Health Encyclopedia

 
  • Pneumonia - Animation

    Pneumonia

    Animation

  • Pneumonia - Animation

    Everyone coughs from time to time. You might pick up a cold, have an allergy, or just get a tickle from something irritating your throat. But if you're really hacking and coughing up yellow or green mucus, and you've also got a fever, chills, and shortness of breath, you may have picked up a more serious infection, called pneumonia. And sometimes pneumonia's symptoms aren't as obvious. Pneumonia is caused by an infection in your lung. Bacteria or viruses like these can sometimes get into your lungs through your nose or mouth and make you sick. You're more likely to get pneumonia if you've got a problem with your immune system that makes it harder to fight off infections. You're also at greater risk if you've got a lung disease like COPD or cystic fibrosis, you've recently had the flu, or you're exposed to cigarette smoke. People who live in nursing homes are also more likely to get pneumonia. With pneumonia, you may cough up greenish or yellow phlegm. You also may run a fever and have the chills. Pneumonia can make it hard to breathe. You may feel like you've run up a flight of stairs when you were just sitting still. Your doctor can tell that you have pneumonia and not just a cold by listening with a stethoscope for crackle sounds in your chest. You may need a chest x-ray or blood tests to know for sure that you have pneumonia. If bacteria caused your pneumonia, your doctor can give you antibiotics, drugs that kill bacteria. Keep taking the antibiotic until you finish the whole prescription so you don't re-infect yourself. To help loosen all of that mucus clogging your lungs, breathe in the warm mist from a humidifier and drink plenty of water. Take it easy too. Don't try to run back to work and infect everyone else. Rest until you feel better. Whatever you do, don't smoke, it will only make your pneumonia worse. If your pneumonia is really severe or you have another serious health problem, your doctor may recommend that you get treated in the hospital. While there, you'll get antibiotics and fluids through a vein. You may also be given oxygen to help you breathe easier. The best way to deal with pneumonia is to avoid getting it in the first place. Older adults, children, and people with serious conditions like diabetes, asthma, cancer, and emphysema should talk to their doctor about getting vaccinated against pneumonia and the illnesses that cause it. Once you get treated, your pneumonia should clear up within a couple of weeks. Your doctor may want to check your lungs to make sure they're clear. Sometimes pneumonia can lead to serious lung complications, so call your doctor right away if your breathing problems get worse, you have chest pain, or you cough up blood.

  • Pneumonia

    Pneumonia

    Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs caused by an infection. Many different organisms can cause it, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Pneumonia is a common illness that affects millions of people each year in the United States. The symptoms of pneumonia range from very mild to very severe, even fatal. The severity depends on the type of organism causing pneumonia as well as the age and underlying health of the individual.

    Pneumonia

    illustration

  • Chickenpox, acute pneumonia - chest x-ray

    Chickenpox, acute pneumonia - chest x-ray

    This chest x-ray shows cloudiness throughout the lungs, caused by acute pneumonia following chickenpox. Pneumonia, as a complication of chickenpox, rarely occurs in children, but occurs in about one-fifth of adults.

    Chickenpox, acute pneumonia - chest x-ray

    illustration

  • Hospital-acquired pneumonia

    Hospital-acquired pneumonia

    Pneumonia acquired in the hospital is a very serious infection because the patient's defense mechanisms are often impaired by illness, and the infecting organisms are more dangerous than the ones generally encountered in the community.

    Hospital-acquired pneumonia

    illustration

  • CMV pneumonia

    CMV pneumonia

    Cytomegalovirus is a large herpes-type virus commonly found in humans that can cause serious infections in people with impaired immunity. CMV pneumonia is treated with antiviral medications, which may stop the replication of the virus but will not destroy it.

    CMV pneumonia

    illustration

  • Pneumococcal pneumonia

    Pneumococcal pneumonia

    This is a photomicrograph of the organism that causes pneumococcal pneumonia. The bacteria are round, but join together to form chains. Frequently, these join together to form pairs and are called diplococci; the prefix di means two.

    Pneumococcal pneumonia

    illustration

  • Pneumonia - Animation

    Pneumonia

    Animation

  • Pneumonia - Animation

    Everyone coughs from time to time. You might pick up a cold, have an allergy, or just get a tickle from something irritating your throat. But if you're really hacking and coughing up yellow or green mucus, and you've also got a fever, chills, and shortness of breath, you may have picked up a more serious infection, called pneumonia. And sometimes pneumonia's symptoms aren't as obvious. Pneumonia is caused by an infection in your lung. Bacteria or viruses like these can sometimes get into your lungs through your nose or mouth and make you sick. You're more likely to get pneumonia if you've got a problem with your immune system that makes it harder to fight off infections. You're also at greater risk if you've got a lung disease like COPD or cystic fibrosis, you've recently had the flu, or you're exposed to cigarette smoke. People who live in nursing homes are also more likely to get pneumonia. With pneumonia, you may cough up greenish or yellow phlegm. You also may run a fever and have the chills. Pneumonia can make it hard to breathe. You may feel like you've run up a flight of stairs when you were just sitting still. Your doctor can tell that you have pneumonia and not just a cold by listening with a stethoscope for crackle sounds in your chest. You may need a chest x-ray or blood tests to know for sure that you have pneumonia. If bacteria caused your pneumonia, your doctor can give you antibiotics, drugs that kill bacteria. Keep taking the antibiotic until you finish the whole prescription so you don't re-infect yourself. To help loosen all of that mucus clogging your lungs, breathe in the warm mist from a humidifier and drink plenty of water. Take it easy too. Don't try to run back to work and infect everyone else. Rest until you feel better. Whatever you do, don't smoke, it will only make your pneumonia worse. If your pneumonia is really severe or you have another serious health problem, your doctor may recommend that you get treated in the hospital. While there, you'll get antibiotics and fluids through a vein. You may also be given oxygen to help you breathe easier. The best way to deal with pneumonia is to avoid getting it in the first place. Older adults, children, and people with serious conditions like diabetes, asthma, cancer, and emphysema should talk to their doctor about getting vaccinated against pneumonia and the illnesses that cause it. Once you get treated, your pneumonia should clear up within a couple of weeks. Your doctor may want to check your lungs to make sure they're clear. Sometimes pneumonia can lead to serious lung complications, so call your doctor right away if your breathing problems get worse, you have chest pain, or you cough up blood.

  • Pneumonia

    Pneumonia

    Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs caused by an infection. Many different organisms can cause it, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Pneumonia is a common illness that affects millions of people each year in the United States. The symptoms of pneumonia range from very mild to very severe, even fatal. The severity depends on the type of organism causing pneumonia as well as the age and underlying health of the individual.

    Pneumonia

    illustration

  • Chickenpox, acute pneumonia - chest x-ray

    Chickenpox, acute pneumonia - chest x-ray

    This chest x-ray shows cloudiness throughout the lungs, caused by acute pneumonia following chickenpox. Pneumonia, as a complication of chickenpox, rarely occurs in children, but occurs in about one-fifth of adults.

    Chickenpox, acute pneumonia - chest x-ray

    illustration

  • Hospital-acquired pneumonia

    Hospital-acquired pneumonia

    Pneumonia acquired in the hospital is a very serious infection because the patient's defense mechanisms are often impaired by illness, and the infecting organisms are more dangerous than the ones generally encountered in the community.

    Hospital-acquired pneumonia

    illustration

  • CMV pneumonia

    CMV pneumonia

    Cytomegalovirus is a large herpes-type virus commonly found in humans that can cause serious infections in people with impaired immunity. CMV pneumonia is treated with antiviral medications, which may stop the replication of the virus but will not destroy it.

    CMV pneumonia

    illustration

  • Pneumococcal pneumonia

    Pneumococcal pneumonia

    This is a photomicrograph of the organism that causes pneumococcal pneumonia. The bacteria are round, but join together to form chains. Frequently, these join together to form pairs and are called diplococci; the prefix di means two.

    Pneumococcal pneumonia

    illustration

Review Date: 11/27/2020

Reviewed By: Denis Hadjiliadis, MD, MHS, Paul F. Harron Jr. Associate Professor of Medicine, Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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