Pain in the chest, shortness of breath, wheezing and fever are some of the symptoms of aspiration pneumonia, according to MedlinePlus. Patients may cough up a green or dark foul-smelling sputum. The sputum or phlegm may contain pus or blood.
Patients who suffer from aspiration pneumonia may sweat excessively and have bad breath, explains Healthline. They may find it difficult to swallow food, and they may experience fatigue. A physical examination may reveal blue discoloration of the skin due to insufficient oxygen, explains MedlinePlus. Other symptoms that may become evident during the physical examination include a crackling sound in the lungs and increased heart rate. The patient may also have reduced mental awareness.
Patients with aspiration pneumonia may have reduced alertness, according to Drugs.com. Their voice may change and become hoarse. Due to swallowing difficulties, they may lose their appetite and weight.
Individuals who have these symptoms should visit a hospital for evaluation, according to Healthline. The symptoms of aspiration pneumonia often become evident after a day or two, according to MSD Manual. Doctors may diagnose aspiration pneumonia if they find the symptoms in a patient who has other risk factors such as gastroesophageal reflux disease or drugs and alcohol intoxication. They then conduct an X-ray, which may reveal aspirated material at the bottom of the lung.