Symptoms of Pneumonia
Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that can cause mild to severe illness in people of any age. It is a leading cause of death worldwide in both children and older adults. Pneumonia is not caused by any one thing, but rather a whole host of different microorganisms like bacteria or viruses. It can range in severity from mild to life-threatening.
The symptoms of pneumonia can vary depending on the individual’s cause, severity, and underlying overall health. Common symptoms include:
- Cough that produces phlegm or mucus. This is often a persistent cough and produces a thick mucus, either green or yellow or flecked with blood in color.
- Shortness of breath. The severity can range from mild to severe, and may be more noticeable when performing exercise or any other activities that require a more concerted physical effort.
- Chest pain or discomfort when breathing deeply. The pain can be sharp or dull, felt in the chest or ribs.
- Fever, sweating, or chills. A fever is typically defined as a body temperature of 100 degrees or higher, often accompanied by sweating and chills.
- Muscle aches. Pneumonia can cause muscle and body aches, which may be interpreted as a flu like symptom.
- Loss of appetite. Pneumonia causes a decrease or total loss of appetite, which usually leads to weight loss.
- Nausea and vomiting. The nausea and vomiting caused by pneumonia can lead to dehydration.
In severe cases, pneumonia can cause confusion, difficulty in speaking, or a bluish tint to the skin which is a result of a lack of oxygen.