What Are The Treatments For Pneumonia
Treatment for pneumonia depends on the type of pneumonia, which germ is causing it, and how severe it is:
- Antibiotics treat bacterial pneumonia and some types of fungal pneumonia. They do not work for viral pneumonia.
- In some cases, your provider may prescribe antiviral medicines for viral pneumonia
- Antifungal medicines treat other types of fungal pneumonia
You may need to be treated in a hospital if your symptoms are severe or if you are at risk for complications. While there, you may get additional treatments. For example, if your blood oxygen level is low, you may receive oxygen therapy.
It may take time to recover from pneumonia. Some people feel better within a week. For other people, it can take a month or more.
Be Aware Of Your General Health
- Since pneumonia often follows respiratory infections, be aware of any symptoms that linger more than a few days.
- Good health habitsa healthy diet, rest, regular exercise, etc.help you from getting sick from viruses and respiratory illnesses. They also help promote fast recovery when you do get a cold, the flu or other respiratory illness.
If you have children, talk to their doctor about:
- Hib vaccine, which prevents pneumonia in children from Haemophilus influenza type b
- A drug called Synagis , which is given to some children younger than 24 months to prevent pneumonia caused by respiratory syncytial virus .
If you have cancer or HIV, talk to your doctor about additional ways to prevent pneumonia and other infections.
Based On How It Was Acquired
- Aspiration Pneumonia: If you happen to develop pneumonia by inhaling bacteria from foods, drinks or saliva, it is called aspiration pneumonia. This type usually occurs when the infected individual has difficulty in swallowing.
- Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia: Individuals using a ventilator can also develop pneumonia.
Now that you are familiar with the types of pneumonia, understanding its causes is a lot easier.
Recommended Reading: Does The Flu Cause Pneumonia
Ginger And Turmeric Tea
Why does it work?
Pneumonia can cause chest pain due to persistent coughing during this time. Freshly made ginger and turmeric tea can reduce this pain as the roots of both these plants have a natural anti-inflammatory effect on the human body.
How to use and how much to use?
You can cut a thumb size of both these roots and boil it in two to three cups of water to last all day long. Have half a cup of ginger and turmeric tea three to four times throughout the day.
What We’ve Learned About Managing Covid
How we now treat COVID-19 pneumonia compared to 12 months ago makes a significant difference to survival.
Since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers have made significant advancements in effectively managing COVID-19 induced pneumonia.
“When the COVID-19 outbreak first occurred, we were seeing catastrophic outcomes in patients who were admitted to hospital with rapidly progressive pneumonia. Unfortunately, the treatments that were used empiricallyinitiallywere not effective, and really had no modifying effect on the evolution of COVID-19 pneumonia,” said Conjoint Professor at UNSW Medicine & Health Christine Jenkins.
Professor Jenkins, who is Head of the Respiratory Group at the George Institute for Global Health, explained most people at that time died from respiratory failure. No matter what strategy was implemented, it was not possible to get enough oxygen into the individual’s system and maintain it.
“That’s because when people developed severe pneumonia from COVID-19, their lungs become filled with fluid and inflammatory cells, and some blood vessels developed clots, so the oxygeneven when it was driven in by mechanical ventilationjust couldn’t get through that inflammatory process. The membranes in the lung were very swollen, so people died from respiratory failure.
What we now know about managing COVID-19 pneumonia
Lung disease and COVID-19 pneumonia
Don’t Miss: How Old To Get Pneumonia Shot
Warning About Cough Medicine
If you’ve seen your healthcare provider, they’ve likely recommended a cough medicine to be used while you’re sleeping. Even though cough medicine can help minimize the coughing, it’s not wise to rely on it full-time.
Some home remedies for alleviating cough include:
- Gargling saltwater: Many times the mucus sitting in the throat will tickle the throat and cause you to cough more. By gargling warm salt water, this mucus breaks up, slightly helps with dehydration, and may get rid of some germs along the way.
- Using honey: Sweetening your tea with some honey may not be a bad ideait may even help your recovery. In fact, adding honey to the peppermint tea recommended above could provide a double whammy. It is believed peppermint can provide pain relief in your throat by numbing nerve endings. At the same time, early research is showing honey has the potential to be a natural antimicrobial treatment. While more research is done on both peppermint and honey, the early results sound promising for those suffering from a cough.
Other Ways To Help Prevent Pneumonia
You also can take the following steps to help prevent pneumonia:
- Wash your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based rubs to kill germs.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking damages your lungs’ ability to filter out and defend against germs. For information about how to quit smoking, read Smoking and Your Heart. Although this resource focuses on heart health, it includes general information about how to quit smoking.
- Keep your immune system strong. Get plenty of rest and physical activity and follow a healthy diet. Read more about heart-healthy eating and physical activity.
Don’t Miss: Does Medicare Cover The Pneumonia Vaccine
How Is Fungal Pneumonia Treated
If the course of the pneumonia is slow and your chest X-ray looks unusual, you may have fungal pneumonia. These conditions can be diagnosed with a blood test that shows your body is making antibodies to the fungus.
More than 10 types of fungi can cause fungal pneumonia, which is more common in people with weakened immune systems.
Several antifungal drugs serve as treatment for pneumonia and can be administered either orally or intravenously.
Is Pneumonia Treated Any Differently In Children
Essentially no. Just like adults, bacterial causes of pneumonia in children may be treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics are not used to treat pneumonia caused by viruses. Flu-related pneumonia may be treated with antiviral medicine if caught early in the course of illness. Most cases of pneumonia are treated with comfort care measures that ease symptoms. These may include:
- Drinking more fluids.
- Getting more rest.
- Taking over-the-counter medicines for cough and acetaminophen for fever. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about giving medicines to your child.
- Using a cool mist humidifier in your childs room.
Also Check: Is There A Test For Pneumonia
What Is Pneumonia Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment And Prevention
Pneumonia is a lower respiratory lung infection that causes inflammation in one or both lungs.
Air sacs in your lungs called alveoli can then fill up with fluid or pus, causing flu-like symptoms that can persist for weeks or cause rapid deterioration of breathing leading to hospitalization. Pneumonia doesn’t respond to over-the-counter cold and sinus medicines.
Pneumonia comes in different forms and is caused primarily by bacteria or viruses, which are contagious, and less commonly by fungi or parasites.
The type of germ contributes to how serious the illness can become and how its treated. The severity of an infection depends on many factors, including your age and overall health, as well as where you may have acquired the illness.
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.
Read Also: Pneumonia Vaccine After 65 Years Old
Risk Factors For Pneumonia
Certain groups of people are more susceptible to developing pneumonia and are at higher risk of suffering from its complications. They include
- Newborn infants and children whose age is 2 years or less.
- Individuals above 65 years of age.
- Those under medications or already suffering from any disease are at a higher risk due to their weakened immunity.
- Smokers and people who misuse drugs also have a higher probability of developing pneumonia.
If your symptoms are severe or you have been suffering from pneumonia for a long period without treatment, get medical help immediately. The emphasis on treating pneumonia at the earliest should not be taken lightly. This is because, if left untreated, it can become life-threatening. Hence, use these home remedies to treat pneumonia as soon as you observe the onset of its symptoms and do let us know if you found them useful.
When Do You Need To Call 911 While Treating Pneumonia At Home
There are certain situations that require urgent evaluation. In these situations, calling your regular doctor may waste valuable time. You need to call 911 and get yourself evaluated in the nearest emergency department right away. Here are those situations:
When you are treating pneumonia at home, it is a good practice to check your temperature at least once a day. A persistent fever may be concerning, but if you detect a lower-than-normal body temperature, that could be disastrous. You need rapid evaluation and treatment.
Don’t Miss: Treatment For Walking Pneumonia In Adults
What Stands Out About Yale Medicines Approach To Pneumonia
Pneumonia is a common infection in both children and adults and can often be easily treated. However, if specialized care is required, Yale Medicine physicians practice at both Yale New Haven Hospital and Yale New Haven Childrens Hospital.
Furthermore, our researchers are involved in developing ways to more quickly and accurately diagnose lung infections through the Yale Center for Pulmonary Infection Research and Treatment . We dont tend to think of pneumonia as a chronic condition. But some patients end up with longer-term problems, says Dr. Dela Cruz, director of the CPIRT. The center focuses on finding new potential treatment options and running clinical trials to better understand the disease.
When Do You Need To Call Your Doctor While Treating Pneumonia At Home
There are certain situations that should make you alarmed when treating pneumonia at home. You need to look out for these signs, as they could potentially indicate things getting worse or not getting better. They could also mean that you have developed some complications from your pneumonia.
Here are those signs:
Here are those signs:
In these situations, your doctor may change your medications, send you to the ER, or get you hospitalized directly, based on the specific situation.
You May Like: How Do I Know If I Have Pneumonia Or Bronchitis
How Is Pneumonia Treated
Pneumonia can be serious so its important to get treatment quickly. The main treatment for pneumonia is antibiotics, along with rest and drinking plenty of water. If you have chest pain, you can take pain killers such as paracetamol.
Treatment depends on how severe your pneumonia is. Treatment with antibiotics should be started as soon as possible after diagnosis. If youre admitted to hospital, this should be within 4 hours of admission.
What Other Problems Can Pneumonia Cause
Sometimes pneumonia can cause serious complications such as:
- Bacteremia, which happens when the bacteria move into the bloodstream. It is serious and can lead to .
- Lung abscesses, which are collections of pus in cavities of the lungs
- Pleural disorders, which are conditions that affect the pleura. The pleura is the tissue that covers the outside of the lungs and lines the inside of your chest cavity.
- Respiratory failure
You May Like: How Does Pneumonia Start Out
Can You Treat Pneumonia At Home Without Antibiotics
In theory, it is possible to treat pneumonia at home without antibiotics if your pneumonia is not caused by bacteria.
Antibiotics kill bacteria, but they dont kill viruses. Viruses are technically not even living organisms they are just molecules that can infect other living cells and use them to multiply. In theory, you dont need antibiotics if you have viral pneumonia.
However, treating viral pneumonia without antibiotics is rarely done in practice. It is very difficult to diagnose viral pneumonia and to be 100% certain that it is all caused by a virus without any involvement of bacteria. Even when you test for and detect the flu virus and diagnose pneumonia from the flu, you can still have bacterial pneumonia on top of that. If you are sick enough from a viral pneumonia to seek medical attention, you usually get antibiotics to go take at home. If you have the flu and possible bacterial pneumonia on top of that, you go home with both antibiotics and anti-viral medication.
Sometimes you may have viral pneumonia and may not even know about it. Mild viral pneumonias may go undetected. Those people simply go to work or stay home and dont require any specific treatment at home.
What About The Influenza And Pneumococcal Vaccines
Because the flu is a common cause of pneumonia, consider getting your flu vaccine. This is one of the reasons we recommend the flu vaccine, because not only can you get the flu virus and feel really miserable, but you can end up with a secondary bacterial infection which could be very serious or even fatal, Dr. Cameron says.
There is also a pneumococcal vaccine, which offers protection from a common form of bacterial pneumonia. The shot is recommended for children younger than 5 and adults 65 and older. It is also advised for children and adults who are at an increased risk of pneumonia due to other health conditions.
Don’t Miss: If You Have Pneumonia Will You Have A Fever
How Is Viral Pneumonia Treated
Viral pneumonias are more likely to be treated at home, and not at the hospital.
Viral pneumonia caused by the flu can be treated with an antiviral medication called Tamiflu , but for many other viral pneumonias, your doctor can only treat the symptoms. This means drinking lots of fluids, eating well, resting, taking medication for pain or fever, and treating breathing difficulties.
Viral pneumonia may take one to three weeks to clear completely.
Mycoplasmal pneumonia is caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae, which was originally thought to be a virus or a fungus, but has since been classified as a bacteria. Also called atypical pneumonia, it’s a mild and common type that’s most likely to affect children and young adults.
This type of pneumonia can be treated with several types of antibiotics, and usually doesn’t require hospitalization.
Diagnosis And Treatment Of Community
M. NAWAL LUTFIYYA, PH.D., ERIC HENLEY, M.D., M.P.H., and LINDA F. CHANG, PHARM.D., M.P.H., B.C.P.S., University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford, Rockford, Illinois
STEPHANIE WESSEL REYBURN, M.D., M.P.H., Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Rochester, Minnesota
Am Fam Physician. 2006 Feb 1 73:442-450.
Patients with community-acquired pneumonia often present with cough, fever, chills, fatigue, dyspnea, rigors, and pleuritic chest pain. When a patient presents with suspected community-acquired pneumonia, the physician should first assess the need for hospitalization using a mortality prediction tool, such as the Pneumonia Severity Index, combined with clinical judgment. Consensus guidelines from several organizations recommend empiric therapy with macrolides, fluoroquinolones, or doxycycline. Patients who are hospitalized should be switched from parenteral antibiotics to oral antibiotics after their symptoms improve, they are afebrile, and they are able to tolerate oral medications. Clinical pathways are important tools to improve care and maximize cost-effectiveness in hospitalized patients.
SORT: KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRACTICE
Patients with suspected community-acquired pneumonia should receive chest radiography.
SORT: KEY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRACTICE
Patients with suspected community-acquired pneumonia should receive chest radiography.
Overview of Community-Acquired Pneumonia
You May Like: When Should You Get The Pneumonia Shot
Get Help Straight Away If:
- your child develops a chest infection after a cold or the flu children can become very sick very quickly if they develop pneumonia
- you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as rapid breathing or difficulty breathing, chest pain or confusion, persistent fever or if a bluish tinge develops in your skin, lips and nail beds.