Pneumonia is a lung condition that can range in seriousness from mild to life threatening. Older individuals and patients with impaired immune systems or chronic illness are often at higher risk for developing serious complications from pneumonia. Recognize the common symptoms of pneumonia and contact your doctor for a correct diagnosis of your condition.
Coughing can be a symptom of many illnesses and conditions, such as colds and sore throats. Coughing due to pneumonia may differ slightly from other types of coughs. Your coughs may produce thick phlegm or frothy fluid. The mucus may have an unpleasant smell and contain pus or streaks of blood.
Pneumonia commonly produces an elevation in body temperature. Average increase in body temperature due to pneumonia may range from mild to high. Children younger than two years of age who run fevers above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit may have pneumonia, while children who have no fever or symptoms of respiratory distress seldom have pneumonia. When running a fever, you may experience sweating and chills. Shaking and trembling can accompany periods of chills. Elderly adults may experience a decrease in body temperature.
Shortness of Breath
Pneumonia may cause you to feel as if you can’t get enough air into your lungs. Your breathing may sound noisy. Lack of oxygen can make your skin, lips and fingernails take on a blue tinge or appear slightly dusky. Without adequate air, you may feel dizzy, faint or confused.
A sensation of pain or tightness in your chest is a symptom that frequently accompanies pneumonia. You might experience a continual aching in your chest and upper back or occasional sharp, stabbing pains in your upper body. The intensity of your chest pain may fluctuate with the rhythm of your breathing. Coughing and taking deep breaths may cause an increase in chest pain.
Serious illnesses, such as pneumonia, may leave you with a general feeling of discomfort. You may experience muscle aches, headache and fatigue. You may also feel upset or anxious.