Pneumonia can be caused by a number of outside factors. Today we’re going to look at bacterial pneumonia, what you should know about it, and how it is treated.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of pneumonia, speak to your doctor about ways to diagnose what type it is and how you should treat it.
Pneumonia is described as any inflammation of the lungs that can impede breathing and may result in a persistent cough. Bacterial pneumonia is inflammation of the lungs caused bacterial infection. Pneumonia could also be caused by factors such as fungi, viruses, parasites and even inorganic compounds.
Bacterial pneumonia, by definition, is caused by a bacterial infection in one or both lungs. A major cause of such infections in the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae, which causes pneumococcal disease. Pneumococcal disease occurs in roughly 900,000 people in the US every year, and of them, nearly half become hospitalized.
Of the 400,000 or so people hospitalized by pneumococcal disease, roughly 6 percent of people die from complications due to the disease.
Symptoms that could be related to pneumonia of any type include chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, chills and a fever. Bacterial pneumonia could also have symptoms including a cough that produces yellow or green mucus.
Remember: determining the exact causes of a case of pneumonia can be quite difficult, as most forms of pneumonia have similar symptoms. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, you should visit your doctor so they can diagnose the causes of your condition.
A doctor will usually listen to the sound of your breathing to determine if your lungs sound abnormal. Then, if they determine you have pneumonia, they will give you a chest X-ray to see what areas in the lungs are inflamed. Other tests could include arterial blood gas tests, or even a bronchoscopy.
Once they have determined whether your pneumonia is bacterial, or some other type, they’ll discuss treatment.
For a bacterial infection, the most straightforward treatment is a round of antibiotics. These antibiotics are typically specific to the type of bacteria at play in your system. In some cases, doctors will also prescribe medication to help ease breathing if you’re experiencing difficulty catching your breath.
Other medications could include over-the-counter medications to combat aches and pains your pneumonia could be causing you. Typically, patients are recommended to go home, get some rest, drink plenty of fluids and just generally take it easy as the antibiotics do their work.