Symptoms of Pneumonia

Pneumonia refers to a severe infection of the lungs, which can be a relatively dangerous condition, either affecting one or both of the lungs.

Pneumonia can arise due to inhalation of particles of harmful substances or pathogens coming from an infected individual’s cough or sneeze, especially in an enclosed space with little ventilation. We are exposed to many bacteria and viruses that can lead to pneumonia by entering the lungs.

Pneumonia Symptoms and Severity

Various types of pneumonia exist, and symptoms usually differ in severity depending on the cause and type of inflammation and some other factors such as age and overall health. With regards to severity, pneumonia symptoms can be mild to severe, and children younger than 2 are particularly prone to pneumonia.

In certain cases, pneumonia progresses slowly coupled with mild symptoms, which is why it is not uncommon for the symptoms to be mistaken for those of the common cold or the flu, leading to delays in treatment.  Even though symptoms may not be severe at first, without treatment, pneumonia can lead to serious complications. It can take several weeks to exhibit severe pneumonia. Typically, over the course of this period, people begin to experience a high fever, fatigue, and body aches.

The most common symptom of pneumonia is possibly a high fever, which can be recurring or continuous. A pneumonia fever is also usually accompanied by sweats and chills. More notably, however, it is possible for those with compromised immune systems not to have a fever.

Pneumonia can also result in irregularities in breathing. A person with pneumonia may breathe unusually fast, which becomes especially noticeable whether being physically active or simply lying down. Breathlessness is also a common symptom of pneumonia, which is typically mild and brought on by physical activity.

Strep throat can be an early sign of pneumonia; usually a mycoplasma pneumonia, chlamydia pneumonia, or a viral infection. Pneumonia triggered by a bacterial or fungal infection typically does not cause strep throat. When a virus is the cause of pneumonia, people may also experience joint and muscle pain, which usually occurs prior to the symptoms of coughing and chest pain. Pneumonia can lead to a cough that is usually accompanied by the production of green or brownish mucus and sometimes with blood.

When to Consult a Doctor

Pneumonia can take it out of a person with severe symptoms like feeling fatigued, faint, and a loss of energy. If you have a lingering cough or fever that occurs with sweats or if you still feel depleted following a bout of the common cold or the flu, you should consult your physician as soon as possible.

If you suspect you may be experiencing the hallmark symptoms of pneumonia and already have a chronic condition that is hard on your immune system, you must also seek medical attention right away. Without proper treatment, pneumonia can lead to serious complications.

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Posted on May 5, 2023