What is Lobar Pneumonia?
Lobar pneumonia is a type of pneumonia. Pneumonia is a lung infection that affects either one or both the lungs due to viruses, bacteria, or fungi. The infection causes the air sacs in the lungs to get filled up with pus and other liquid. Lobar pneumonia affects one or more lobes of the lungs. While mild cases of Lobar pneumonia can be treated at home, severe cases will require hospitalization. The disease progresses in four stages, namely, Congestion, Red Hepatization, Grey Hepatixation, and Resolution.
Lobar Pneumonia Symptoms
Lobar pneumonia symptoms vary from person to person depending on how far along the infection is. The commonly seen signs and symptoms include:
- Yellow, greenish or bloody mucus
- Rap and shallow breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Fever with sweating and shaking chills
- Loss of appetite
- Confusion (in people over 65 years)
- Stabbing or sharp chest pain when breathing deeply or coughing
Infants and newborns do not often show any signs of infection. In some cases, they may vomit, have a fever and cough, appear tired or restless, or have difficulty eating or breathing. They need immediate medical attention if you notice these symptoms in young children. In case the skin, nail beds, and lips become bluish or dusky in colour, it is a clear indication that the patient is not getting enough oxygen and needs immediate medical assistance.
Who is at Risk?
Although anyone can fall victim to pneumonia, the commonly seen Lobar pneumonia risk factors include:
- Babies or toddler who were born prematurely
- People who had a recent viral infection like influenza or cold
- Chronic lung conditions like asthma, bronchiectasis or bronchitis
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Hospital patients
- Weak or suppressed immune systems
- People who are over 65 years of age
- People on poor diets
People who have trouble coughing or swallowing after a concussion, stroke, or any other type of brain injury are also prone to developing Lobar pneumonia.
Lobar Pneumonia Causes
One of the most commonly observed causes of Lobar pneumonia is Streptococcus pneumonia. This bacteria affects only one part of the lung. Other bacteria that may cause the infection include Haemophilus influenza, Moraxella catarrhalis, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Pneumonia is commonly seen in people who have a weak or suppressed immune system. Viral pneumonia is commonly seen in young children and people with weak immunity. Hospital-acquired pneumonia is considered to be more serious as it is resistant to antibiotics and can be difficult to treat. Another common type of pneumonia is Aspiration pneumonia. You run a chance of developing it when you inhale drink, food, saliva, or vomit into your lungs.
How is Lobar Pneumonia diagnosed?
The doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and medical history before moving on to a physical exam. The physical exam will include listening to your heart for a bubbling or crackling sound, asking you to take deep breaths. The doctor will also prescribe several tests including a chest X-ray, blood tests, sputum culture test, pulse oximetry, and so on. If you are 65 or older or have other health conditions the doctor may also order a CT scan and a Pleural fluid culture. The CT scan will offer a more detailed image of the lungs to help the doctor decide on a Lobar pneumonia diagnosis.
How is Lobar Pneumonia treated?
Lobar pneumonia treatment involves curing the infection as well as preventing further complications. People who acquired the infection due to community-acquired pneumonia can be treated at home with the right medication under the guidance of a Pulmonologist. In most cases, the symptoms will ease in a few days or a week or two. However, the feeling of exhaustion will last for a month or maybe more. The antibiotic medication used to treat Lobar pneumonia will help you with the different symptoms. Cough medicine is also prescribed in most cases to help calm your cough. If the symptoms get severe you will need hospitalization. People aged above 65 and children who are younger than 2 years suffering from Lobar pneumonia are often put under hospital observation to prevent any serious complications. In case you detect any symptoms of Lobar pneumonia, you can always book an online video consultation with the top Pulmonologists in the country thanks to Cure.fit.
How can Lobar Pneumonia be prevented?
Rather than looking for a Lobar pneumonia cure, it is always better to take steps to reduce your risk of contracting this infection. You need to take good care of your health and make sure that you have a strong immune system. Doctors also recommend regular and thorough hand-washing, quit smoking, get vaccinated against pneumococcal disease.