What are the Effects of Pneumonia?

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  • Written By: Anna T.
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 22 October 2016
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The effects of pneumonia typically include chest pain, fever, and coughing. Chest pain associated with pneumonia is usually much worse when a person coughs due to all the mucus in the lungs. People with pneumonia also commonly experience shortness of breath, chills, and fatigue. The effects of pneumonia seem to vary depending on a person's age. Elderly people are most at risk for serious pneumonia complications and occasionally do not survive it. When a younger person gets pneumonia, his chances of a full recovery are much greater, though his symptoms may still be severe.

Other effects of pneumonia include serious complications, such as lung abscesses, bacteria in the bloodstream, and fluid buildup around the lungs. There is also a chance that a person with pneumonia might develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which occurs when the pneumonia is in both lungs. These complications are much more likely to be a problem with people who are older or are in poor health, although anyone with pneumonia is at risk. People who smoke, regardless of age, are additionally much more likely to suffer from serious pneumonia effects because their lungs may already be in poor shape.


There are several different types of pneumonia, and the treatment varies depending on which kind a person has. Bacterial pneumonia will most likely be treated with antibiotics. For viral pneumonia, doctors typically recommend that a person rest and take in a lot of fluids until the pneumonia is gone because not many medications are effective against viral illnesses. Some people get pneumonia from fungal infections, which can be successfully treated with different types of anti-fungal medication. When pneumonia is severe, hospitalization is typically necessary so that oxygen and intravenous drugs can be administered.

If a person wants to avoid pneumonia, there are some steps she can take to keep herself from getting the illness. One of the most important ways a person can prevent pneumonia is by washing her hands regularly. This can help stop the spread of germs, which often contributes to chest colds that may turn into pneumonia. It is also typically considered a good idea for people to eat healthy foods, exercise, and lose weight if necessary because all of these things can contribute to a healthier immune system, which can protect against pneumonia. A person who smokes should quit if he wants to avoid the serious effects of pneumonia, because smoking makes a person not only more likely to get pneumonia, but also much more susceptible to serious pneumonia complications.


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Post 3

@Fa5t3r - I used to smoke and the problem is that it's difficult to get excited about a slight increase in coughing when you already cough all the time. When you add to that the fact that pneumonia seems just like a bad flu at least in the beginning, you can understand why someone who smokes might just think they can ride it out without going to the doctor (and getting a lecture a mile long about smoking).

Of course, the problem is that some of the long term effects of pneumonia can be deadly. I don't smoke any more, but I tell my friends who do still smoke that doing it isn't an excuse to completely ignore their health. Even if they can't quit, for whatever reason, they should be even more vigilant than the average person when they feel unwell and be proactive about getting better as soon as possible.

Post 2

@pastanaga - I find that it's my friends who are smokers who are the worst for that kind of behavior. I have one friend in particular who always insists that it's just a normal thing that he's coughing up his own lungs and has a fever and that it will go away on its own.

I don't know if one of the effects of smoking is to make you feel like you're never going to actually get sick until you finally get cancer, but the opposite is true. I've never had pneumonia or even come close to being that kind of sick, but he's had it something like three times and I'm sure it's because of the smoking. His lungs are just too damaged to defend themselves from any kind of bug that comes his way.

Post 1

Pneumonia symptoms are no joke, even if you are a healthy adult and you think you don't need to go to the doctor for a simple cough. My grandmother was infamous for refusing to go to the doctor, no matter how sick she got, because she "didn't want to be a burden" and she almost died once from pneumonia that ended up sticking around a lot longer than it would have if she had gone to the doctor and gotten some antibiotics when the symptoms first got bad.

Basically, if you're coughing up anything other than clear mucus, or symptoms haven't shifted for a few days, then just go and get a prescription.

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