Pneumonia is when a virus, bacteria, or fungus infects the air sacs inside your lungs causing those sacs fill with fluid, which then makes it harder to breathe. You might cough up a thick, colored mucus and have a fever and/or chills. Symptoms can come on gradually or suddenly, and usually are accompanied by a high fever. “It’s easy to confuse influenza and COVID-19, and it’s the same with influenza and pneumonia as they have very similar early symptoms. Some of these include fever, a dry cough, headache, muscle pain, and weakness. Within a day or two, the symptoms typically get worse, with increasing cough, shortness of breath and muscle pain,” explains Dr. Bradberry.
Call your doctor if your symptoms are severe or if you or a loved one is in a high-risk group like individuals over the age of 65 or children age 2 and younger.
COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is sometimes called “chronic bronchitis” or emphysema. It is most often caused by smoking, but it can also be caused by other irritants, including cigar smoke, secondhand smoke, pipe smoke, air pollution, and workplace exposure to dust, smoke, or fumes. “Your bronchial tubes are naturally elastic as to force air out of your body when you breathe, but COPD causes them to lose their elasticity and over-expand, which leaves some air trapped in your lungs when you exhale,” Dr. Bradberry says. “Besides difficulty breathing, you might feel tightness in your chest, coughing, and/or wheezing,” he/she adds. People with COPD are at increased risk of developing heart disease, lung cancer as well as a variety of other conditions.
COPD is a serious condition, but it can be managed with help from your doctor. The best and most important thing you can do is to quit smoking if you are a smoker.
Being anemic can make you weak and tired, and sometimes short of breath. It can also make you dizzy and pale, with cold hands and feet, and a fast heartbeat. It affects 1.6 billion people worldwide, and can be caused by many things, the most common being an iron deficiency. Anemia can be caused by pregnancy, a heavy menstrual cycle, or regular use of some over-the-counter pain medications. “When someone is healthy, an adequate amount of oxygen is conveyed to the heart, muscles, and organs. With anemia, the lungs overcompensate to bring in more oxygen, thus causing breathing issues. Even small exertions can cause shortness of breath or fainting spells,” Dr. Bradberry explains.
There are many reasons a person might become anemic, so talk to your doctor if you’re exhibiting symptoms.
The COVID-19 virus can become serious once a person is infected, and it is rightly top of mind for all of us. “Just be sure you are still paying attention to your overall health and examining all possibilities when it comes to the source of your symptoms. This way, you can treat yourself effectively, recover quickly, and avoid passing your germs to others,” Dr. Bradberry advises.