Pneumonia is an illness that can occur to anybody, regardless of age. Caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi, pneumonia is an infection that affects the body’s respiratory system and leads to severe complications in breathing. The air sacs in the lungs, called alveoli, become inflamed with pus or fluid owing to the infection caused by pneumonia. The disease is quite contagious, with the germs causing it being able to spread to others. Viral and bacterial pneumonia can both spread to people inhaling airborne droplets from a cough or sneeze. The disease can also be contracted if you come into contact with objects or surfaces that have been contaminated by the pneumonia-causing virus or bacteria.
If a person suffers from a severe case of pneumonia, the cost of treatment can be extremely high. For senior citizens, even displaying pneumonia symptoms might require hospitalization for a substantial period of time. These high medical costs can however be eliminated by opting for the best health insurance, which offers quick claim settlements leading to minimal upfront expenses by the patient’s family. Apply for Bajaj health insurance on Finserv MARKETS and get access to a network of more than 6,000 hospitals.
Read on to learn about the pneumonia symptoms that show up most commonly in patients.
- Pain in the chest while coughing or even breathing
- For senior citizens, pneumonia symptoms may include confusion or changes in mental awareness
- Cough with resultant phlegm
- Fever, sweating and/or shaking chills
- For senior citizens and those with low immunity levels, pneumonia symptoms will show up as their body temperature being lower than normal
- Diarrhoea, nausea or vomiting
- Shortness of breath
While the initial symptoms of pneumonia may be similar to a regular cold or cough or viral fever, it is important to get these checked out in time to make sure they don’t become more harmful over time.
If the fever or coughing continues unabated over a period of time, it is necessary to see a doctor or medical practitioner to be on the safer side. This is especially vital for persons aged above 65 years, children aged below 2 years of age or people with weakened immune systems. Persons exhibiting pneumonia symptoms who also have underlying heart conditions, and are receiving chemotherapy or taking medication to suppress the immune system should also ideally go to a doctor if they show persistent symptoms over a period of time.
Pneumonia can often turn into a life-threatening condition for patients suffering from heart conditions or lung failures. It is important to exercise caution owing to the relating complications the disease can result in. However, opting for the best health insurance can at least allow you to safeguard against the expenses associated with treating this disease. When you apply for Bajaj health insurance on Finserv MARKETS, you can avail cashless cover which allows you to get treated at more than 6,000 hospitals across the nation without the need to carry any documents.
Pneumonia is usually classified on the basis of where the infection was contracted by the patient. These could include community-acquired pneumonia, hospital-acquired pneumonia, healthcare-acquired pneumonia and aspiration pneumonia. Read on to learn the difference between each of these.
Aspiration pneumonia can occur when food or water or even saliva and vomit are inhaled into the lungs. Aspiration becomes all the more likely when the normal gag reflex is disturbed, such as due to a brain injury or problems with swallowing; or even excessive use of drugs or alcohol.
This bacterial infection is likely to occur in people living in long-term care facilities or even those availing care at outpatient clinics such as for kidney dialysis procedures. The bacteria causing healthcare-acquired pneumonia are likely to be more resistant to antibiotic treatment.
This is the most common type of pneumonia, which is caused outside of healthcare facilities. Community-acquired pneumonia can be caused in the following ways:
- The most common cause is the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae. The pneumonia caused due to it can either occur by itself or after the patient has suffered a cold. Lobar pneumonia, wherein the illness affects one part or lobe of the lung.
- Bacteria-like organisms such as mycoplasma pneumoniae can also cause pneumonia, though its symptoms are milder. The disease caused by this isn’t severe, and does not even require bed rest.
- Pneumonia caused by fungi is most common among those with weakened immunity or chronic health problems. While the type of fungi vary depending on the geographical location, they are most commonly found in soil or bird droppings.
- Pneumonia can also be caused due to the viruses that lead to colds and the flu. While this type of pneumonia is usually quite mild, it can often become very severe too.
This type of pneumonia can occur after long stays at hospitals, and is usually more severe as the people who contract it are already unwell while the bacteria causing it could be resistant to antibiotics.
Pneumonia symptoms may appear to be similar to milder illnesses such as colds or the flu, but they need to be kept in check early on to ensure complete treatment. The best health insurance, available on Finserv MARKETS, helps in this aspect as the medical costs are borne by the insurer. Apply for health insurance, and you not only get access to a network of more than 6,000 medical facilities across the country but can also get free health checkups.
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