There are a number of types of pneumonia, and the treatment varies according to which one a person has contracted. This article discusses these types along with their symptoms in brief.
Pneumonia is a medical condition mainly characterized by the inflammation of lungs. In this condition, the alveoli of lungs get filled with fluid. An alveolus is a microscopic air-filled sac and the smallest part of lung. Infection resulting from viruses, bacteria, or fungi is the main cause of pneumonia. The types of this disease along with signs and symptoms are discussed in the following paragraphs.
This type of pneumonia results from inhalation of foreign materials. The foreign materials can be anything from food, drinks, secretions from the mouth, etc. In this condition, the patient experiences inflammation of bronchial tubes which can worsen into a condition where pus gets collected in the lungs. Following can be the causes of foreign material aspiration by lungs:
- Esophagus disorders (gastroesophageal reflux and esophageal stricture)
- Swallowing problems
- Decrease in or absence of gag reflex. This is mainly observed in semi-conscious or unconscious individuals.
As the name suggests, the causal organism here is a bacterium called Mycoplasma pneumoniae. This type of pneumonia affects people from all age groups. Severe cough which leads to mucus production is the main symptom in this health problem. Although it affects individuals from all age groups, children are generally more prone to it. Apart from the production of severe cough, other symptoms include rashes, anemia, myelitis, meningitis, and encephalitis.
This type of pneumonia is named after the causal organism Pneumocystis jirovecii, which is a yeast-like fungus commonly found in our surroundings. This fungus attacks the body of those with a weakened immune system. People suffering from HIV/AIDS and cancer are generally more prone to this infection. Individuals having undergone transplantation of bone marrow/solid organ too are susceptible to this type of pneumonia. Immune system of patients under the treatment of chronic corticosteroids gets weakened, and they too are vulnerable to infection.
In most cases of bacterial pneumonia, Streptococcus pneumoniae is the causal organism. Main symptoms in this form of pneumonia are as follows: rapid heartbeat, fever, irritability, restlessness, and fatigue. Labored breathing and coughing are some other symptoms that are generally observed. This type of pneumonia generally affects children and infants the worst. Since the infant faces difficulty in breathing, symptoms like sinking chest and flared nostrils are also observed. In some cases, the symptoms also include diarrhea and vomiting.
The Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) or adenovirus is the causal organism for this medical condition in most cases. Symptoms that are mainly observed in viral pneumonia include moderate to high fever, labored breathing, and production of cough that contains white mucus in small bits. Loss of appetite, irritability, and lethargy are some other symptoms of viral pneumonia.
Pneumonia, if not controlled in a timely manner, can turn into a fatal disease. One should, therefore, consult a doctor in order to take the necessary treatment.
Disclaimer:This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.