Pneumonia is a serious infection that should be treated promptly. Contact your doctor if you have pneumonia symptoms or if your child has pneumonia symptoms.
Effects of Pneumonia on the Lungs
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The symptoms of pneumonia include the following:
- Fever or below-normal temperature
- Rapid breathing
- Cough, may be dry or may produce sputum
- Increased sputum
- Chest or abdominal pain
- Shortness of breath
- Pain through to the back
- Pain with deep breathing
- Rattle sound in the chest
- Loss of energy, fatigue
- Nausea and vomiting
- General muscle aches and pains
- Lack of appetite
Severe symptoms that may occur in adults, especially the elderly, include:
- Bluish color of the nails or lips due to diminished oxygen in the blood
- Mental confusion (This is common in the elderly.)
Severe symptoms that may occur in babies and young children:
- Flaring nostrils with each breath
- Chest or ribs may suck in with each breath
- Grunting sound with breathing
Beovic B, Bonac B, et al. Aetiology and clinical presentation of mild community-acquired bacterial pneumonia.
Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis.
Pneumonia symptoms diagnosis and treatment. American Lung Association website. Available at:
Accessed October 3, 2012.
Pneumonia in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated March 25, 2013. Accessed April 3, 2013.
Pneumonia in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated March 18, 2013. Accessed April 3, 2013.
What are the signs and symptoms of pneumonia? National Heart Lung Blood Institute website. Available at:
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/pnu/signs.html. Updated March 1, 2011. Accessed April 3, 2013.
Last reviewed March 2014 by David L. Horn, MD
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.
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