Pneumonia or Bad Cold? Be clear on this!

Health Care
Friday, September 09, 2022

What is Pneumonia? 

If you believe that Pneumonia is simply a bad cold, you may have a misunderstanding about Pneumonia. Pneumonia, on the other hand, is a more serious infection (typically caused by bacteria) in the lungs that can be serious and necessitate immediate medical attention. Pneumonia causes inflammation in the lungs and fluid buildup, making breathing difficult. 

While the common cold is caused by a virus and does not usually necessitate immediate medical attention. It will usually heal quickly, and all you need to do is take care of yourself. In facts, the severity of Pneumonia can range from mild to life-threatening. 


The Symptoms of Pneumonia 

Pneumonia symptoms range from mild to severe, depending on factors such as the type of germ that caused the infection, as well as your age and overall health. Mild signs and symptoms are often similar to cold or flu symptoms, but they last longer. Some of the symptoms of Pneumonia may include: 

  • Chest pain when you breathe or cough 
  • Cough, which may produce phlegm  
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Fatigue 
  • Fever, sweating and shaking chills 
  • Coughing out green/yellow sputum 
  • Confusion or changes in mental awareness (in adults aged 65 and older) 

Infants and newborns may not show any signs of infection. They may also vomit, have a fever and cough, appear restless or tired, or have difficulty breathing and eating.  


Risk Factors 

Pneumonia can strike at any time. Pneumonia can strike at any age, but advanced age is a significant risk factor. Elderly people over the age of 65 are more vulnerable, and lung infections can be fatal. Because of their age, the elderly's immune system may be slightly weakened. Furthermore, infants and young children are particularly vulnerable to Pneumonia. 



Even though pneumonia is spread by infected airborne droplets. If healthy people touched objects contaminated with the pneumonia-causing germ, they could spread the disease. For example, touching infected doorknobs. Follow these tips to prevent Pneumonia: 

  • Practice good hygiene. Eg. Regularly hand washing, cover your coughs and sneezes, and proceed to handwash. 
  • Don’t smoke as smoking may damages your lungs” natural defenses against respiratory infections.  
  • Keep your immune system strong by getting enough sleep, exercise regularly, and having a healthy diet.  

Individuals with weakened immune systems, infants under 2, and smokers are more prone to getting infected.  



In short, Pneumonia can range in seriousness from mild to life-threatening. Please seek expert advice if you are unsure about an illness. Self-diagnosis can delay treatment. Or, if you need any related professional health advise, please consult our pharmacist from BIG Pharmacy at your nearest. 

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