Pneumonia is a severe lung infection that affects millions worldwide. Although anyone can get pneumonia, vulnerable groups like children and elderly adults are the most susceptible. The deadliness is not necessarily from the infection itself but rather the serious complications that can arise, including sepsis and respiratory failure.
Read more about this common infection and how to protect yourself.
Pneumonia is an infection that can come from different sources, including bacteria, fungi, and viruses. The condition can develop from breathing in the germs, and the severity can range from mild to life-threatening. It all depends on the type of infection and the person’s overall health.
Many often confuse bronchitis with pneumonia as they share many of the same symptoms, such as shortness of breath and coughing. Usually, it takes medical attention to diagnose one or the other.
What You Can Do to Protect Yourself
You can protect yourself by seeking medical attention as soon as you have symptoms like shortness of breath, productive coughing, fever, and chills. While these symptoms may resemble a typical cold, they can indicate something more severe. And only a CT scan or x-ray can confirm the diagnosis.
Reducing activities that make the lungs vulnerable, like vaping and smoking, can help improve your chances of a smooth recovery if you develop pneumonia. Receiving a vaccination also helps improve immunity from certain pneumonia types.
When to Call a Doctor
The last thing you should do is ignore symptoms that affect your breathing, such as coughing up phlegm or difficulty breathing. In more severe cases, pneumonia only takes a few hours to become deadly as the person drowns in their own fluids. If you notice your common cold symptoms worsening or lasting too long, seek immediate medical attention.