The Risk Factors and Symptoms of Pneumonia
Pneumonia is a type of lung infection. There are various factors that place some people at a high risk of acquiring pneumonia. The risk factors of pneumonia include:
- Smoking and drinking alcohol
- Illnesses that could weaken the immune system
- Vitamin deficiency
- Co-morbidities like diabetes, asthma and heart diseases
- Being older than 65 years of age
Symptoms of Pneumonia
Lobar pneumonia is a common type of pneumonia in which the pulmonary lobe is acutely inflamed. This is also an exudative inflammation. The bacterium Streptococcus Pneumoniae is responsible for the most common type of lobar pneumonia known as Pneumococcus. There are many symptoms of Pneumococcus. These symptoms include fever, cough and green-colored sputum, chills, fatigue, difficulty in breathing and a chest pain that worsens with coughing and breathing. A diminishing appetite, an increased heart rate, diaphoresis, and confusion are also common symptoms of Pneumococcus.
If the bacteria has spread further from the lungs, then there are other symptoms in addition to the common symptoms of pneumonia / Pneumococcus. The symptoms associated with sepsis may occur if the bacteria has spread from the lungs to the bloodstream. Symptoms associated with meningitis, like a headache, a stiff neck, and sensitivity towards the light, may occur if the bacteria has spread from the lungs to the meninges. Similarly, symptoms associated with Encephalitis may occur if the bacteria has spread to the brain and symptoms associated with Endocarditis may occur if the bacteria has spread to the heart.
Streptococcus Pneumoniae is a bacteria that can cause life-threatening infections very quickly, and therefore, it is important to detect and treat this bacteria as early as possible.