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.
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.