Pneumonia is not a single disease but a type of lung infection caused by a bacteria, fungus, or virus.
The human nose and airways filter germs out of the air we breathe. But they don’t always work, such as when you're sick, or the bacteria are too strong. If these germs reach your lungs, you can contract pneumonia.
Pneumonia is serious because it can keep oxygen from reaching our cells, preventing them from working correctly. That leaves our entire body at risk of infection. Pneumonia can either be found in a single spot in one lung or patches throughout both lungs.
Pneumonia symptoms vary depending on what germ is involved and the condition’s severity. Age and health also play a role. Most patients with pneumonia experience chills, cough, fever, and shortness of breath. Some of them can also experience:
Your treatment plan will depend on your age, your overall health, and the type of germ that caused your infection. Recovery from pneumonia takes up to three weeks -- though children, the elderly, or patients with underlying medical conditions may take longer to get better.
Dr. Rabadi first performs a physical exam on patients with pneumonia symptoms. Using a stethoscope, he listens for abnormal lung sounds like crackling or wheezing. Chest X-rays and CT scans allow Dr. Rabadi to see pneumonia in your lungs. He may order additional tests to determine which germ is present before beginning treatment.
Most pneumonia cases are treatable with rest and medication. Patients should drink plenty of fluids to loosen mucus and take a break from work and household chores. Over-the-counter medication helps to control fever.
Dr. Rabadi prescribes antibiotics for bacteria-related pneumonia. Patients with viral pneumonia often receive antiviral medication. Some patients -- such as children, seniors, and patients with severe pneumonia -- require hospitalization.
Prevention is the best defense against pneumonia. Healthy lifestyle choices, frequent hand-washing, and a yearly flu shot are the best ways to keep nasty germs at bay. Call or go online to schedule your flu shot with Dr. Rabadi today.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!