Although the most common types of pneumonia are inflammatory, doctors are referring to other causes of pneumonia when they use the term non-infectious pneumonia.
Pneumonia is a general term for which the condition is inflammation of lung tissue. Although the most common types of pneumonia are inflammatory, doctors are referring to other causes of pneumonia when they use the term non-infectious pneumonia.
Factors that can cause pneumonia include:
Occupational exposure to airborne particles, such as asbestos or silica.
Certain medications, especially chemotherapy drugs.
Radiation therapy to the chest.
Contact with poultry, pigeons, or pet birds.
Many types of mold.
Shortness of breath - often accompanied by a cough - is the most common symptom of pneumonia. But having these problems doesn't mean you have pneumonia. Specialized examination is required for diagnosis.
Pneumonia occurs when certain substances irritate the alveoli in the lungs causing inflammation. This inflammation can interfere with the oxygen exchange of the alveoli.
A wide range of irritants, from air samples to chemotherapy drugs, have been linked to pneumonia. But for most people, specific inflammatory substances are never identified.
Medicines used to treat other conditions can cause pneumonia.
Antibiotics. Nitrofurantoin, amphotericin B, minocycline, sulfasalazine, and sulfadiazine have been associated with pneumonia.
Chemotherapy drugs. Anticancer drugs that can cause pneumonia include bleomycin, methotrexate, carmustine, busulfan, and cyclophosphamide.
Cardiovascular drugs. Medicines that keep the heart rhythm steady, such as amiodarone, can cause pneumonia in some people.
Fungus and other allergens
Substances that have been linked to lung irritation include:
Feathers or bird droppings.
Some people undergoing chest radiation therapy for cancer may develop pneumonia. This is most likely to happen in people being treated for:
The most common cause of radiation-related pneumonia, however, is the type of whole-body radiation needed to prepare for a bone marrow transplant.
Aspiration occurs if a foreign body is inhaled into the lungs. Stomach contents, such as food or fluids, can sometimes cause pneumonia.
Occupation or hobby
Certain occupations and hobbies carry higher pneumonia risks, including:
Agriculture. Many types of farming operations are exposed to pesticide gases. Inhaling airborne particles from mold is one of the most common causes of occupational pneumonia. The seed pods can also be inhaled into the lungs during the grain and hay season.
Pet. Workers who raise poultry and domestic animals such as birds - often come into contact with feces, feathers, and other materials that can cause pneumonia.
Bathtub and humidity. Mold in the bathtub can cause pneumonia.
Anesthesia surgery. General anesthesia increases the relaxation of the throat muscles and the risk of aspiration into the stomach. That's why it's important to have an empty stomach a few hours before you get general anesthesia.
Cancer treatment. Some chemotherapy drugs can cause pneumonia, and radiation therapy can reach the lungs. The combination of the two increases the risk.
Unnoticed or untreated pneumonia can cause irreversible lung damage. Normally, the alveoli stretch and relax with each breath. Chronic inflammation of alveolar tissue can cause the alveoli to become scarred, inflexible — as stiff as a dry sponge. This is called pulmonary fibrosis. In severe cases, pulmonary fibrosis can cause heart failure, respiratory failure, and death.
Tests and diagnostics
To distinguish pneumonia from other lung diseases, one or more of the following tests may be used.
In most cases, pneumonia affects only a small part of the lung parenchyma, while the effects of pneumonia often spread throughout all five lobes of the lung.
X-ray. This test is painless, some small radiation passes through the chest to create pictures of the lungs. X-rays take only a few minutes to perform.
Computed tomography (CT scan). X-ray tomography combines images taken from different angles into detailed cross-sectional images. This does not hurt when lying on a table that can slide during shooting. CT scans usually take less than 15 minutes to perform. Computed tomography scans give more detail of changes in the lungs than X-rays can provide.
Your doctor may order blood tests to check your overall health. Blood tests can also be helpful in diagnosing lung disease.
Lung function test
Measure the amount of air that can be inhaled and exhaled in a given time. Your doctor can also measure how effectively the lungs move gas from the air into the bloodstream during exercise.
Another way to gauge lung efficiency is to measure oxygen saturation in the blood - a device that doesn't hurt when clamped to a finger.
Bronchoscopy is a procedure that uses a tube threaded down the throat to view the airways and collect samples from the lungs. Your doctor will spray numbing medicine in the back of your mouth and throat and will give it through a vein in your arm to help you relax.
Once the tube is in, the doctor can inject a saline solution to collect lung cells and other materials. This is called washing. The doctor may also use a small instrument through the bronchoscope to take a biopsy of a sample of cells from the lung tissue.
Lung biopsy surgery
In some cases, a doctor can examine a larger sample of tissue from several points in the lung that cannot be obtained through a bronchoscopy. Surgical procedures to obtain these samples may be necessary.
Treatments and drugs
If chemical hypersensitivity or pneumonia is present, allergy avoidance is a common approach to treatment. By eliminating exposure to allergens or chemicals that irritate the lungs, symptoms can be reduced.
In severe cases of pneumonia, treatment may include:
Corticosteroids. Medicines that reduce inflammation, such as prednisone, can help relieve symptoms of pneumonia. Corticosteroids are usually taken as pills. These drugs work by suppressing the immune system, reducing pneumonia. However, corticosteroid use also increases the risk of an infection developing and associated with osteoporosis.
Antibiotics. If there is a bacterial infection in the lungs, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics, which can be given through a vein in your arm or taken as a pill.
Oxygen therapy. If there is severe shortness of breath, oxygen therapy through a mask or plastic tube with prongs into the nostrils may be needed. Some people need continuous oxygen therapy, while others may need it only during exercise or sleep.
Lifestyle and Remedies
A diagnosis of non-infectious pneumonia can mean making lifestyle changes to improve your health.
For example, if your job duties expose you to lung irritants, talk to your doctor and supervisor at work about options to protect yourself, such as wearing a personal mask to keep your breathing. must be pollen dust. If a hobby, such as bird ownership, causes problems, consider giving it up altogether.