Skye likes writing about mental health, nutrition, and wellness. She is passionate about sharing information that will educate, and positively affect people's lives.
Dr. Aaron Wiegmann
Dr. Wiegmann earned his medical degree (M.D.) from Rush Medical College and completed his General Surgery residency at Rush University Medical Center and Cook County Hospital. He has a Master's Degree (M.S.) in clinical research and has published numerous peer-reviewed articles.
April 13, 2021
Signs of pneumonia are very dependent on the stage of pneumonia, as well as how you got it. A bacterial pneumonia, for example, is going to affect your body differently than a viral pneumonia. The mildest pneumonia symptoms tend to mimic the symptoms of a cold or the flu, but they can last until long after the illness has passed.
Early signs of pneumonia include:
These symptoms are relatively common, no matter the type of pneumonia. If you have these symptoms, then you will need to go see a doctor and get your lungs checked out.
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The most common symptoms of bacterial pneumonia are:
In very severe cases, your lips and nails may develop a bluish tinge, and you may have some confusion or hazy-mindedness. These symptoms require immediate medical attention.
While bacterial pneumonia is the most common version, viral and fungal pneumonia also warrant attention.
If you have viral pneumonia, the symptoms tend to come on more slowly, and the sickness might even be mistaken for the influenza virus.
These early signs of pneumonia can include:
As time goes on, these symptoms worsen until you have a painful cough, muscle pain, trouble breathing, and fatigue.
Although rare, fungal pneumonia shares several symptoms with its other pneumonia types and can often develop in immunocompromised patients. However, if you have allergies or asthma, the symptoms can be much worse.
Symptoms can include:
Since the symptoms of pneumonia can be mistaken for various other ailments and illnesses, the process to diagnose pneumonia is done by a doctor. If you come in with any of the previously mentioned symptoms and don’t have a cold or the flu, it could be pneumonia.
Even MedlinePlus.gov states that “sometimes pneumonia can be hard to diagnose… it may take time for you to realize that you have a more serious condition.”
First, the doctor will speak to you about your medical history to try and figure out what type of pneumonia you have.
You might be asked about:
Once you have answered the questions, the doctor will perform a physical examination on you and listen to you breathe in and out through a stethoscope. Whenever you have pneumonia, there will be crackling or rumbling sounds coming from your chest whenever you inhale and exhale. If the doctor can hear that, then they will order more tests.
In order to confirm the diagnosis and pinpoint exactly what type of pneumonia you have, more tests must be completed.
These can include:
The Pulse oximetry test is a test that measures the oxygen level in your blood because pneumonia may restrict the amount of air that goes into the bloodstream. Once all of the tests are complete, doctors will create a treatment plan.
The goal of therapy is to make sure that the infection is completely treated. Typically doctors will prescribe antibiotic medications. Even when you start to feel better, you need to continue taking the drug to ensure the infection is eliminated for good. Otherwise, pneumonia can come back even stronger.
If you have viral pneumonia, then the antibiotic routine will not work. Instead, your doctor may recommend that you take an antiviral medication. Much like bacterial illnesses, viral pneumonia will eventually get out of your system, and sometimes the only thing you can do is treat the symptoms and rest your body. Your immune system will ultimately destroy the virus on its own.
Yes, pneumonia is curable. It will take some time and some medicine, but all types of pneumonia and the assorted pneumonia symptoms are all possible to cure.
If you find yourself feeling sick, or dealing with any pneumonia symptoms, make sure that you get yourself checked by a doctor. The earlier you can catch your pneumonia, the faster it can be treated and cured. If your pneumonia is detected later, doctors can still treat it, but the process will take longer.
Minor cases can likely be handled by an online doctor, while severe cases should be treated by your primary care physician, an urgent care facility, or an emergency room.
If you have pneumonia, you don’t need to worry. It can be treated with both medication and time. Talk to a doctor, follow their orders, and get lots of rest.
To talk to an online doctor, you can visit our sister site, PlushCare. You will be able to speak with a top doctor who can diagnose, treat and prescribe medication to your local pharmacy.
Click here to book an appointment with a doctor.
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