When Your Child Coughs
Ask your childâs doctor before you give them cough medicine. In fact, if they are younger than 6 years old, ask before you try any over-the-counter remedies. A humidifier next to their bed may help. If they have a hard time sleeping, prop up their head and chest so theyâre higher than the rest of their body. And donât let anyone smoke in your house — that could make their cough worse.
Ginger Or Turmeric Tea
A persistent cough can result in chest pain. Drinking warm tea made with fresh ginger or turmeric root may help reduce this pain.
The roots of both of these plants can have a natural anti-inflammatory effect in the body.
Chop up a thumb sized piece of either root and boil it in a pint or so of water. If a person prefers strong tea, they can boil it for longer or add more of the root. If the flavor is too sharp, they can try adding a spoonful of honey.
Can Pneumonia Be Prevented Or Avoided
There are many factors that can raise your risk for developing pneumonia. These include:
People who have any of the following conditions are also at increased risk:
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- sickle cell disease
You can help prevent pneumonia by doing the following:
- Get the flu vaccine each year. People can develop bacterial pneumonia after a case of the flu. You can reduce this risk by getting the yearly flu shot.
- Get the pneumococcal vaccine. This helps prevent pneumonia caused by pneumococcal bacteria.
- Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Dont smoke. Smoking damages your lungs and makes it harder for your body to defend itself from germs and disease. If you smoke, talk to your family doctor about quitting as soon as possible.
- Practice a healthy lifestyle. Eat a balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables. Exercise regularly. Get plenty of sleep. These things help your immune system stay strong.
- Avoid sick people. Being around people who are sick increases your risk of catching what they have.
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How To Recover From Pneumonia
This article was medically reviewed by Luba Lee, FNP-BC, MS. Luba Lee, FNP-BC is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner and educator in Tennessee with over a decade of clinical experience. Luba has certifications in Pediatric Advanced Life Support , Emergency Medicine, Advanced Cardiac Life Support , Team Building, and Critical Care Nursing. She received her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Tennessee in 2006.There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 52 testimonials and 92% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 445,548 times.
The Science Behind A Cough Thats Worse At Night
Why do coughs get worse at night? There are a number of reasons why they do or at least why they seem to.
Gravity The number one factor that makes your cough worse at night is simple: gravity. Mitchell Blass, MD, a physician with Georgia Infectious Diseases, says, When we lie down, mucus automatically begins to pool. The best way to counteract this gravitational pull is elevation. Sleep with a pillow propping you up a little, Dr. Blass suggests. It will help keep the mucus from collecting in the back of the throat.
A dry, indoor environment Dry air can aggravate an already irritated nose and throat, making your nighttime cough worse. To relieve a dry air cough, you can try a humidifier to put moisture back into the air and make it easier to breathe, but be sure to take proper care of the unit.
Humidifiers are not always safe, warns Blass. If the water you put in it isnt sterile, you run the risk of cycling the germs back into the air or breeding other diseases. The last thing people with a cold or flu want is to experience complications, says Blass. Bacterial infections can set in. Many flu-related deaths are caused by pneumonia that hits after people think theyre over the flu. To ensure you use a humidifier safely, be sure to carefully follow all the directions that come with it.
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Side Sleeping: A Solid Runner
Side sleeping with your legs straight is the second-best position for avoiding back and neck pain. Its also a good position for snorers or anyone with sleep apnea because it keeps your airways open. If you can, stretch your legs out straight and tuck a pillow between your knees to keep your spine in a neutral alignment.
Another type of side sleeping with your legs bent upwards is less ideal for your back. Known as the fetal position, it may be the most popular sleep style, but it promotes an uneven distribution of weight that can cause back pain and sore joints. Try straightening your body into a relaxed position by untucking your chin and adjusting your knees. If youre pregnant, its a comfortable way to take the weight from your back.
Other Tips For Sleeping With Asthma
Other ways to reduce asthma symptoms at night include:
- Cut down on allergens in your bedroom. Consider using an air purifier next to your bed and keep airflow in your room through the night.
- Wash your bedding in hot water every 1-2 weeks to get rid of dust mites and other irritants that may be on your sheets.
- Consider switching to bedding made of natural cotton, as opposed to synthetic polyester depending on your allergies.
- Keep pets off your bed, especially when youre in it.
- Keep asthma medication on your nightstand or another easily accessible place, and take them as directed by your doctor.
- Set the thermostat in your bedroom slightly higher in the evenings. Sleeping in a cold environment can be an asthma trigger.
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How Long Does It Last
It takes a certain amount of time to start to feel sick after getting exposed to a germ. This length of time is called the incubation period, and it depends on many things, especially which bug is causing the illness.
With influenza pneumonia, for example, someone may become sick as soon as 12 hours or as long as 3 days after exposure to the flu virus. But with walking pneumonia, a person may not feel it until 2 to 3 weeks after becoming infected.
Most types of pneumonia clear up within a week or two, although a cough can linger for several weeks more. In severe cases, it may take longer to completely recover.
Wash Your Hands Constantly
One of the factors that influence the appearance of respiratory tract infections is not washing your hands correctly. While with the naked eye you cant see it, many kinds of bacteria and viruses accumulate on the surface of your hands that can lead to serious infections.
For this reason, to prevent pneumonia its important to wash your hand several times a day, preferably with warm water and antibacterial soap. Make sure you wash your hands, above all, after coming in contact with shared surfaces, before and after going to the bathroom, and before eating or touching your mouth.
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Getting Ready For Proning At Home
Before you do prone positioning at home, tell your healthcare provider if you have any of these:
- Neck, spine, or pelvic pain or other problems
- Acid reflux from your stomach
- Nausea or vomiting
- A bed surface that can be flat
- A towel you can roll up
Before you get into bed:
- Use the bathroom. This is so you dont have to get up soon after youre lying down.
- Make sure you have things in reach that you need. This includes your phone, TV remote, book or magazine, or a bell to ring for a family member.
Secretion Is Accumulated In The Lungs
Normal practice is often to have patients with respiratory difficulties lie down with the head end of the bed elevated at approximately 30-degrees. When the client is halfway lying and halfway sitting in this position, gravity will push the secretion from the lungs down to the bottom of the lung tissue allowing the client to breathe more easily because he/she is only using the top half of the lungs.
However, sitting or partially lying down in this position also harms the patients lungs ability to function. This is particularly true for the lower half of the lungs as secretion accumulates and fills the alveolar sacs. In time, this can limit the expansion of the lungs making it harder for the patient to breathe.
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Choosing The Best Sleep Position
When you curl up under the covers at night, you probably settle into yourfavorite position without thinking much about it. But could one sleepposition be better than another?
We could argue that some are better than others, says Rachel Salas, M.D. , an associate professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins Medicine. But there are caveats. Salas explains when and why position matters.
Take Something For The Aches
If aches or fever are wearing you down, a pain reliever might help, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Be sure you follow the instructions on the label for how much to take and how often. Speaking of taking medicine: If your doctor gives you an antibiotic, take every dose of it, even if you start to feel good again before you use it up. When you quit too soon, the pneumonia could come back.
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The Worst Sleep Position: On Your Stomach
Sleeping on your stomach is the worst position for your spine, according to Raymond J. Hah, MD, a spine surgeon at Keck Medicine of USC and assistant professor of clinical orthopedic surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. This position puts the most pressure on your spines muscles and joints because it flattens the natural curve of your spine, he says. Sleeping on your stomach also forces you to turn your neck, which can cause neck and upper back pain.
Research shows that theres a correlation between pain and sleep, so it makes sense to incorporate simple changes in your sleep style that alleviate back pain and less pain means better sleep.
Help Your Lungs Get Up And Move
Anytime you spend extended time in bed, some of the air sacs in your lungs to shut down temporarily. If you have COVID-19, damage from the virus combines with this natural process to limit the amount of air your lungs can take in, perhaps dangerously so.
This virus loves the lungs. It loves to hang out in your lungs, so dont make things worse by allowing air sacs to collapse by staying in bed, Dr. Lacy said. With COVID-19, you dont want to compromise your lungs any more.
So, get out of bed even if it hurts to breathe. Stretch, cough, walk around and take deep breaths. Naturally, we all have portions of our lungs not fully used. By putting more of your lungs to work, youll begin to offset COVID-19s effect of shutting down parts of them, according to Dr. Lacy.
If youve ever had surgery, your providers have pushed you to blow into a tube to push a ball higher and higher. The device, an incentive spirometer, performs the same task to get your lungs reopened after general anesthesia.
When you are in bed, spend some time on your stomach or side. Lying in a prone position can help air get into more parts of your lungs, because lying on your back puts pressure on parts of your lungs, causing them to collapse.
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Taking Care Of Yourself At Home
If you have a bacterial chest infection, you should start to feel better 24 to 48 hours after starting on antibiotics. You may have a cough for days or weeks. For other types of chest infections, the recovery is more gradual. You may feel weak for some time and need a longer period of bed rest.Be guided by your doctor, but general self-care suggestions include:
- Take your medication as directed. Even if you feel better, finish the course of antibiotics.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Rest for a few days.
- Prop yourself up on a couple of pillows at night it will make it easier to sleep.
- Stop smoking, at least until you feel better, if you cant give up at this stage.
- Contact your local doctor if you have any concerns or questions.
- Go straight to your local doctor or the nearest hospital emergency department if you have trouble breathing, have a high fever or feel worse.
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Drink Hot Peppermint Tea
If you dont already have peppermint tea, you can pick up loose or bagged teas at your local grocery or online. And if you have fresh peppermint, you can easily make your own tea.
You may wish to deeply inhale the aroma of the peppermint tea while the tea is steeping. This might help clear your nasal pathways.
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How Do You Get Pneumonia
You may get pneumonia:
- After you breathe infected air particles into your lungs.
- After you breathe certain bacteria from your nose and throat into your lungs.
- During or after a viral upper respiratory infection, such as a cold or influenza .
- As a complication of a viral illness, such as measles or chickenpox.
- If you breathe large amounts of food, gastric juices from the stomach, or vomit into the lungs . This can happen when you have had a medical condition that affects your ability to swallow, such as a seizure or a stroke.
A healthy persons nose and throat often contain bacteria or viruses that cause pneumonia. Pneumonia can develop when these organisms spread to your lungs while your lungs are more likely to be infected. Examples of times when this can happen are during or soon after a cold or if you have a long-term illness, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease .
You can get pneumonia in your daily life, such as at school or work or when you are in a hospital or nursing home . Treatment may differ in healthcare-associated pneumonia, because bacteria causing the infection in hospitals may be different from those causing it in the community. This topic focuses on community-associated pneumonia.
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How Can I Help Myself Feel Better
If your doctor has prescribed medicine, follow the directions carefully.
You may feel better in a room with a humidifier, which increases the moisture in the air and soothes irritated lungs. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids, especially if you have a fever. If you have a fever and feel uncomfortable, ask the doctor whether you can take over-the-counter medicine such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to bring it down. But don’t take any medicine without checking first with your doctor a cough suppressant, for example, may not allow your lungs to clear themselves of mucus.
And finally, be sure to rest. This is a good time to sleep, watch TV, read, and lay low. If you treat your body right, it will repair itself and you’ll be back to normal in no time.
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How To Treat A Pneumonia Cough
If youre uncomfortable, you should call your doctor, whether you suspect that you have pneumonia or not. A painful cough can be a sign of a range of health issues, and its really a good idea to get it checked out if its bothering you and isnt getting better, Dr. Gates says. You should also seek help ASAP if you have a high fever and significant shortness of breath, she says.
If your doctor diagnoses you with bacterial pneumonia, theyll likely prescribe an antibiotic to treat your infectionand your cough. If its viral and caught early, they may prescribe an anti-viral medication and, if its fungal, theyll likely have you take an antifungal medication, Dr. Casciari says. Of course, those medications treat the underlying infection and, while they should help you to feel better, it may take a little time for your cough to clear up.
In the meantime, doctors say there are a few things you can do to help your cough:
Just keep this in mind, per Dr. Gates: The cough probably wont get better until the actual pneumonia is treated.
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What Are The Best Tips For Pneumonia Recovery
For the best results with pneumonia recovery, an individual should follow his or her physicians orders. This is especially true with regard to taking medication. It is also important to create bodily conditions that are conducive to recovery. This can be done by eating properly, getting the needed rest, and caring for any other medical conditions. Furthermore, it is important for people to be aware of their symptoms and whether or not they are improving.
Pneumonia can be caused by different bacteria and viruses. This illness also has a tendency to affect individuals differently. Considering this, it is important to realize that having once had pneumonia does not make a person an authority on the illness. People should explicitly follow the instructions outlined by their health care providers and should avoid the temptation to take medical advice from former patients.
Among the instructions that people need to explicitly follow are those regarding medication. It is very important for the sake of pneumonia recovery that people take all their medicines for the prescribed period of time. This advice applies even when people feel as if they have fully recovered. Cutting the treatment period short often results in the illness reemerging.
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