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Comprehensive Pulmonary

Pulmonologist located in Bakersfield, CA

There are more than 30 different potential causes of pneumonia, and understanding the exact cause is essential for treatment. Triple board-certified pulmonologist Alpha J. Anders, MD, FCCP, at Comprehensive Pulmonary Care in Bakersfield, California, has the expertise to diagnose and treat pneumonia. If you or a loved one has pneumonia, call the office or schedule an appointment online for high-quality care.

Pneumonia Q & A

What is pneumonia?

Pneumonia is a common lung infection that causes the air sacs in one or both of your lungs to become inflamed and fill with fluid or pus. Most healthy people recover from pneumonia within a few weeks, but it can be life-threatening.

Pneumonia affects people of all ages, but may be more serious for certain groups such as:

  • Older adults
  • Infants and young children
  • People with weakened immune systems

This disease is contagious and often spreads when you cough, sneeze, or even breathe. People who are infected with pneumonia can spread the disease even before they begin to show symptoms.

What are the symptoms of pneumonia?

Pneumonia symptoms range from mild to severe depending on several factors such as the type of organism that caused the infection. Mild signs and symptoms of pneumonia may resemble the flu or a severe cold that lasts longer than usual.

Common signs and symptoms of pneumonia include:

  • Coughing that may produce phlegm
  • Chest pain when breathing or coughing
  • Fever, shaking chills, and sweating
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Shortness of breath

Certain people, such as adults over age 65 and those with weakened immune systems, may also experience a body temperature that’s lower than normal.

What causes pneumonia?

Pneumonia is a common complication of a respiratory infection such as the flu or a cold. However, there are more than 30 different organisms that cause pneumonia, including:

  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Fungi
  • Bacteria-like organisms called mycoplasma

Certain factors may increase your risk of developing pneumonia, such as smoking cigarettes or having a chronic lung disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

How is pneumonia diagnosed and treated?

First, Dr. Anders carefully reviews your medical history and performs a physical exam. He listens to your lungs to check for abnormal sounds that may indicate pneumonia. He may also recommend diagnostics such as a chest X-ray or blood tests to identify the type of germ causing your illness.

Once he determines the exact cause of your pneumonia, Dr. Anders develops an individualized treatment plan. Depending on your needs, treatment may include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Cough medicine
  • Pain relievers/fever reducers

Severe cases of pneumonia may require hospitalization. Dr. Anders treats patients in the hospital as well as in the office at Comprehensive Pulmonary Care. This seamless transition provides you with the continuity of care you need to ensure an optimal outcome.

If you or a loved one has symptoms of pneumonia, call Comprehensive Pulmonary Care or schedule an appointment online today.