Pneumonia is a condition caused by an infection in the air sacs within the lungs. These are tiny pockets of air that live at the end of your bronchioles and which allow the exchange of gas between the lungs and the blood. They are technically known as alveoli.
You have roughly 600 million alveoli in your lungs and it can be useful to picture them like grapes on a stalk. The sacs themselves do not really have any special properties, but are covered in capillaries which absorb the oxygen. The reason that capillaries are arranged on the sacs is because this balloon-like shape provides the greatest surface area to fit the most capillaries on as possible.
As you can see then, the alveoli serve a very important role in the body and are somewhat critical to our health and survival. They’re also tiny and highly delicate.
It is no wonder then that pneumonia should be such a dangerous condition. In this post we will look at some of the symptoms that you should look out for.
1. Chest Pain When Breathing
Pneumonia causes inflammation in the air sacs. If you imagine an infection on your skin, then normally it looks red and swollen and can be painful to touch. If you should have an infected bug bite on your ankle say, then it can make things like walking or running very painful and very difficult due to the pressure.
And so, it is with pneumonia Now, using those crucial air sacs can become very painful and difficult and therefore, breathing can become a painful and difficult process!
Likewise, any sudden movement in the chest can also cause pain. You might notice that the pain becomes worse if you should laugh or if you should cough. Of course, you should try to avoid jolting as far as possible, but chest pain of any sort is always a sign that is worth getting checked out by the doctor.
Other possible causes include high blood pressure, cramp, pulled muscles, or impact.