Pneumonia, the Quick Facts. Pneumonia is an infection deep in the lungs usually caused by viruses or bacteria. With
pneumonia you may feel rundown, have a fever and
chills, development a cough, have trouble breathing, and experience chest pain. Older
patients may not have a fever but may become confused.
To diagnose pneumonia doctors listen to your lungs with a stethoscope, and
perform a chest x-ray. If you’re sick enough to be admitted to the hospital, they’ll usually do blood tests and send samples of your sputum to the lab.
Treatments include antibiotics, medicine to reduce pain or fever, and sometimes
extra fluids or oxygen. To prevent coming down with pneumonia stop smoking
cigarettes, get your yearly flu shot, and get a pneumonia vaccine if you’re
younger than 6, older than 65, or have certain health problems that compromise
the immune system.