It is essential to be aware of several risk factors in case of Pneumonia so that safety measures can be taken beforehand. Keep reading to know further…
If you haven’t yet visited a pulmonologist, even though you suspect a respiratory infection, then go through various pneumonia risk factors to know if you might have contracted pneumonia. Being a very common and contagious infection, pneumonia can affect us easily in our daily life. It inflames the lungs due to infection from microorganisms like bacteria, virus, fungi and parasites. It can affect children, adults and older people alike, however, children and older people are at a higher risk of contracting the infection due to a relatively weaker immune system.
An Overview of Risk Factors of Pneumonia
Pneumonia is an umbrella term for any type of lung infection that is caused by variety of infectious agents like viruses, bacteria and fungi. Pneumonia is a dangerous infection because it fills the alveoli, small air sacs in our lungs, with pus and liquid, thereby making breathing difficult and painful. It is rated to be one of the most common respiratory infections amongst children below five years of age; however, it may affect the adults alike. There are different types of pneumonia depending on the agent that is causing this infection. Pneumonia caused by virus like the influenza (flu) and common cold are prevalent amongst children. Risk factors of pneumonia are generally categorized based on specific disease caused by these microorganisms.
|Hospital – Acquired/Institutional Pneumonia||Community-Acquired Pneumonia (CAP)|
Risk Factors of Pneumonia in Children
As per the reports of WHO, released in November 2010, pneumonia kills nearly 1.6 mn children every year, that is more than the combined deaths caused by tuberculosis, AIDS and malaria. Being a very infectious disease, pneumonia leads to general symptoms like rapid breathing or difficulty in breathing, cough, fever, loss of appetite. In children, who have a relatively weaker immune system, the aggravation of symptoms increase with severity of the infection. It is believed after several medical studies that children with asthma are at higher risk of suffering from pneumonia. There are many causes that lead to weaker immune system amongst children. These may include but are not limited to malnutrition, under nourishment and poorly breastfed babies. Illnesses like chickenpox and measles also increase the risk of pneumonia in children. The WHO also cites parental smoking, crowded homes and indoor air pollution as some major causes of pneumonia in children.
Other Prominent Risk Factors of Pneumonia
People who’re addicted to alcohol or those who are chain smokers, puffing more than a packet per day, are at a higher risk of contracting pneumonia infection. These nasty habits cause hosts of complications in the body thereby increasing chances of coughing and sneezing more than the normal. Moreover, excess alcohol kills important fighting agents in the body thereby increasing risk of pneumonia infection. People who are drug addicts and prefer intravenous injections are also at a higher risk of suffering from pneumonia infection at the injection site which can further travel all the way from the bloodstream to the lungs.
One of the most common causes of pneumonia infection is the inhaling of dust, contaminated liquids, gases or even foods. Those living in areas with higher pollution levels are also at higher risks of suffering from this disease. Farmers and factory workers exposed to variety of chemicals in their daily work as well as construction workers are amongst the most vulnerable professionals who can contract pneumonia.
As we can see that there a large number of risk factors for pneumonia, it is imperative to take adequate steps to prevent its growth. Vaccinations and pneumonia prevention are ideal ways to reduce occurrences of pneumonia in children. Avoiding pollution and using nose masks in outside surroundings and eating healthy food to boost the immune system are some ways to help one fight against pneumonia infection. Treatment for pneumonia is easily possible and it is very effective provided the infection is detected in early stages.