8 Symptoms of Pneumonia that You Shouldn’t Ignore

January 8, 2019
The health of our lungs is easily affected, especially in the cases of people with weak immune systems. Because of their sensitivity, we need to keep good care of them and take the appropriate precautions
Pneumonia is an infectious disease that directly attacks the lungs.

This disease usually affects people with weak immune systems more frequently, such as the elderly or children.

The progression of pneumonia can lead to different health problems which is why detecting it as early as possible is so important.

If you want to know more about pneumonia´s causes and symptoms, you´ll find all the answers in this article. Don´t miss out!

What exactly is pneumonia?

The lungs carry out one of the most important processes of the human body: respiration. They distribute oxygen and expel the carbon dioxide from our body.

Pneumonia is an infection of one or both of the lungs.

The infection causes the lungs to fill up with liquid and pus, making it considerably harder for a person to breathe. It can be life threatening because of:

  • The decrease in oxygen.
  • The accumulation of carbon dioxide in the body.

You might be interested in: 10 Signs that Your Lungs May Be Failing

What are the causes of pneumonia?

Microbes, bacteria, viruses and fungi usually cause pneumonia. They can be contracted through a wide range of ways such as:

  • Bacteria and viruses originating in the nose, mouth or paranasal sinuses can move towards the lungs.
  • Inhaling microbes.
  • Inhaling certain foods, liquids or secretions, among other things.
  • Infection from pneumococcal disease.
  • Flu complications.
  • Fungal infections.

What are the symptoms of pneumonia?

The symptoms of pneumonia can vary according to each case and the progression of the disease in a given patient. The most common symptoms include:

1. Chills

Normally, people suffering from pneumonia experience chills several times a day. These chills can last from anywhere between thirty and sixty minutes.

2. Fever and cough

Fever and cough are commonly the second symptoms seen in those afflicted by pneumonia. They can show consistent fevers that reach up to 40º C (104ºF), overall sickness and cough.

  • Mucus and phlegm may also be present in coughs. They may be brownish-red or yellow-green in color. In some cases, blood might be present.
  • Likewise, the fever and cough might be preceded by a throat infection.

This also might interest you: Home Remedies for When You Have a Fever

3. Breathing difficulties

Breathing difficulties occur due to the little oxygen that the body receives when it suffers from a disease like pneumonia. It´s more apparent when undertaking activities that require physical effort like:

  • Climbing stairs
  • Walking quickly
  • Lifting heavy objects

In addition to making it harder to breathe, this disease can also lead to quick, shallow breaths.

4. Pain when inhaling

People suffering from pneumonia usually experience pain when breathing in. The pain results from an inflamed pleura, better known as pleuritis.

5. Numbness and color changes in limbs

The lack of oxygen in the body can cause coldness, inflammation and numbness in the following areas:

  • Lips
  • Tongue
  • Body limbs
  • Fingers
  • Nose

Also, all of these zones may even appear blue or purplish.

We recommend that you read: Why Do We Get Cold Hands and Feet?

6. Joint pain

Some people suffering from this disease can have consistent joint pain due to the little amount of oxygen flowing throughout the body.

7. Confusion

In some cases, pneumonia can lead to mental changes like confusion or disorientation in the elderly.

8. White nail syndrome

Also known as leukonychia, this syndrome can result from chemical poisoning, cardiac diseases, pneumonia or hypoalbuminemia.

In addition to the previously mentioned, other pneumonia include:

  • Excessive sweating and sticky skin.
  • Little energy and fatigue.

If you show several of these symptoms, you should ask your trusted physician to undergo the appropriate tests for this disease. By doing so, you´ll be able to start the proper treatment for your case.

Featured image courtesy of © wikiHow.com

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