Health Tip: Diagnosing Pneumonia

(HealthDay News) -- Pneumonia is a lung infection that most often spreads through coughing, sneezing or touching.

Most people recover in one to three weeks, but pneumonia can be deadly, especially among people with weaker immune systems.

The American Lung Association explains how pneumonia may be diagnosed:

  • Physical exam: Your doctor will listen to your lungs with a stethoscope. If you have pneumonia, your lungs may make bubbling or crackling sounds when you inhale.
  • Chest X-ray.
  • Blood test.
  • Arterial blood gases. This test will determine if enough oxygen is getting into your blood from the lungs.
  • CT scan of the chest.
  • Sputum test. This will help doctors identify the organism causing your symptoms.
  • Bronchoscopy. This procedure allows doctors to look directly into the lungs' airways.

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