Pneumonia is swelling (inflammation) of the tissue in one or both lungs. It's usually caused by a bacterial infection.
At the end of the breathing tubes in your lungs are clusters of tiny air sacs. If you have pneumonia, these tiny sacs become inflamed and fill up with fluid. This makes breathing more difficult.
What causes pneumonia?
Pneumonia is usually the result of a pneumococcal infection, caused by bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae. Many different types of bacteria, including Haemophilus influenzae and Staphylococcus aureus, can also cause pneumonia, as well as viruses and, more rarely, fungi.
The following groups have an increased risk of developing pneumonia:
Babies and very young children
People who smoke
People with other health conditions, such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, or a heart, kidney or liver condition
People with a weakened immune system - for example, as a result of a recent illness, such as flu – or undergoing chemotherapy
Pneumonia is often accompanied by pleurisy.
Pleurisy is inflammation of the sheet-like layers that cover the lungs (the pleura).When the pleura are swollen and inflamed, they rub against each other in a very painful way each time that your lungs expand as you take a breath. The most common symptom of pleurisy is a sharp chest pain when breathing deeply. Sometimes the pain is also felt in the shoulder.
The pain may be worse when you cough, sneeze , laugh or move around, and it may be relieved by taking shallow breaths. Other symptoms can include shortness of breath and a dry cough.
What causes pleurisy?
Most cases are the result of a viral infection (such as the flu) or a bacterial infection (such as pneumonia).In rarer cases, pleurisy can be caused by conditions such as a blood clot blocking the flow of blood into the lungs (pulmonary embolism) or lung cancer. Pleurisy that’s caused by a bacterial infection or pneumonia can be resolved with a course of antibiotics. Once you start antibiotics, your symptoms should resolve within a week. It may take up to two weeks for symptoms to fully disappear.
If you have pleurisy, the best thing you can do for your body is to rest. Your doctor may tell you to rest at home while you wait for your pleurisy to resolve.
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