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 14, 2021
The three main types of pneumonia aren’t that different from one another, and they all are named after what causes them. The three types are:
There are several different types of pneumonia that you can get, and each of the three types is broken down into four stages. Depending on what stage you are in, and the type of pneumonia you have, your treatment plan could be very different.
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Read on to dive deeper into each type of pneumonia, the stages associated with them, as well as how to treat it.
There are different ways to get pneumonia, and they are each named after the way they are contracted.
Bacterial pneumonia is contracted after bacteria makes its way into the patient’s lungs. This can happen by being in close proximity with someone who has pneumonia and inhaling the bacteria that they put into the air. You can also inhale bacteria from food or drink when it goes down the wrong pipe.
“Bacterial pneumonia can affect all ages,” explains Johns Hopkins Medicine, “but you are at greater risk if you abuse alcohol, smoke cigarettes, are debilitated, have recently had surgery, have a respiratory disease or viral infection, or have a weakened immune system.”
Most bacterial pneumonia can be classified by the way you received the bacteria, and there are two common types that most doctors see.
Viral pneumonia often strikes after your body is weakened by another illness. It is most commonly introduced to you by the influenza virus, or other respiratory-focused viruses that get into your body. Measles, chickenpox, and other viruses can lead to pneumonia, especially in young children who don’t have the most robust immune system.
Fungal pneumonia can be caused by different types of fungi in the air, and is common in people with weakened immune systems. If you have HIV or are taking medications designed to slow down your immune response, you are at a greater risk of getting fungal pneumonia.
Types of pneumonia can also be classified by where it is inside of your lung.
Additionally, an illness called pneumonia pregnancy or maternal pneumonia can only happen in pregnant women. Women who are pregnant are more susceptible to pneumonia because their immune systems tend to be weakened.
The symptoms aren’t any different from regular pneumonia, but it is vital that you see a doctor right away. If left untreated, then maternal pneumonia can cause problems for your child. Other than having pneumonia while pregnant, the treatment plan is the same, and it can be cured without harming the baby.
Antibiotics are tailored to fight most of the bacteria that will cause bacterial pneumonia. Once the doctors run more tests on your body and figure out the exact bacteria causing your illness, they will give you antibiotics designed to fight that specific bacteria.
Viral and fungal pneumonia cannot be treated with antibiotics. Viral pneumonia is treated with rest and fluids. Fungal pneumonia is treated with antifungal medications. In severe cases, operations at a hospital may be required.
You will also receive prescriptions or can get over the counter medication to treat the symptoms that come with pneumonia, like pain and fevers.
With most community-acquired pneumonia cases, you can handle the illness without a hospital stay. Suppose symptoms worsen to a point where hospitalization is necessary. In that case, there may be some cause for special procedures, such as oxygen therapy or emergency surgeries (if there are life-threatening complications.)
If you have hospital-acquired pneumonia, you will need to remain in the hospital. You will receive treatment for both pneumonia and whatever you were initially in the hospital for. You will receive your antibiotics from an IV solution, will need to rest, and will get medication and care for both of your sicknesses.
Getting viral pneumonia often doesn’t require a hospital stay, as it’s no different than other common viruses such as the cold or the flu. Even though antibiotics don’t work on viruses, you can still take antiviral medications as prescribed by a doctor.
The different types of pneumonia are mostly treated in the same way – antibiotics or other medications, a lot of bed rest, and symptoms management. Most of the time, you won’t even need to go to the hospital.
The most important aspect of getting treated for pneumonia is to take the prescribed antibiotics and medications for as long as the doctor tells you to. You might get a prescription for six days, but start feeling better on the fourth day. You should still finish off the medication because the bacteria that caused your pneumonia is not entirely gone.
If you don’t continue taking the antibiotics and the bacteria is allowed to remain in your body, then your pneumonia might return with a vengeance. Don’t take that chance, and instead finish the threat by taking all your medication.
To get a pneumonia diagnosis and an online prescription, you can head to our sister site, PlushCare. At PlushCare, you can meet with an experienced doctor in 15 minutes and have all your medical needs met, all virtually!
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