Family Medicine Physician & Sports Medicine located in Wilmington, NC
Pneumonia symptoms often vary from mild to severe, but even at their mildest, you shouldn’t ignore them. Dr. Richard Ferro established his clinic, Carolina Care, to provide world-class medical treatment in a convenient and accessible location. If you’re experiencing chest pain when you breathe or cough, call Carolina Care in Wilmington, North Carolina or schedule an urgent care appointment online today.
Pneumonia Q & A
What is pneumonia?
Pneumonia is an infection that affects your lungs. When you have pneumonia, the air sacs in your lungs grow inflamed and sometimes fill with pus or fluid.
Cases of pneumonia can range from mild to life-threatening. Some people have a higher risk of pneumonia-related complications, including:
- Adults over 65
- Children under 2 years old
- People with compromised immune systems
- Men and women getting medical treatments like chemotherapy
If you think you have pneumonia, it’s essential to work with Dr. Ferro to manage your condition.
What are the symptoms of pneumonia?
Pneumonia symptoms are often confused with the flu or a cold, but they last longer. The symptoms can include:
- Shortness of breath
- Fever, sweats, or chills
- A phlegm-producing cough
- Diarrhea, vomiting, or nausea
- Pain in the chest when coughing or breathing
People who are older than 65 or who have a weakened immune system may also experience mental confusion and lower-than-average body temperatures.
Your pneumonia symptoms often vary depending on the cause of your infection.
What causes pneumonia?
Pneumonia infections can have several causes. The most common types are due to bacteria, fungi, and viruses contracted in the community.
It’s also possible to contract pneumonia during a hospital stay. This serious condition is called hospital-acquired pneumonia and tends to be harder to treat because it’s resistant to many antibiotics.
Additional causes of pneumonia include healthcare-acquired pneumonia in long-term care facilities, and aspiration pneumonia, which develops when you inhale liquids into your lungs.
How do you diagnose and treat pneumonia?
Dr. Ferro and the Carolina Care team offer world-class medical care and diagnostic services, including digital X-rays and a full-service lab on-site.
During your appointment, Dr. Ferro discusses your medical history and symptoms and performs a comprehensive medical exam. After listening to your lungs for abnormal sounds like cracking or bubbling, Dr. Ferro might recommend a variety of tests, including:
- Blood tests to identify infection
- Chest X-ray to determine the location and extent of your infection
- Pulse oximetry tests to measure the oxygen level in your blood
- Sputum test to analyze the fluid in your lungs
Dr. Ferro treats pneumonia based on its cause and the severity of your infection. Many types of pneumonia are treated with prescriptions like cough medicine and antibiotics while you rest at home, but some may require hospital stays.
If you have pneumonia symptoms, call Carolina Care or schedule an appointment online today.