Pneumonia is a potentially serious infection of the lungs. It directly affects the alveoli, which are air sacs that help absorb oxygen. As the infection develops, these sacs can become filled with pus which causes a wide range of problems, including difficulty breathing.
Causes of pneumonia vary, the culprit often being bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Pneumonia is treatable with antibiotics that are appropriate to the specific type of infection. It can be very serious, however, with the very young and old being particularly at risk.
If you do suspect pneumonia, you should get the patient to a hospital as soon as possible so they can get the treatment that they need. Not doing so could have a fatal outcome.
Pneumonia Sign #1: Dry Cough
A cough is quite common and doesn’t usually cause concern. For this reason, it may get overlooked and passed off as something non-threatening. This is usually the case—but not always. Sometimes, a cough can be a sign of something very serious.
One common symptom of pneumonia is a dry, hacking cough that turns up phlegm and can also be painful. If any cough persists, you should arrange to speak with a doctor no matter what you may think is causing it.