Pneumonia is an infection that affects the small airways and air sacs in the lungs.
Pneumonia is sometimes described by where and how you were infected. Types of pneumonia include:
Pneumonia may be caused by:
Pneumonia is more common in older adults. Other factors that may increase your chance of pneumonia include:
Pneumonia may cause:
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Your doctor may suspect pneumonia based on your symptoms, and breath and lung sounds. Tests can confirm diagnosis and determine the specific germ causing the pneumonia.
Your bodily fluids may be tested with:
Pulse oximetry measures blood oxygen levels.
Images may be taken of your lungs. This can be done with:
Treatment of pneumonia depends on:
People with severe pneumonia may need to be hospitalized.
Your doctor may advise:
Certain vaccines may prevent pneumonia:
Other preventive measures include:
American Lung Association
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
The College of Family Physicians of Canada
The Lung Association
2015 Immunization schedules. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/easy-to-read/index.html. Updated January 26, 2105. Accessed February 18, 2015.
Blasi F, Aliberti S, et al. 100 years of respiratory medicine: Pneumonia. Respir Med. 2007;101(5):875-881.
Braunwald E, Harrison TR, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. Columbus, OH: McGraw-Hill; 2008.
Carpenter CC, Andreoli TE, et al. Cecil Essentials of Medicine. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Science; 2003.
Community-acquired pneumonia in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated December 5, 2014. Accessed February 18, 2014.
De Roux A, Marcos MA, et al. Viral community-acquired pneumonia in non-immunocompromised adults. Chest. 2004;125(4):1343-1351.
Explore pneumonia. National Heart Lung Blood Institute (NHLBI) website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/pnu. Updated March 1, 2011. Accessed February 18, 2015.
Niederman MS. Recent advances in community-acquired pneumonia inpatient and outpatient. Chest. 2007;4:1205-1215.
Niederman MS. Review of treatment guidelines for community-acquired pneumonia. Am J Med. 2004;117:Suppl 3A:51S-57S.
10/29/2009 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Hemila H, Louhiala P. Vitamin C for preventing and treating pneumonia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009;(3):CD005532.
10/21/2013 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Hemilä H, Louhiala P. Vitamin C for preventing and treating pneumonia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013;8:CD005532.
3/10/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Su VY, Liu CJ, et al. Sleep apnea and risk of pneumonia: A nationwide population-based study. CMAJ. 2014;186(6):415-421.
6/17/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Reissig A, Copetti R, et al. Lung ultrasound in the diagnosis and follow-up of community-acquired pneumonia: A prospective, multicenter diagnostic accuracy study. Chest. 2012;142(4):965-972.
2/3/2015 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Rantala A, Jaakkola JJ, et al. Respiratory infections in adults with atopic disease and IgE antibodies to common aeroallergens. PLoS One. 2013;8(7):e68582.
Last reviewed February 2015 by David L Horn, MD, FACP
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.