What is pneumonia?
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Among the most diverse diseases, pneumonia (pneumonia) ranks 4th in the number of deaths per year after strokes, heart attacks and cancers. Inflammation of the lungs refers to the infectious diseases transmitted by airborne droplets. For information on how to spread pneumonia, see our article Impure Pneumonia.
What is pneumonia: causes
Pneumonia develops after pathogens enter the body. As a result of the vital activity of pathogenic bacteria and viruses, inflammation of the respiratory organs and accumulation of mucus (exudate) in the alveoli develops. To protect yourself and your loved ones, it is important to have an idea about how the disease spreads and the first symptoms.
How does the infection occur?
The main reason for the development of pneumonia is the penetration into the respiratory tract of pathogens. A healthy person becomes infected by airborne droplets after contact with the patient.Much less often the cause of the development of the disease becomes stagnant fluid as a result of a long stay in a horizontal position.
The causative agents of pneumonia are considered to be bacteria (pneumococcus, staphylococcus, streptococcus and others), viruses (rhinovirus, influenza) and fungi (candida, aspergillus, etc.). Pneumonia caused by viruses is referred to a separate group of atypical pneumonia, which is associated with a different pattern of the course of this type of disease.
As a result of the development of an infection, the macrophages responsible for the elimination of the pathogenic cells rush to the lungs along with the blood, and the exudate accumulates. In addition, some pathogens emit toxic substances that lead to the death of lung tissue (necrosis).
Risk factors for pneumonia
As you know, not every person who has had contact with an infected person becomes ill later on. The fact is that the development process of pathogens is influenced by several other factors, among which there are:
- reduced immunity;
- chronic respiratory diseases;
- alcohol abuse;
- heart diseases;
- various injuries of the chest;
- oncological diseases;
- elderly age.
Pneumonia caused by fungal infections is more common in people with HIV.
What are the symptoms of pneumonia
It must be borne in mind that the symptoms accompanying pneumonia are also observed in other lung diseases, therefore it is required to immediately consult a doctor for an accurate diagnosis. For other illnesses with similar symptoms, read our article How lungs hurt.
- Cough. Dry or with mucopurulent sputum coughing can be a symptom of many diseases, including pneumonia. With lobar pneumonia, sputum is streaked with blood.
- Temperature. The temperature of a patient with pneumonia rises sharply to 38 - 40 degrees, while he feels a strong chill.
- General symptoms. A person feels very tired, body aches, headaches and muscle pain, the skin becomes unnaturally pale tint.
- Chest pain. The patient often complains of chest pain, which is aggravated by coughing or breathing, and shortness of breath is also observed. All these symptoms indicate lesions of the pleura.
- Cyanosis of the nasolabial triangle.In some patients, cyanosis of the nasolabial triangle is observed.
Depending on the extent of the lesion, there are several types of pneumonia.
- Focal pneumonia is often the result of diseases of the upper respiratory tract. At the same time, the patient, who only felt relief after the flu or ARVI, again notes a sharp jump in temperature, a “second wave” of symptoms, a worsening of the condition. X-ray diagnostic results will show small foci of infection;
- Croupous pneumonia - this type is indicated as a diagnosis if at least one lobe of the lung is affected. The patient feels sick and pain in the lungs;
- With total pneumonia, all symptoms are seriously aggravated, and an X-ray image captures the complete infection of both lungs.
It is worth noting that in children and the elderly, all the symptoms are more pronounced than in adults.
For more information about the symptoms of pneumonia, you can find in our article Signs of pneumonia.
What treatment is prescribed
The treatment is prescribed by a specialist, so it is imperative that you refer the patient to the clinic. Most often, therapy is carried out in the hospital.For treatment of pneumonia, see the article "How to treat the lungs?" - http://elhow.ru/zdorove/anatomija/vnutrennie-organy/kak-lechit-legkie.
The effects of pneumonia
Inflammation of the lungs is one of the most dangerous diseases, so the lack of adequate and timely treatment can lead to serious health problems.
With effective treatment, recovery occurs in 4–6 weeks, otherwise there is the likelihood of complications:
- Lung pleurisy - inflammation of the pleura, which develops as a result of accumulation of fluid in the pleural cavity;
- Lung abscess is a pathological condition characterized by the presence of a cavity in the lung filled with pus. As a result, the damaged area of the lung does not participate in the process of respiration;
- Pulmonary edema is a dangerous pathological condition in which the alveoli of the lungs are filled with fluid, resulting in their shutdown from gas exchange, which can lead to the cessation of spontaneous breathing and death.
For the successful treatment of respiratory diseases, timely diagnosis and adequate therapy are important.