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How do doctors diagnose pneumonia?

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Quick Answer

Doctors use different techniques to diagnose pneumonia, including the use of stethoscope, chest X-ray and other tests, such as bronchoscopy, pulse oximetry, sputum tests and a computed tomography scan. Pneumonia is a health condition that is characterized by swelling of the tissue in on or both lungs. This condition is commonly caused by another infection, as stated by the National Health Service.

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How do doctors diagnose pneumonia?
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Full Answer

Doctors will want to know the medical history of patients prior to conducting the physical exam, and they will use a stethoscope to listen to the lungs. The sounds of rumbling, bubbling and crackling during inhalation is an indication that a person has pneumonia. In such situations, a person may be wheezing making it difficult to hear the breathing sounds. A chest X-ray is usually conducted to detect any changes in the lungs that may indicate the presence of pneumonia.

There may be a need for more tests to clear any doubts. This will depend on the age of a patient, the severity of the symptoms and the general health of a person, as stated by WebMD. Typically, if the condition is severe in a person, he or she may need more tests. This is especially necessary in older adults and children.

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