Did you know there are over 30 different causes of pneumonia? The common cause of the infection is influenza, so getting the flu shot each year is rather important. Preventative care can decrease your chances of developing pneumonia and reduce its common and uncomfortable side effects.

What is Pneumonia?

Pneumonia is a lung infection, and bacteria, viruses or fungi cause it—the infection results from inflammation of the lungs’ air sacs. The alveoli (air sacs) fill with fluid or pus during the condition, making it difficult to breathe. The lung’s job is to get oxygen into the blood to remove carbon dioxide, which happens during breathing. When this is hindered, it can cause shortness of breath, breathing difficulties and tiredness.

If you are suffering from pneumonia caused by infectious microbes, it’s important to avoid contact with people because the pneumonia is contagious. It isn’t contagious if it’s caused by poison inhalation or chemical fumes. According to the CDC, some causes of pneumonia include:

  • Human Metapneumovirus Infection
  • Human Parainfluenza Virus Infection
  • Influenza
  • Legionnaires’ disease
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae
  • Pneumococcal disease
  • Covid-19

There are also varying ways in which someone can develop pneumonia. It can develop through:

  • Hospital-acquired pneumonia
  • Community-acquired pneumonia
  • Ventilator-associated pneumonia
  • Aspiration pneumonia

Pneumonia Infection Symptoms

The symptoms associated with pneumonia vary based on the person’s age and the cause of the infection. For example, newborns can catch pneumonia without showing signs, while a compromised immune system may need a hospital stay. Common symptoms of pneumonia include:

  • Fever
  • Cough (with phlegm)
  • A hard time breathing/shortness of breath
  • Chills
  • Chest pain while breathing
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

Treatment for a Pneumonia Infection

Treating pneumonia depends on the severity and the underlying cause of the illness, especially if it’s bacterial or viral in nature.

Treating Bacterial Pneumonia

Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial pneumonia. The antibiotic prescribed will be based on your health, other medications you’re taking and age. Antibiotics can only be used to treat a bacterial infection.

Treating Viral Pneumonia

Unfortunately for virus-based illnesses, antibiotics are not a good treatment option. Therefore, there is no treatment besides over-the-counter medicines to relieve pain and lower fevers if pneumonia stems from a virus. However, breathing treatments may be recommended for those struggling to loosen the mucus within the lungs and help support breathing efforts.

If the flu causes pneumonia, you may be given antiviral medication to decrease the length and severity of the condition.

Treating a Fungal Pneumonia

The one primary treatment for a fungal infection is a prescription for antifungal medication.

At-Home Remedies

Some treatments can be practiced at home to help the body heal and lessen the discomfort. These include:

  • Staying hydrated
  • Getting rest
  • Over-the-counter medications to reduce coughing and fever
  • Using a humidifier
  • Washing hands

PRESNow 24/7 Can Diagnose and Treat Pneumonia

Unlike most ERs or urgent care centers in the area, PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care in Albuquerque, patients are only billed for the level of services they need. The ER and urgent care are open 24 hours a day, every day. No appointment is required for in-person visits.

PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care has four convenient locations:

  • PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care Paseo/San Pedro is located at 6400 Paseo Del Norte Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87113, and may be reached at 505-596-2100.
  • PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care Coors/Western Trail is located at 4515 Coors Blvd. NW Albuquerque, NM 87120, and may be reached at 505-596-2200.
  • PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care Isleta/Rio Bravo is located at 3436 Isleta Blvd SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105, and may be reached at 505-596-2300.
  • PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care Menaul/Pennsylvania is located at 7400 Menaul Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110, and may be reached at 505-596-2400.