What is pneumonia? And what causes it?



Pneumonia is the infection in the lungs, either one or both, due to viruses, fungi or bacteria. Due to the which, the air sacs or alveoli of your lung inflames and fills with pus and fluid, that makes it hard to breathe eventually. If you are suffering from pneumonia, you must visit a lung specialist in Karachi. In this article, we are going to discuss what pneumonia is? And what are the causative agents that cause it?

Signs and symptoms of pneumonia

The sign and symptoms of pneumonia are:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Green phlegm
  • Fever
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Chest pain (during breathing or coughing)
  • Sweating or chills
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache

It may also cause wheezing and can be life-threatening for people with asthma or COPD. Therefore do not delay the visit to a healthcare provider if you are suffering from any of these symptoms.

What are the causes of pneumonia?

Germs that surround you can cause pneumonia. They can be either bacteria, viruses or fungi. Your immune system has the ability to fight off with the germs. But at times, the germs can overpower your immune system, even if you are healthy. They enter your respiratory tract through your mouth or nostrils and reach your lungs eventually. Generally, pneumonia is classified according to the causative agents as:

  • Community-acquired pneumonia
  • Hospital-acquired pneumonia
  • Health care-acquired pneumonia
  • Aspiration pneumonia

Community-acquired pneumonia

Community-acquired pneumonia is the one that happens outside of the hospital setting. That means you got infected in a community setting. The most common cause of community-acquired pneumonia is Streptococcus Pneumoniae. But other bacteria, viruses and fungi can also be a cause for it. Coronavirus can become life-threatening due to its abilities to cause pneumonia.

Hospital-acquired pneumonia

Hospital-acquired pneumonia is the second most hospital-acquired infection. It is more difficult to treat because a person acquires it from the hospital, due to which the causative organism is already resistant to many antibiotics. Moreover, it is more life-threatening than other pneumonia because the health of the patient is already compromised. Therefore experts advice to minimize the hospital stay as much as you can, as they are a hub of infections. People who breathe through ventilators or remain in intensive care units are more susceptible to getting hospital-acquired pneumonia.

Health-care acquired pneumonia

People who live in healthcare facilities like nursing homes or outpatient clinics for a long time can get healthcare-acquired pneumonia. Usually, bacteria are the causative agent for it. Likewise, hospital-acquired pneumonia, it is also difficult to treat because it may be resistant to antibiotics already.

Aspiration pneumonia

Aspiration pneumonia occurs when you aspire or inhale your vomit, saliva, food or any drink. It can get into your lungs, eventually causing inflammation and infection, leading to pneumonia. Aspiration pneumonia can occur to any age group, but children younger than two years and people above sixty-five years of age are more susceptible to it. Since they do not have sharp reflexes of eating, they can choke and aspire food or water. Moreover, brain injuries, excessive alcohol use, drug use or swallowing problem can also be a cause of aspiration pneumonia. These conditions can impair swallowing reflexes, due to which the person can choke.


2.56 million people died from pneumonia over the globe in the year 2017. It is a life-threatening condition that needs proper attention at the right time. If you are facing difficulty in breathing, cough, fever or chest pain, visit a chest specialist in Karachi. Also, some vaccines can help in preventing pneumonia infection. If you are susceptible to pneumonia, get a vaccination soon.

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