The effects of pneumonia typically include chest pain, fever, and coughing. Chest pain associated with pneumonia is usually much worse when a person coughs due to all the mucus in the lungs. People with pneumonia also commonly experience shortness of breath, chills, and fatigue. The effects of pneumonia seem to vary depending on a person's age. Elderly people are most at risk for serious pneumonia complications and occasionally do not survive it. When a younger person gets pneumonia, his chances of a full recovery are much greater, though his symptoms may still be severe.
Other effects of pneumonia include serious complications, such as lung abscesses, bacteria in the bloodstream, and fluid buildup around the lungs. There is also a chance that a person with pneumonia might develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which occurs when the pneumonia is in both lungs. These complications are much more likely to be a problem with people who are older or are in poor health, although anyone with pneumonia is at risk. People who smoke, regardless of age, are additionally much more likely to suffer from serious pneumonia effects because their lungs may already be in poor shape.
There are several different types of pneumonia, and the treatment varies depending on which kind a person has. Bacterial pneumonia will most likely be treated with antibiotics. For viral pneumonia, doctors typically recommend that a person rest and take in a lot of fluids until the pneumonia is gone because not many medications are effective against viral illnesses. Some people get pneumonia from fungal infections, which can be successfully treated with different types of anti-fungal medication. When pneumonia is severe, hospitalization is typically necessary so that oxygen and intravenous drugs can be administered.
If a person wants to avoid pneumonia, there are some steps she can take to keep herself from getting the illness. One of the most important ways a person can prevent pneumonia is by washing her hands regularly. This can help stop the spread of germs, which often contributes to chest colds that may turn into pneumonia. It is also typically considered a good idea for people to eat healthy foods, exercise, and lose weight if necessary because all of these things can contribute to a healthier immune system, which can protect against pneumonia. A person who smokes should quit if he wants to avoid the serious effects of pneumonia, because smoking makes a person not only more likely to get pneumonia, but also much more susceptible to serious pneumonia complications.