Pneumonia – Causes, Symptoms and Preventive Tips

Health

Pneumonia is one of the diseases that have high mortality and morbidity, especially in children below five years of age. According to data collected and presented by WHO, India accounts for nearly one-third of South-East Asia’s under-five mortality caused by this disease.

This disease can range between a mild and severe case where the former can be treated at home with antibiotics, while the more serious cases can be fatal. Thus, to ensure that the disease is diagnosed and treated on time, individuals should first learn how to identify its causes and symptoms.

What are the causes of this disease?

It is an infection of the air sacs inside the lungs and can be caused by viruses, bacteria and in some cases, fungi. Streptococcus pneumonia or pneumococcal disease caused by bacteria is the most common types of this disease. The category of this disease caused by viruses is more common among children.

Sometimes the term pneumonia is also used interchangeably for conditions that result in inflammation of lungs like chemical burns, autoimmune diseases, etc.

There are several factors that expose individuals to the risk of this disease like smoking, alcoholism, asthma, immunodeficiency, liver disease and other pulmonary conditions. These are some of the most common pneumonia causes that can lead to the development of this disease.

Symptoms of this disease

This disease, if caused by bacteria, can strike fast and hard while viral variants of it develop slowly over time.

Most individuals infected by this disease display the following symptoms –

  • Cough accompanied by mucus or phlegm.
  • Pain in the chest while coughing or breathing.
  • Loss of appetite and fatigue.
  • Nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.
  • Sweating, chills and fever.
  • Inability to draw breath properly.

Alongside these pneumonia symptoms, elderly individuals and those with weak immune systems can also display symptoms like confusion or a change in mental awareness.

If you develop any of these symptoms, which persist for more than 3-4 days, it is crucial for you to seek immediate medical attention. Otherwise, the disease might progress in severity, leading to hospitalisation and consequently giving rise to substantial treatment expenses.

Nevertheless, the availability of Pocket Insurance & Subscriptions such as a Hospital Cash Cover, offered by Bajaj Finserv, can be quite handy in such cases. With this insurance plan, policyholders can avail coverage of up to Rs. 10,000 with low premium payments per annum.

Along with these, insured individuals can also avail the benefit of daily cash allowance of up to Rs. 1,000, which can assist them in covering their day-to-day expenses. Thus, if individuals have any of these insurance policies in place, it can help them reduce their financial liabilities arising from treatment to quite an extent.

Tips on how to prevent pneumonia

There are a few ways pneumonia prevention tips that you can adopt to reduce the risks from this disease.

Some of them are as follows –

  • Vaccination

There are two vaccines that can help to protect you against the streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria, which is one of the most common causes of this disease. This vaccination is a mandate for children below 2 years of age and individuals above the age of 65 years. It is also pertinent for those who smoke, have weak immunity and other health-conditions to get vaccinated.

  • Wash hands

Washing hands frequently is one of the best ways to prevent yourself from getting sick.

  • Quit smoking

Smokers are more likely to develop the disease as tobacco weakens lungs, making them more vulnerable towards risks like an infection.

Apart from these, following a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise, enough sleep, etc. can significantly reduce an individual’s chances of contracting pneumonia.

With these few tips and a comprehensive insurance cover in place, you can ensure that you are protected from the disease and its consequences.

Additionally, if you want to avail protection from any of the other commonly prevalent disease in the country like dengue or tuberculosis, you can avail Pocket Insurance & Subscriptions like a Dengue Insurance provided by Bajaj Finserv.

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