Much like any other form of pneumonia, mild pneumonia is a respiratory infection that causes an inflammation of the lungs. Frequently referred to as "walking" pneumonia, this type of infection typically develops at a much slower rate with less severe symptoms. As a result, it is often confused with other common illnesses like a cold or the flu, keeping many people from ever seeking treatment. Though they aren't as severe, the symptoms are quite similar to other forms of pneumonia.
With most forms of pneumonia, the respiratory infection is caused by the Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria, triggering the classic symptoms of the condition that normally force you into bed. But when suffering from mild pneumonia, this infection is usually a result of the Mycoplasma pneumoniae bacteria, which may take weeks to present the full range of symptoms. Even then, these symptoms are relatively subtle in nature.
In most cases of mild pneumonia, onset of the infection often brings with it congestion, headaches, sore throat and even a cough. Minor chest pain soon follows. Usually over the span of one to three weeks, you begin to feel slightly more fatigued, suffer from minor aches or pains and develop a fever. With mild pneumonia, this fever can vary in temperature. For some, it tops out at 37.2 degrees C. For others, it can escalate up to 38.3 to 38.8 degrees C and be accompanied by the chills.
When suffering from these mild symptoms, as well as more severe signs of the condition, it is important to contact your doctor. The reason for this is that even mild pneumonia can progress into a serious infection. To get a proper diagnosis, a chest X-ray is needed, since even medical professionals can confuse mild pneumonia for other respiratory infections.
While most people suffering from mild pneumonia often get better without treatment, a prescription of antibiotics is still highly recommended. These types of drugs can not only help with recovery but also prevent the development of a more serious infection. Any prescribed antibiotics should be taken until the prescription runs out, even if you're feeling better. By ceasing their use, you may cause the infection to recur.
As you treat mild pneumonia, there are a number of self-care measures you can use to bring some relief to the associated symptoms. Over-the-counter pain relievers often help with minor aches and pains as well as headaches and fever. Cough suppressants can relieve that persistent cough. Even getting additional rest and plenty of fluids can go a long way to bringing on recovery.