It’s the most wonderful time of the year…except when pneumonia makes an appearance. ‘Tis the season for dealing with colds, the flu, and pneumonia. While colds and the flu can be frustrating but short-lasting, pneumonia can last much longer and present more serious issues.
Pneumonia’s symptoms vary in severity, depending on your age and level of health. The young and old will have more severe symptoms, as will those with chronic health issues or weakened immune systems. While many of pneumonia’s symptoms mirror those of colds and flu, they last much longer. Its symptoms include the following:
- Severe cough
- Chest pain caused by coughing or breathing
- Difficulty breathing
Pneumonia is caused by a variety of germs, from bacterial to viral. Bacterial pneumonia can appear on its own but often follows a cold or the flu. Viral pneumonia is often the least serious (though in some rare cases, it can become quite serious). It is often most common in children under five years of age. Other types of pneumonia are usually found in individuals with weakened immune systems.
Pneumonia Risk Factors
Pneumonia is especially dangerous if you are older than 65 or younger than two.
In these cases, it can be life-threatening, so it is important to seek medical care as soon as possible.
To help prevent pneumonia, prioritize good hygiene. Wash your hands often and stay home when you are sick. Boost your immune system by eating healthy, taking vitamins, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep. Make sure you are up to date on your vaccines and talk to your doctor about getting the pneumonia vaccine.
Do you suspect you have pneumonia? Visit Trusted ER if you are experiencing chest pain, struggling to breathe, suffering from a bad cough, or dealing with a fever of 102 degrees or higher. Our doctors are here to help you kick pneumonia to the curb!