Can the Common Cold Develop into Pneumonia?

December 21, 2022

The common cold and pneumonia are both respiratory illnesses caused by different viruses and bacteria. While the common cold is generally a mild illness, pneumonia can be a much more serious and life-threatening condition. So, can the common cold develop into pneumonia? This blog will explore that possibility, outline the warning signs of each condition, and explain ways you can find symptom relief if you’re feeling under the weather.

For same-day general illness treatment, come visit the team at AFC Urgent Care Short Hills. Our medical providers can examine your symptoms and accurately diagnose your illness.

Can colds turn into pneumonia?

The short answer is yes, a common cold can potentially develop into pneumonia. While colds  do not directly cause pneumonia, it can increase your risk of developing it. This is because the same virus that causes the common cold can also weaken your immune system. A weakened immune system makes it easier for other viruses and bacteria to fester in your lungs and cause a more serious infection like pneumonia.

If you or one of your loved ones may have the common cold, it is important to monitor the symptoms closely. When symptoms turn more severe – high fever, chest pain, difficulty breathing – you should seek medical attention right away. This is especially important for people with weakened immune systems. This includes young children, the elderly, and those with chronic illnesses. These groups are at an increased risk of developing pneumonia after having the common cold.

What are the symptoms of pneumonia?

As mentioned, the symptoms accompanied by pneumonia are generally much more severe than the common cold. Mild to moderate cases of pneumonia may go undiagnosed, as many patients may believe they’re simply experiencing lingering symptoms of a cold or seasonal allergies. It’s important to understand the signs of pneumonia, however, in order to be aware of the potential complications that can occur as a result. AFC Short Hills encourages all patients to have their symptoms examined and diagnosed professionally.

  • Fever/chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Tiredness

How is pneumonia treated?

When you suspect you may be dealing with pneumonia, it’s important to seek treatment quickly. After the illness is diagnosed at our on-site labs, medical providers will typically prescribe antibiotics that will clear the bacterial infection up within a few days. In the meantime, we recommend that patients have plenty of rest and liquids in order to properly hydrate their body. Furthermore, if you have been diagnosed with pneumonia and you’re also experiencing chest pain, we recommend that you take over-the-counter medication, like ibuprofen.

Visit AFC Urgent Care Short Hills for Treatment

If you’re feeling sick, visit the walk-in clinic at AFC Urgent Care Short Hills for a walk-in diagnosis and treatment of many different general illnesses. With our labs on-site, you will receive quality and convenient urgent care services without having to leave the facility. We accept many insurances and offer low-costs for our self-pay patients. If you have any additional questions about pneumonia treatment please call us directly at (973) 671-5350

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