Pneumonia BasicsYou’ve heard your parents or grandparents call out to you in times past, “Don’t go out in the rain; you’ll catch pneumonia!” But that’s not entirely true; the rain doesn’t cause pneumonia. However, the damp coldness can weaken your immune system. Pneumonia is caused by bacteria or virus, and infects the lungs, making it difficult to breathe. Of course, prevention is best, but should you catch it, knowing the symptoms will be beneficial.


Depending on your age and overall health, symptoms may vary. The most common symptoms include:

  • Chest pain when you breathe or cough
  • A productive cough that produces mucus or phlegm
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever, chills
  • Shortness of breath

If you have been diagnosed with pneumonia, we can help recommend treatment and manage the illness until symptoms are gone.


Pneumonia caused by a virus will usually have to simply run its course. Antibiotics can treat it if brought about by bacteria. Of course, treatment will vary depending on the cause; however, with most kinds of pneumonia, your doctor will recommend plenty of rest and fluids to maintain hydration.


In accordance with the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Pulmonary Associates of Richmond recommends all adults, age 65 and over, receive the two-part pneumococcal vaccines. These vaccines are received a year apart and will help prevent more serious strains of pneumonia. Patients with certain health conditions are strongly encouraged to get the pneumococcal vaccines as an infection can exacerbate a chronic lung condition. All patients, 65 and older, are strongly encouraged to get an annual flu shot to help prevent the flu, which can lead to secondary infections such as pneumonia.


With proper care and preparation, pneumonia can be avoided. Should it flare up, proper treatment can help with symptoms. If you have a breathing problem, we can help. Schedule an appointment with us online! We look forward to seeing you!