Pneumonia is an infection caused to the lungs, which can disrupt breathing and lead to other complications. The lungs become inflamed due to accumulation of pus or liquid. The germs causing pneumonia are contagious and can spread from person to person. People can also catch pneumonia through contact with contaminated surfaces. While pneumonia can turn into a dangerous illness for people of all ages, it is most likely to harm people who are older than 65 years or younger than 2 years in age.
Diseases like pneumonia are the main reason why we should apply for health insurance early on. Health insurance not only mitigates the costs associated with treatment, but also facilitates free health checkups. Apply for the best health insurance, available on Finserv MARKETS, and stay vigilant against developing diseases like pneumonia.
Symptoms of pneumonia can be similar to that of a cold or even the flu. These include fever, chills, chest pain while coughing or even breathing, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting. Those facing higher risks of contracting pneumonia may show other symptoms. For instance, children under 5 years of age may exhibit faster breathing or even wheezing. Older people might display milder symptoms but have a lower than normal body temperature.
Pneumonia causes can vary, depending on the germ they are caused by. Read on to learn about the most common pneumonia causes.
Source: Scientific Animations
- Bacterial pneumonia: While the most common type of bacteria causing pneumonia is Streptococcus pneumoniae, others include Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae and Legionella pneumophila.
- Viral pneumonia: Viral pneumonia, which is caused due to respiratory viruses, may be milder than other forms of pneumonia, and can be cured in a few weeks even without treatment. The main pneumonia causes among viruses are influenza, respiratory syncytial virus and rhinoviruses.
- Fungal pneumonia: Pneumonia can be caused from fungi from bird droppings or soil, and mainly affect persons with low immunity levels. These fungi include Pneumocystis jirovecii, Cryptococcus species or Histoplasmosis species.
Pneumonia causes, aside from their origin, can also be classified on the basis of where the illness is acquired. These include:
- Community acquired pneumonia: The most common kind of pneumonia, this is caused by factors in the community. These can include contamination from other infected persons or from surfaces that have faced contamination through pneumonia.
- Hospital acquired pneumonia: This type of pneumonia is contracted by patients who are in a long-term stay at hospitals. It might be more difficult to treat than other types of pneumonia, as the bacteria causing it may be more resistant to antibiotics.
- Ventilator associated pneumonia: This type of pneumonia refers to pneumonia acquired by persons using ventilators.
- Aspiration pneumonia: This kind of pneumonia occurs when a person’s lungs inhale bacteria through saliva, food or drink. Aspiration pneumonia is more likely to affect those who excessively use alcohol or drugs or if the person has a problem with swallowing.
While the symptoms of pneumonia may seem similar to milder diseases such as colds or flu, it is important to get them checked out by medical professionals before it deteriorates further. Opting for the best health insurance in advance can get you access to free health check ups, which allows you to keep a vigilant eye on any worrying symptoms. Apply for health insurance, available on Finserv MARKETS, and get access to more than 6,000 hospitals across the nation which provide cashless cover.
Owing to the pervasiveness of the disease globally, several preventive measures are recommended against developing pneumonia. Read on to learn more about these.
Vaccination against pneumonia can significantly reduce the risk of contracting the disease, but not entirely eliminate it. There are two major types of vaccines against pneumonia, namely, the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13 or Prevnar 13) and pneumococcal vaccine (PPSV23 or Pneumovax23). PCV13 forms part of the standard vaccination protocol for infants, and protects against 13 types of bacteria that can result in serious infections in both children and adults.
The increased consumption of tobacco reduces the lung’s capacity to defend itself against infection, thereby making you more prone to a disease like pneumonia. If you want to minimize the risk of developing pneumonia, cigarettes need to be avoided.
Stay Clean, Stay Healthy
Make sure to wash your hands frequently in warm water with soap; when you can’t wash your hands, use an alcohol-based sanitizer. It is also important to avoid coming into physical contact with ill people, as this might lead to contamination.
Get plenty of rest
Make sure to follow a healthy, balanced diet which includes an equitable representation of vegetables, fruits, fibre and lean proteins.
Prevention is always better than cure. Investing in the best health insurance in advance is the best way to ensure minimal effects of contracting pneumonia. Apply for Bajaj Allianz health insurance plans on Finserv MARKETS, and you will be able to seek treatment with zero out of pocket expenses on your part.
Also read in detail about the health insurance tax benefits you can avail with a variety of health plans available on Finserv Markets.
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