Pneumonia in lungs or also known as wet lung is an infection that causes inflammation of the air sacs in one or both of the lungs. In pneumonia, a small set of air sacs at the end of the respiratory tract in the lungs (alveoli) will be inflamed and filled with liquids or pus. As a result, sufferers experience shortness of breath, cough with phlegm, fever, or chills.
Bacteria, viruses, and fungi are organisms that can cause pneumonia or wet lung. But in older people, this condition is most often caused by bacterial infections.
Pneumonia is one of the highest causes of death in children in the world. The World Health Agency (WHO) estimates that the disease is a trigger for 16% of the deaths of children under 5 years of age. In 2015, there were more than 900,000 children who died from pneumonia.
Symptoms of Pneumonia in Lungs
Symptoms of pneumonia in lungs can appear suddenly or slowly develop for 24 to 48 hours since they were infected. Still mild Pneumonia will usually cause flu-like symptoms, but it usually lasts longer. In addition, here are other symptoms that can be experienced by the pneumonia:
- Fever and chills;
- Dry cough or cough with a thick phlegm that is green, or with blood;
- Shortness of breath;
- Chest pain when coughing or inhaling;
- Nausea or vomiting;
- Decreased appetite; and
- Heart rate increases.
The age of pneumonia sufferer that is over 65 years old may not suffer fever, but may suffer loss of consciousness, such as seemed confused or less alert.
Causes and risk factors for Pneumonia in Lungs
The causes of pneumonia are varied, but based on their organism and spread place, pneumonia is differentiated into two, namely community pneumonia that spread in the community (general environment) and pneumonia transmitted in hospitals.
Organisms that can cause pneumonia to be transmitted in a common environment differ from in hospitals, generally organisms that cause pneumonia that are transmitted in hospitals are more difficult to treat.
Examples of organisms that cause pneumonia transmitted in public places, such as:
- The bacteria, most commonly are Streptococcus pneumoniae.
- A bacteria-like organism, Mycoplasma pneumonia.
- Fungus, usually fungi will attack people with impaired immune system.
Although it can happen to anyone, but some people are more susceptible to developing pneumonia in lungs, such as:
- Children aged 2 years and under 2 years old.
- Older people over the age of 65 years.
- Hospitalized for a long time.
- Treated in an ICU room and using a ventilator (breathing apparatus).
- Have a chronic pulmonary disease or heart disease.
- People who have low body immunity (such as HIV) or people who take the drug that suppresses the immune system, and are in a series of chemotherapy treatments.
General practitioner can diagnose the disease of pneumonia in lungs by asking for symptoms and using a stethoscope to listen to the lungs. Some further tests are needed in some cases.
Pneumonia can be difficult to diagnose because it has similar symptoms with other conditions such as colds, bronchitis and asthma.
Here are the questions you may be asked:
- Do you feel shortness of breath or breathe faster than usual?
- How long you cough, and whether you have a colored cough with phlegm
- Do you feel pain in the chest area when inhaling and exhale?
General practitioner may also check the temperature of the sufferer and listen to the front and back chest with a stethoscope or check the heartbeat.
The affected lungs emit a different sound with a healthy lung, as the sound of crackling and rumbling when you breathe.
In addition, the doctor will advise various supporting examinations, such as:
- Blood test to ensure infection and identify germ causes disease
- Chest X-ray to find the location and extent of inflammation in your lungs
- Oximetry to measure oxygen levels in your blood
- Sputum tests on the examination of mucous samples (sputums) to help determine the cause of infection
If you are considering a patient with a high risk of age and overall health conditions, the doctor may do some additional tests, such as:
- Chest CT scans. Checks to get a better view of the lungs or seek other complications
- Analysis of blood gas. This test is for measuring the amount of oxygen in blood samples taken from the arteries. This test is more accurate than using Oxymetry
- Culture of pleural fluid. This test is by removing a small amount of fluid from the surrounding tissues surrounding the lungs to identify the bacteria causing pneumonia
- Bronchoscopy. Examination procedure for viewing lung Airways
Thank you very much for reading Pneumonia in Lungs: The Symptoms, Causes, and Diagnosis, hopefully useful.