What causes pneumonia?

Pneumonia is a disease in your lungs caused by either bacteria, a virus, or fungi. This then causes inflammation in the lungs, which makes it difficult to breathe. Pneumonia is categorized based on the type and how it was contracted. The flu is one of the causes of pneumonia, as it is typically a complication. Getting a flu shot will decrease your chances of catching pneumonia. If you think you may have contracted pneumonia, visit AFC Urgent Care Dedham to get tested. If symptoms are severe, you may want to visit an emergency room.

Causes of Pneumonia

Pneumonia is caused by inhaling germs through someone’s nose or mouth. If someone has pneumonia, they can spread it to other people that are nearby. If you are experiencing symptoms of pneumonia, avoid contact with others as much as possible, especially those with health conditions. 

Pneumonia can have many different causes. The most common is a viral infection that is caused by other illnesses, such as the flu. This cause typically shows the mildest symptoms and will only last around three weeks without any treatment. Bacterial pneumonia can range from mild to severe, depending on how much of the lung is infected. This infection can cause hospitalization in some patients, and it’s important to monitor any symptoms for their severity. Fungal pneumonia is caused by fungus in the soil or bird droppings and can cause complications for those with weakened immune systems. 

Pneumonia can be caught from different places, as well. These are categorized by hospital stays (HAP), being attached to a ventilator (VAP), or catching it in your community (CAP) (outside of a healthcare organization). Catching pneumonia from being in a hospital can be challenging to treat, as this virus is more resistant to antibiotics. 

Treatment Options

Treatment for pneumonia depends on the type and how severe the symptoms are. Bacterial pneumonia can be treated with antibiotics, but the strength depends on the severity. Fungal pneumonia can be treated with antifungal medications. Viral pneumonia does not have a specific prescription, but OTC medications, such as cough medicine and ibuprofen, can help reduce symptoms. Getting plenty of rest and staying hydrated will help speed up the recovery process. 

Prevention for Healthy Adults

For healthy adults below the age of 65, there is no vaccine for preventing pneumonia. Flu shots will help avoid the complication of pneumonia, but washing your hands and covering any coughs or sneezes can help prevent catching it. There are two pneumonia vaccines available for individuals over 65, anyone with health conditions, or children under age two. Our healthcare professionals will help you determine which vaccine is right for you. 

Pneumonia Treatment in Dedham, MA

For more information on the prevention of pneumonia, give us a call at 781-461-0200. For treatment, visit our clinic located at 370 Providence Highway Dedham, MA.