Pneumonia services offered in The Loop, Chicago, IL

Pneumonia is a common but serious condition that can cause excessive coughing, chest pain, and make it difficult to breathe normally. Pneumonia can range in severity and is most hazardous to young children and adults over 65. If you’ve been struggling with symptoms of pneumonia, contact the team at Michigan Avenue Primary Care in The Loop of downtown Chicago, Illinois. Call the office or request an appointment online today. 

What is pneumonia?

Pneumonia is an infection that causes inflammation of the lungs and air sacs. Although a common condition, cases of pneumonia can be quite severe and life-threatening, especially for young children and adults over the age of 65. Pneumonia causes the lungs and air sacs to fill up with liquid and become inflamed and infected. A bacterial, viral, or fungal infection most commonly causes pneumonia.

Bacterial pneumonia

Bacteria are the most common cause of pneumonia. Although not the only culprit, the most common bacteria known to cause pneumonia is Streptococcus, the same bacteria responsible for strep throat. Typically, bacteria like Streptococcus remain in the throat, where they are relatively harmless, but when your immune system becomes impaired, they can reach the lungs, causing pneumonia.

Viral pneumonia

This type of pneumonia is typically the mildest and is most common among children five and younger. Common conditions like cold or flu can cause viral pneumonia. Similar to bacterial pneumonia, these viruses usually stay in the respiratory system but can reach the lungs when an immune system becomes impaired.

Fungal pneumonia

An invasion of fungus in the lungs or air sacs causes fungal pneumonia. Fungal pneumonia typically occurs when opportunistic fungus inside the body takes advantage of a weakened immune system. It can also result from the inhalation of dangerous fungi found in soil, feces, and various environments.

Walking pneumonia

Walking pneumonia, also known as atypical pneumonia, refers to a mild form of pneumonia that can often resemble a common cold or the flu. Walking pneumonia differs from typical pneumonia in that it is less severe and usually doesn’t require bed rest or hospitalization for treatment.

What are the symptoms of pneumonia?

Because the severity of pneumonia depends on immune strength, the symptoms can range greatly in intensity. Some pneumonia symptoms include:

  • Severe coughing with phlegm or pus
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Shaking chills

For some, the symptoms of pneumonia are similar to that of a cold or flu, while for others, they can become life-threatening. Because pneumonia worsens over time, it’s important to discuss your condition with the team at Michigan Avenue Primary Care as soon as possible.

How is pneumonia treated?

Your Michigan Avenue Primary Care provider personalizes your treatment plan after evaluating your individual condition and determining the cause of your pneumonia. This evaluation can include a number of techniques, including X-rays, blood tests, and sputum tests. Depending on the cause of the condition, your provider can prescribe antibiotics for addressing bacterial pneumonia or medications for relieving symptoms like fever and severe coughing in cases of viral pneumonia, allowing patients to rest and recover.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of pneumonia and would like to seek treatment, call Michigan Avenue Primary Care or request an appointment online today.