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What Are the Danger Signs of Pneumonia?

Posted by SFSH on March 25, 2019

We’ve all been there: you wake up, you feel awful, but you aren’t sure how serious your sickness is. Do you have a cough? Fever? Shortness of breath? If so, you may be dealing with pneumonia. Pneumonia is an infection in one or both lungs that can become serious if left unchecked. Knowing this, it can be tough to decide if your condition is serious and whether or not you should see a doctor. 

Read on for three key signs you should see a doctor for your pneumonia.

1. Symptoms Don’t Improve

People battling pneumonia have a tendency to want to “wait out” the infection. While this is acceptable for minor cases, it’s important to pay attention to the symptoms that your body is exhibiting. If you maintain cold or flu-like symptoms for an extended period of time and they become worse or fail to improve, it’s a sign that your body is struggling to fight the infection, and you should see a doctor. 

2. Persistent Fever

When attempting to fight off pneumonia, your body may develop a fever in order to kill off the infection in your lungs. This increased body temperature can lead to sweating and chills. If you are maintaining a persistent fever at or above 102 F, it may be a sign that your fever is not succeeding in fighting the infection, and you should seek the help of a doctor. 

3. Difficulty Breathing/Chest Pain

Pneumonia is characterized, in part, by swelling and inflammation in your airways. This inflammation limits your lungs’ ability to inhale and exhale, which can make breathing particularly difficult. The swelling can also lead to rapid, shallow breathing and stabbing chest pain. Depending upon the severity of the swelling, the resulting lack of oxygen can lead to confusion and fatigue. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please seek medical attention immediately. 

Pneumonia is a serious infection that is often incredibly taxing on your body. It can be difficult to diagnose because of its resemblance to other conditions, such as the flu or the common cold. Because of this, deciding when to seek professional help with your sickness can be a bit tricky. While lesser symptoms sometimes go away on their own with a bit of rest and self-care, there may be something more serious going on if they persist or worsen. If you experience any of these three key pneumonia symptoms, then you’ll know it’s time to visit Urgent Care. 

Sioux Falls Urgent Care is open 7 days a week with high-quality, connected care and short wait times. That’s your kind of care!