The symptoms of pneumonia may include:

    • Fever, sweating and shaking chills
    • Cough, which may produce phlegm
    • Chest pain when you breathe or cough
    • Shortness of breath
    • Fatigue
    • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

Pneumonia is most usually associated with bacterial or viral infection but may be caused by inhalation of refluxate from the stomach. This is known as aspiration pneumonia.

Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lungs primarily affecting the air sacs (alveoli).

Aspiration pneumonia usually infects the upper back part (posterior apex) of the lower lobe of the right lung though if lying down it can also infect the back of the upper lobes as well.

Pneumonia is usually treated with antibiotics but for chronic aspiration pneumonia, other treatments may also be considered including intubation (insertion of a tube into the airways) and physiotherapy which may include being taught Active Cycle of Breathing Technique (ACBT) to help clear the lungs.

Pneumonia can cause Bronchiectasis.

COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and asthma.

Damage to the airways from particles in the air (eg smoke) or aspirated from reflux, can cause a narrowing of the bronchioles or blocking from mucous making exhaling difficult.

On the left is a diagram of the lungs and airways with an inset showing a detailed cross-section of normal bronchioles and alveoli. On the right are lungs damaged by COPD with an inset showing a cross-section of damaged bronchioles and alveoli.