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Pneumonia and Cough Mechanism Essay

Well my paper is on pneumonia. The little I do know about pneumonia is that it is caused by an infection. You can recover from pneumonia with the right treatment. Pneumonia is more serious with people with weak immune systems. But to further my knowledge on pneumonia I did some research.

What is pneumonia? Pneumonia is a common lung infection caused by bacteria, a virus or fungi. The infection inflames your lungs’ air sacs, which are called alveoli. The air sacs may fill up with fluid or pus, causing symptoms such as a cough with phlegm (a slimy substance), fever, chills, and trouble breathing.

What are some symptoms of pneumonia? Pneumonia and its symptoms can vary from mild to severe. Many factors affect how serious pneumonia is, such as the type of germ causing the infection , your age and your overall health. Symptoms of pneumonia caused by bacteria in otherwise healthy people younger than 65 usually come on suddenly. They often start during or after an upper respiratory infection, such as the flu or a cold. Symptoms may include, cough, often producing mucus. Mucus may be rusty or green or tinged with blood, fever, which may be less common in older adults, shaking, “teeth-chattering” chills, one time only or many times. Fast shallow breathing, chest wall pain that is often made worse by coughing or breathing in, fast heartbeat, feeling very tired or weak, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.

Symptoms of pneumonia not caused by bacteria may come on gradually and are often not as bad or as obvious as symptoms of bacterial pneumonia. Many people don’t know that they have nonbacterial pneumonia, because they don’t feel sick. But symptoms may include fever, cough, shortness of breath and little mucus when you cough. When symptoms are mild, your doctor may call your condition “walking” pneumonia.

How can an individual get pneumonia? An individual can get pneumonia by bacteria and viruses living in your nose, sinuses, or mouth it may spread to your lungs, you may breathe some of these germs directly into your lungs and when you breathe in food, liquids, vomit, or fluids from the mouth into your lungs called aspiration pneumonia.

Aspiration pneumonia is inflammation of the lungs and the airways to the lungs or the bronchial tubes, from breathing in foreign material. Aspiration pneumonia can be caused by breathing in vomit, a foreign object, such as a peanut, and a harmful substance, such as smoke or a chemical. The object or substance inhaled causes irritation in the lungs or damages them.

What are the stages of pneumonia that an individual may go through? There are four stages to pneumonia which an individual may go through after contracting the condition. The four stages of pneumonia are congestion, red hepatization, gray hepatization and resolution. The congestion is a stage that comprises of numerous bacteria. It consists of vascular engorgement, intra-alveolar fluid, and small numbers of neutrophils. The red hepatization is a vascular blockage persists, with extravasations of red cells into alveolar places, which could also include some numbers of neutrophils and fibrin. The more the airspaces are filled by the exudates it kind of leads to a sickening look of solidification, of the alveolar parenchyma. It is known as “hepatization”, sine it looks has been likened to that of the liver.

The third stage is the Gray hepatization stage. In this stage the red cells happen to break up, due to the pushiness of the neutrophils and fibrin. The fourth and final stage is the resolution stage. In this stage the enzymatic activity digests the exudates and is also completely cleared by some kind of cough mechanism. Depending on the cause, the severity of the symptoms, your age and health, it is treatable like other infections. Most healthy people recover from pneumonia within one to two weeks but it can be life threating. However pneumonia can be prevented by getting an annual flu shot, frequently washing your hands, and for those at a higher risk by getting a vaccine for pneumococcal pneumonia will decrease your chances at getting it.

Treatment depends on the severity of the pneumonia. Some people may have to be hospitalized .You may receive antibiotics, which treat bacteria. Some people may get special antibiotics to treat bacteria that live in the mouth. The type of bacteria that caused the pneumonia depends on your health, where you live such as at home or in a long-term nursing facility, whether you’ve recently been hospitalized, or recent antibiotic use. Pneumonia is deadly but if treated in time you will be fine.

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