Pneumonia can range from being mild to severe and life-threatening, which is why seeing a doctor when symptoms arise is crucial. Dr. Kantha Stoll is an internal medicine physician at Alexandria Adult Primary Care in Alexandria, Virginia, who treats pneumonia before it becomes a serious medical problem. Call today to book an appointment, or schedule one online.
Pneumonia is a type of infection that causes air sacs in your lungs to become inflamed and fill up with pus or fluid. This leads to side effects that can range from mild to serious. Pneumonia is caused by organisms — including viruses, fungi, or bacteria — or environmental toxins.
Population groups most at risk of developing pneumonia are:
If you’re at risk of pneumonia, always be on the lookout for possible symptoms.
Often, pneumonia follows another illness, such as flu or even the common cold. Symptoms of pneumonia to watch out for include:
If left untreated pneumonia can lead to health complications, such as bacteria in the bloodstream, respiratory failure, lung abscesses, and infections in other organs.
If you have symptoms of pneumonia, Dr. Stoll goes over your medical history and listens to your lungs during a physical examination. She may also order blood tests, or have you complete diagnostic imaging tests (such as chest X-rays or CT scans). Other diagnostic tests check oxygen levels in your blood, and determine the cause of pneumonia infections.
Dr. Stoll recommends a treatment for you based on what’s causing your pneumonia, and how severe your condition is. She may recommend:
You can prevent pneumonia by washing your hands often and avoiding tobacco smoke. Ask Dr. Stoll about pneumococcal pneumonia and flu vaccines to lower your risk. Call Alexandria Adult Primary Care to book your next appointment, or schedule one online today.