Pneumonia is a severe infection in your lungs that can make it difficult for you to breathe. Because pneumonia can become severe and could even be life-threatening, it’s important to get treatment at the first warning sign. As a leading family care physician, Yadwinder Kang, MD and his team at 1st Choice Urgent Care can help you get through pneumonia. The Bakersfield, California clinic welcomes new patients and walk-in visits. You can also call or schedule a same-day appointment to get started on your pneumonia treatment.
What causes pneumonia?
Usually, pneumonia is a secondary infection of a respiratory illness, like a flu or cold. Pneumonia is often caused by:
- Bacteria or viruses
- Mycoplasmas or fungi
- Outside chemicals, like cigarette smoke
If you develop viral pneumonia, you’re also at high risk of having bacterial pneumonia. You’re at an even greater risk of suffering from pneumonia if you have a weakened immune system or chronic lung condition, such as COPD or cystic fibrosis.
How do I know if I have pneumonia?
In the early stage of pneumonia, you may feel like you have a bad cold or flu. But symptoms can progress and become much more severe. You might have pneumonia if you experience:
- Persistent cough with green or yellow mucus
- High fever that won’t go down after several days
- Severe chills and shaking spells
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
- Stabbing chest pain
In its most severe stage, pneumonia can lead to confusion and extreme fatigue. You could even cough up blood. Healthy adults can often recover with proper treatment when pneumonia becomes severe. But it can be devastatingly dangerous and even fatal for older adults, pregnant women, children, and anyone with a compromised immune system.
Which pneumonia treatments are best?
Your specific pneumonia treatment depends on the severity of your symptoms and what’s causing your illness. Antibiotics have a high cure rate for pneumonia, but only if it’s caused by bacteria — antibiotics won’t treat viral pneumonia. If you aren’t a candidate for antibiotics, your doctor can work with you to treat symptoms. For instance, if you have a persistent cough, prescription-strength cough medicine may help.
The best things you can do are to get plenty of rest and drink lots of clear fluids. If your symptoms are severe or are getting worse, you may need to be hospitalized and receive intravenous (IV) fluids to help you get through it. Once you begin treatment, most patients start feeling better within two to three days, although it can take several weeks to recover fully.
You’re welcome to walk into 1st Choice Urgent Care if you suspect you have pneumonia. You can also book same-day appointments either online, or over the phone.