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Bacterial pneumonia is an infection of the lungs, which is most commonly caused by a type of bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae. The ailment spreads through contact with an infected person. When the immune system tries to resist or naturally fight these microorganisms, as a natural reaction, fluid starts to fill up in the air sacs of the lungs. This lessens the amount of oxygen that the lungs can absorb, or the carbon dioxide that the body needs to discharge, making a person fall sick.

Causes

Usually bacteria can spread through basic and common mediums like air, water, and food. Some common causes may be listed as follows.
  • The most common way to contract this disease is getting in close contact with an already infected person having pneumonia.
  • Sometimes inhaling toxic materials may cause chemical pneumonia.
  • Using unclean air conditioners, swimming pools, etc., can also get a person infected.
  • Just breathing in these bacteria from any source is enough to get one ill.
Signs and Symptoms
  • The infection usually starts to show itself with a sudden high fever and shivering with chills.
  • One is also prone to coughing with bloody or yellowish mucus.
  • A sore chest and difficulty in breathing is a common symptom. The condition is worse with people who are already suffering from other respiratory ailments such as asthma.
  • When the condition worsens, more serious symptoms may manifest such as tiredness, nailbeds, blue or pale lips, joint pains, headache, abdominal pain, and fast breathing.
When the lungs are infected by such bacteria, it starts spreading into the body through the blood vessels. This can result in a serious illness known as septic shock. In this one starts getting low blood pressure problems. It leads to the damage of multiple organs which may include the brain, heart, and kidney. It can also spread through the Pleural cavity, the area between the chest wall and the lungs.

Diagnosis

Blood tests, sputum tests, chest x-rays, and a technique called pulse oximetry is used to confirm the disease and the severity of the condition in the body.

Treatment Options

If you suspect that you have pneumonia, then consult your doctor as early as possible. There are no proper home treatments for this condition. Even if you have some medicines for cough and fever that can help you, it is suggested to use them only after a discussion with your doctor.
  1. Usually the first step of the treatment is to adminster antibiotics. These medications depend upon your age, your eating and drinking habits, allergies to medicine, etc.
  2. You are advised to remain hydrated by consuming a lot of non-alcoholic fluids. One should drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water in a day. This helps your body fight against pneumonia and allows you to cough easily without any breathing problems. Get medical treatment if you feel nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  3. Anti-fever medicines can also make you feel better. Consult the doctor if you are suffering from a high fever.
  4. Your doctor may ask you to use a cough expectorant as coughing helps in clearing the infection out of your lungs. It is advised to avoid smoking as it lenghtens the healing process. If you are coughing up bloody, foamy sputum then get a medical treatment immediately.
  5. Immediately consult your doctor if you have difficulty in breathing. Also when the oxygen level in the blood is low you must get admitted as soon as possible. External oxygen supply may be required.
  6. For easy breathing and a controlled cough never go out in very cold or very hot weather.
  7. If your chest pains then apply heating pads or warm cloth on the sore area at least 2 to 3 times a day. This makes breathing easy and relieves the pain. It is always suggested to have a chest X-ray taken, to assess the severity of the infection.
  8. Consult medical help whenever you have problems such as rashes, swelling, itching, stomach pain, stiff neck, sever headache, etc.
Bacterial pneumonia is an infectious disease and needs to be treated medically before it gets to your family members, friends, and neighbors. Instead of waiting and searching for home remedies it is always recommended to seek your doctor's advice, otherwise the results might also be fatal.

Prevention

There are numerous vaccines available to protect yourself from this ailment. However, this may or may not work due to the huge number of microbes which cause this condition. Thus, people who are old or those who have a weak immune system should take extra precautions. One should undergo regular health checkups and keep a good communication with the doctor during the treatment, so that the condition is diagnosed early and you get the best results.

Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.