia in adults. UpToDate. Retrieved April 25, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/clinical-evaluation-and-diagnostic-testing-for-community-acquired-pneumonia-in-adults?search=pneumonia&source=search_result&selectedTitle=1~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=1#H557987629