Diagnosing and dealing with pneumonia; What you need to know

Updated on November 16, 2021
old age, health problem and people concept - senior man feeling sick at summer park

There are a few cases of pneumonia that are so mild that people do not even notice the symptoms. There are also cases so severe that they require immediate hospitalization. There are a few common signs of this disease such as severe cough, chills, and fever, extreme shortness of breath, loss of appetite, vomiting and nausea, confusion, severe chest pain, etc. If you have any of these, your doctor will prescribe a few tests to make sure that the diagnosis is correct. 

Tests for pneumonia

Here are a few tests that might be recommended if your doctor suspects that you have pneumonia. 

Blood tests

There are a few blood tests that can help confirm the infection. This will also enable your doctor to identify the kind of organism that is causing your infection. Remember, precise identification every single time can not be possible.

A chest X-ray

If your doctor is not sure about the blood tests, they will do another evaluation. A chest Xray is quite useful to help determine whether you have pneumonia or not. It will not point out the kind of germ, but it will confirm the disease. 

Sputum test

A sputum test uses a sample of fluids that are taken from your lungs. This sample will be taken after a deep cough. The analysis will help find the exact cause of infection.

Pulse oximetry

Doctors will also sometimes check the oxygen level in your blood. Pneumonia is known for preventing enough oxygen from getting into your bloodstream.

Ways of treatment

The most important thing to do is to cure the infection in order to prevent serious health complications. There are quite a few cases that can be easily treated at home, but it is important to take your medication as and when the doctor tells you to do so.

Here are a few treatment options:

Pain relievers/ fever reducer

A person suffering from pneumonia also suffers from high fever and tiredness. You may experience body aches for quite a while. This is why your doctor would recommend ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen. 

Cough medicine

This disease makes you cough quite a lot. It can get hard to rest with such constant coughing, which is why you should use medicine to help calm down your throat. Do not try to completely eliminate your cough, since this helps move the fluid out of your lungs and also helps loosen it. Try to use the lowest dose of cough syrup so that it helps you sleep and rest.


The most important medication that you should be taking is antibiotics that are used to treat bacterial pneumonia. It will definitely take your doctor some time to identify the kind of bacteria so that they give the right antibiotics. They may change your antibiotics if they do not help improve your symptoms. 

You might also need to be hospitalized if your case is quite severe or you are at increased risk. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids and talk to your doctor openly about your issues and concerns.

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