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Physical Exam for Pneumonia - Topic Overview

When you visit your doctor for suspected pneumonia, he or she will check:

Your doctor also will listen to your chest for:

Recommended Related to Lung Disease/Respiratory Problems

Understanding Pneumonia -- the Basics

Pneumonia is an acute infection of the lungs. It's a more common problem than most people think. Usually pneumonia is a mild disease, but some forms are very dangerous and require a hospital stay. In all cases, you'll need to seek care from your health care provider. Pneumonia can affect just one lobe of the right or left lung, a whole lung, or both lungs. Many different kinds of germs infect the lungs and cause pneumonia. Infected lungs leak fluids and shed dead cells. This material clogs...

Read the Understanding Pneumonia -- the Basics article > >

  • Crackling or bubbling noises (rales) made by movement of fluid in the tiny air sacs of the lung.
  • Dull thuds heard when the chest is tapped (percussion dullness), which indicate that there is fluid in a lung or collapse of part of a lung.
  • Sounds made by rubbing of swollen (inflamed) lung tissue on the lining of the lung cavity (pleural friction rub).
  • Lack of breath sounds in a certain area of the chest, which may mean that air is not entering an area of the lung.
  • Wheezing, which usually means inflammation or spasm is present in the bronchial tubes.
  • "E" to "A" changes in the lungs (egophony). Your doctor may have you say the letter "E" while he listens to your chest. Pneumonia may cause the "E" to sound like the letter "A" when heard through a stethoscope.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 09, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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