Pneumonia: Meaning, Diagnosis and Overview

What is Pneumonia?

Pneumonia is a lung infection that inflames the air sacs with fluid or pus, causing cough with phlegm or pus, fever, chills and breathing difficulty.
Pneumonia overview image

Recovery Time

Usually it is not a severe disease, a person with pneumonia can be relieved within 2 to 3 days by home treatment like rest and taking care of cough

In healthy people, pneumonia can be a mild illness and clears up in 2 to 3 weeks. In older adults and in people with other health problems, recovery may take 6 to 8 weeks or longer.


Diagnosis is usually done by taking the medical history of the patient along with the physical examination of the symptoms by Listening to your breathing with the help of a stethoscope
  • Chest X-rays and CT-scan                                                   
  • Blood tests                  
  • Sputum analysis
  • Bronchoscopy and Thoracentesis 
(Pleural Fluid Aspiration) are done in very few patients with severe symptoms or when other tests are inconclusive.

FAQs prepared by doctor

Q1.What is Pneumonia?
Pneumonia is the infection of the lung aleveoli with virus, bacteria or rarely fungi.  It is associated with fever, productive cough and body ache.   

Q2.How do I get Pneumonia?
Pneumonia is usually a squeal of untreated or inadequately treated URTI/LRTI.

Q3.What is the treatment for Pneumonia?
Pneumonia is managed with appropriate anti-microbials depending upon the cause. Other supportive measures include expectorant cough syrups, bronchodialators, Nebulization and steam inhalation.

Q4.How long does it take to cure?
Pneumonia usually resolves within a week of appropriate treatment. Sometimes the lung congestion takes 2-3wks to resolve.  

Q5.How do I prevent Pneumonia?
You can prevent Pneumonia by wearing appropriate mask. Do regular steam inhalation in cold conditions to keep chest clear. Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine is given in children below 5y and in the elderly above 65y of age to prevent Pneumonia due to Pneumococcal  bacteria.

Q6.What are the complications of Pneumonia?
If not treated appropriately, Pneumonia may progress into acute respiratory distress and death.

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