Severe Pneumonia

Severe Pneumonia: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention

Pneumonia is a serious infection of the lungs that can have severe consequences if left untreated. Severe pneumonia is a form of pneumonia that is especially dangerous or difficult to treat. It usually affects adults over the age of 65, young children, and individuals with weakened immune systems.

What Causes Severe Pneumonia?

Severe pneumonia is caused by a variety of bacteria, viruses, and fungi that can infect the air sacs in the lungs. Common causes of severe pneumonia include:

  • Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Haemophilus influenzae
  • Quint Streptococcus
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae
  • Pneumocystis jirovecii

What Are the Symptoms of Severe Pneumonia?

The symptoms of severe pneumonia can vary depending on the type of infection you have, but generally include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite

How Is Severe Pneumonia Treated?

Severe pneumonia is usually treated with antibiotics, but sometimes more specialized care may be needed. Other treatments may include:

  • Intravenous fluids and electrolytes to restore hydration and balance
  • Oxygen therapy
  • Warm compresses to help loosen chest congestion
  • Coughing and breathing techniques to help clear the lung secretions
  • Controlled physical activity to help speed recovery
  • Pain medications to help with discomfort

How to Prevent Severe Pneumonia

You can reduce your risk of developing severe pneumonia by:

  • Getting vaccinated against pneumonia
  • Avoiding contact with people who are sick
  • Avoiding smoking and secondhand smoke
  • Practicing good hygiene, such as washing your hands regularly
  • Eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise
  • Managing chronic illnesses that can increase your risk of severe pneumonia