Pneumonia is a lung infection that can make it difficult to breathe due to inflammation, fluid, and pus. However, symptoms can vary, and it is important to know when to see a doctor or go to the Emergency Room.
WHAT ARE SYMPTOMS OF PNEUMONIA?
Adults who were healthy before developing pneumonia typically have moderate symptoms. However, your medical history and overall health can affect the severity of symptoms. For instance, people with chronic medical problems may be more likely to develop severe symptoms.
Here are some pneumonia symptoms to look for:
- Extremely high fever (up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit) with quick onset
- Severe chills and/or sweating
- Chest pain, congestion, or tightness
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle aches and pains
- A loose, wet cough that produces thick brown, green, yellow, or white phlegm
- Shortness of breath
- **See below for more symptoms that signify a medical emergency.
If you feel you have either of these conditions, it’s important to contact your doctor to prevent the illness from getting worse.
WHEN SHOULD YOU SEE A DOCTOR?
See your doctor if you are having:
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- Persistent fever of 102 F (39 C) or higher
- Persistent cough and if you’re coughing up pus or blood
WHO IS AT HIGH-RISK FOR HOSPITALIZATION?
Some people are at are at greater risk of needing hospitalization with pneumonia. If you have conditions like asthma, heart disease, or endocrine and kidney disorders, you should seek medical treatment immediately if they experience pneumonia symptoms. In addition, the following people are at high-risk for hospitalization, and should see a doctor.
- People over 65 years old
- Children younger than 2 years with signs and symptoms
- People with an underlying health condition or weakened immune system
- People receiving chemotherapy or taking medication that suppresses the immune system
WHEN IS PNEUMONIA AN EMERGENCY?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), regardless of which condition you fall ill to, if you feel the following symptoms, you may be facing a medical emergency. Do not wait! Immediately seek medical attention at the nearest emergency room if you experience
- Severe chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing or rapid breathing
- Gurgling sounds in the throat
- Severe dizziness
- Confusion or lethargy
- Persistent vomiting
- Severe fever
- Severe headache
- Bluish skin color
- Bluish color of the lips or fingernails
Other articles you might be interested in:
Read more about Pneumonia from the Mayo Clinic here.
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This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Moreover, of you have medical questions, seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider. Never disregard professional medical advice. Don’t delay medical treatment because of something you have read on the internet. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call 911, or go to your nearest ER immediately.