Sunday, April 14, 2024

What are the symptoms of pneumonia?

The symptoms of pneumonia can vary depending on the cause of the infection, the severity of the illness, and individual factors. However, common symptoms of pneumonia include:

Cough: A persistent cough that may produce phlegm (mucus) or pus. The color and consistency of the phlegm can vary depending on the type of pneumonia.

Fever: A high fever, often accompanied by chills or sweating, is common in pneumonia. The fever may be sudden in onset and can be quite high, especially in bacterial pneumonia.

Difficulty breathing: Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, especially with exertion or when lying flat, is a common symptom of pneumonia. Rapid or shallow breathing may also occur.

Rapid heartbeat: An increased heart rate (tachycardia) may occur as the body tries to compensate for decreased oxygen levels in the blood.

Chest pain: Chest pain that worsens with breathing or coughing is common in pneumonia. The pain may be sharp or stabbing and may be localized or spread across the chest.

Fatigue: Feeling tired or fatigued is common in pneumonia, especially as the body works to fight off the infection.

Bluish discoloration of lips or nails: In severe cases of pneumonia, the skin or lips may appear bluish due to a lack of oxygen in the blood (cyanosis).

Confusion (in older adults): Older adults with pneumonia may experience confusion or changes in mental status, particularly if the infection affects the brain or if they have underlying dementia.

Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea: Some people with pneumonia may experience gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, especially in viral or atypical pneumonia.

It's important to note that not everyone with pneumonia will experience all of these symptoms, and symptoms can vary in severity. Additionally, symptoms of pneumonia can overlap with those of other respiratory illnesses, so a proper diagnosis by a healthcare provider is important.

If you or someone you know develops symptoms suggestive of pneumonia, especially if accompanied by high fever, difficulty breathing, chest pain, or confusion, it's important to seek medical attention promptly. Pneumonia can be serious, especially in certain populations such as young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems. Early recognition and treatment can help prevent complications and improve outcomes.


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