Certain symptoms similar to common cold might be an indication of pneumonia. During the cold season, many suffer from sneezing and coughing which affects individuals of all ages. Most adults simply dismiss their symptoms as a minor cold.
As for the elderly, it is vital to have these symptoms checked since pneumonia can rapidly progress. It is also dangerous for individuals who suffer from chronic diseases such as heart or lung problems.
It is also vital to note that the elderly have the tendency to have lesser symptoms than the younger individuals. This simply means that pneumonia can progress to a dangerous phase before medical care is sought.
Indications of pneumonia
Symptoms of common cold
In most cases of pneumonia, it starts with the usual symptoms of common cold such as runny nose, sneezing, sore throat and low-grade fever. There is even a mild cough. In case the fever reaches over 101 degrees F, a doctor should be consulted since this indicates the presence of a bacterial infection that can progress to pneumonia and/or bronchitis.
Chest pain during deep breaths
This feels similar to an aching or dull pressure below the breastbone that is aggravated by coughing or taking a deep breath.
Oftentimes, an individual with pneumonia can feel generalized malaise that involves achy muscles and discomfort. In some cases, there is also joint pain.
Purplish or dusky-colored skin
This simply indicates that there is not enough oxygen reaching the blood. When it comes to pneumonia, the fluid in the lungs disrupts function.
The headache that manifests is often aggravated by coughing.
Shortness of breath
This is a feeling of not getting enough air. Oftentimes, this can cause the individual to gasp even though they are not exerting in any manner.
The skin usually feels moist and cool to the touch and the individual might appear pale. Take note that the clamminess is triggered by sweating.
Chills is characterized as feeling cold from within. The individual could not feel warm regardless of the temperature in the room or the layers of blankets or clothes used. The chills can cause the individual to shake excessively that their teeth eventually chatter.
There is production of sputum while coughing.
Discolored or blood-streaked sputum
The sputum might appear clear but it can also be yellowish, greenish or has specks of blood. The yellow or green color comes from the leukocytes. When it comes to blood-streaked sputum, it indicates a severe lung infection.
Starting prompt treatment once any of these symptoms are present among the elderly might mean a difference between hospitalization or even death. Consulting a doctor is vital and a wise move than not to have the condition checked out.