April 20, 2024

Inside our two lungs are small air spaces (alveoli) surrounded and supported by thin walls. Inside these thin walls are small blood vessels.
Gas exchange takes place in the air spaces: carbon dioxide – sometimes called “waste gas” because it is a by-product of body processes – is released from the blood in and breathed out.
In turn, oxygen from the air that we breathe in is taken into the bloodstream to be delivered to the different body cells for their normal functioning. The lung air spaces or alveoli are normally fluid-free and always clear to allow for easy gas exchange.
Adequate blood oxygenation and carbon dioxide removal is important for normal body functions. In the presence of fluid or debri inside the air spaces, gas exchange becomes impaired. Fluid can be in the form of water such as that seen in drowning, blood caused by traumatic injury or debri when infection occurs.
Low oxygen levels in the blood leads to low oxygen supply to body organs and will cause headache, dizziness, or even stroke. Chest pain, easy fatigue, and air hunger are few of many other symptoms that will occur.
Pneumonia is infection of the small air sacs. Through normal defense mechanisms that our body employs to destroy causative organisms, inflammation occurs inside the lungs – damaged cells and some fluid can accumulate in the air spaces.
The degree of inflammation and the effect of infection on a person depend on his unique features – age, immune system, presence of ailments like AIDS that make him weak, or intake of medications like steroids that affect his immune system. The type and virulence of the causative organism is also a factor.
Pneumonia can be caused by the bacteria streptococcus pneumoniae, staphylococcus aureus, legionella pneumophila, haemophilus influenzae,viruses, and fungi.
Atypical pneumonia is a term used for lung infection caused by bacteria-like organisms mycoplasma pneumoniae and chlamydia trachomatis. Mycoplasma pneumoniae is the most common of infection in older children and younger adults – five to 35 years old.
After exposure, incubation period usually lasts for 10 days to two weeks. Symptoms may start with a dry cough, a sore throat, easy fatigue, or tiredness.
Some patients may already have the pneumonia but still able to do their usual activities.They do not feel any symptom and they do not also look sick and usually would not require hospitalization hence the term “walking pneumonia”.
Infection is usually mild and most patients recover without treatment but symptoms may worsen and become severe. In some patients, symptoms may persist for seven to 14 days and recovery may be slow.
Mycoplasma pneumonia is spread through airborne droplets. Contact with droplets from the nose or throat of infected persons spreads the disease.

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