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What are the After Effects of Pneumonia?

After effects of Pneumonia

What are the After Effects of Pneumonia? Pneumonia is a serious condition that affects the lungs and can produce long term effects in the human body. This condition’s immediate effects include breathing difficulties, fever, chills, and cough. The after effects of pneumonia include cognitive impairment, depression, organ failure, and lung damage.

Let’s examine the after effects mentioned above in more detail.

What is Pneumonia?

Before we discuss pneumonia’s various after effects, it is important to understand what exactly this illness is and what causes it.

Pneumonia is a serious type of lung infection. It can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or even fungi. When these organisms infect your lungs, your body’s immune system responds by filling the lung’s air sacs with fluid and pus. The build-up of these fluids leads to pneumonia’s main symptoms such as:

  • Heavy coughing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Fever

If the pneumonia is caused by a bacterial infection, patients can treat it using antibiotics. In other cases, the condition may resolve itself without the need for medication. For example, mild pneumonia usually resolves itself within a few weeks. Serious pneumonia often requires hospitalization as patients will need to be monitored regularly.

What are the After Effects of Pneumonia?

Pneumonia’s immediate effects can be alarming for people suffering from the condition. However, its after effects can also be troubling due to their long term persistence. This includes:

  • Depression
  • Cognitive Issues
  • Organ Failure
  • Lung Damage


People suffering from pneumonia may develop depression following their illness. In some cases people with existing depression may feel theirs worsening after a bout of pneumonia.

Patients may develop depression after being separated from their family and loved ones at a hospital during treatment for severe pneumonia. Medical experts also believe that physical changes to the body may be responsible for post-pneumonia depression. However, this link has yet to be studied extensively.

Cognitive Issues

Older adults who have suffered from pneumonia are at greater risk of suffering reduced cognitive function. This includes problems with attention, memory, and spatial relationships such as depth and perception.

Such problems can be worrying for seniors who are already at risk for experiencing mental decline from other age-related problems. This means people suffering from pneumonia may begin to experience difficulty with accomplishing routine mental tasks.

Organ Failure

Organ failure is a rare but possible complication from pneumonia. Some pneumonia patients may experience respiratory failure if their lungs fill up with too much fluid. This fluid will prevent the lungs from absorbing and transmitting oxygen to different parts of the body, leading to certain organs shutting down.

Medical experts also believe pneumonia may make it more difficult for the heart to pump blood. This could occur in cases where pneumonia has caused septic shock. This is characterized by an extreme drop in blood pressure levels, which causes the heart to struggle to perform its duty of pumping blood to other parts of the body.

Lung Damage

Lung damage is another possible long-term complication from pneumonia. This is because pneumonia primarily affects the lungs.

The fluid that builds up in your lungs during pneumonia is usually cleared out when the illness has ended. However, people suffering from severe pneumonia may be stuck with this fluid in their lungs for several months. This can reduce their total lung capacity and lead to long-term breathing issues.

Avoiding Long Term Pneumonia Complications

Most people experience the fatigue of pneumonia for up to a month following their recovery.

The after effects described above can be frightening for most people. After all, no one wants to experience long-term health effects such as depression, cognitive issues, or organ failure from an already unpleasant illness. So what’s the best way to avoid long term effects from pneumonia?

There’s no way to tell if you will experience long-term effects from pneumonia. However, many of the after effects described above are the result of severe pneumonia. This means patients may be able to reduce the likelihood of developing compilations if they reach out to a medical professional for treatment while their symptoms are still mild. This strategy is especially effective if you have bacterial pneumonia which can be treated quickly with the help of antibiotics.

So remember to reach out to a doctor if you suspect you are coming down with pneumonia. This illness may have a high survival rate, but its long-term effects can make your life significantly more difficult.