How Can I Avoid Getting Pneumonia
To help prevent pneumonia, do the following:
- Get the flu vaccination every year it can help prevent pneumonia caused by the flu virus. Read more about the flu vaccine.
- Get a pneumococcal vaccination this vaccine is especially recommended for anyone at high risk of pneumococcal pneumonia. Read more about pneumococcal vaccine.
- Stop smoking smoking damages your lung’s ability to fight infection. Read more about tips to quit smoking.
- Wash your hands often or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
- Stay rested and fit.
- Stay home when you’re sick.
- Avoid people who have a cold or the flu.
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.
Can Pneumonia Be Prevented
Vaccinations can help prevent some types of pneumonia. Its a good idea to speak to your doctor about whether vaccination is recommended for you or for your children.
One vaccination that reduces the risk of pneumonia is the pneumococcal vaccine. Pneumococcal vaccines are free in Australia under the National Immunisation Program for some people .
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How To Prevent 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. This article has been viewed 60,077 times.
Pneumonia is a respiratory condition that can be caused by either a bacterial or viral infection in the alveoli within the lungs.XTrustworthy SourceNational Health Service Public healthcare system of the UKGo to source Common symptoms include fever, coughing, hacking up yellow secretions, trouble breathing, and chest pain. On average, pneumonia can be treated at home and usually clears up within three weeks with antibiotics, but more severe cases may need hospitalization. However, there are several measures you can take to prevent getting pneumonia.
Drink A Cup Of Coffee
Drinking a cup of coffee may also help relieve shortness of breath. Caffeine may help widen the airways, and a 2021 review even suggested that consuming it could help soothe some COVID-19 symptoms and work against SARS-CoV-2.
Caffeines half-life is 3-5 hours, meaning that your body gets rid of half the caffeine content in this time. If caffeine helps to widen your airways, this is the amount of time its likely to have its most noticeable effects.
Chest pain may come on suddenly or over the course of several days. You should expect some chest pain or ache if you get pneumonia. With treatment, any chest pain typically subsides within 4 weeks.
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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
What Are The Complications Of Pneumonia
Anyone can experience complications from pneumonia. However, people in high-risk groups are more likely to develop complications, including:
- Breathing difficulties: Pneumonia can make breathing difficult. Pneumonia plus an existing lung disorder can make breathing even more difficult. Breathing difficulties may require a hospital stay to receive oxygen therapy or breathing and healing assistance with the use of a breathing machine .
- Fluid buildup in the lungs : Pneumonia can cause a buildup in the fluid between the membranes that line the lungs and the inside of the chest cavity. It is a serious condition that makes breathing difficult. Pleural effusion can be treated by draining excess fluid with a catheter, chest tube or by surgery.
- Bacteria in the bloodstream : The bacteria that cause pneumonia can leave your lungs and enter your bloodstream, spreading the infection to other organs. This condition is treated with antibiotics.
- Lung abscess. A lung abscess is a pus-filled cavity in the lung that is caused by a bacterial infection. It can be treated by draining the pus with a long needle or removing it by surgery.
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When Should I See My Doctor
Pneumonia can be life-threatening if left untreated, especially for certain at-risk people. You should call your doctor if you have a cough that wont go away, shortness of breath, chest pain, or a fever. You should also call your doctor if you suddenly begin to feel worse after having a cold or the flu.
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 person’s 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 Long Does It Take To Recover From Pneumonia
“Pneumonia is a serious illness that can take quite a toll on a person’s lungs and body. It can take anywhere from a week to several months to fully recover from it,” says Dr. Rayman Lee, pulmonologist at Houston Methodist.
The length of time it takes for you to recover from pneumonia is influenced by:
- Your age
- The severity of your illness
- Whether you have other health conditions
- The type of pneumonia
If you’re generally healthy and have only a mild case of pneumonia, your symptoms should begin to improve one to two days after starting treatment.
“Most people with mild pneumonia are able to return to their everyday activities in a week, although fatigue and cough can linger for an entire month,” says Dr. Lee.
Recovery timelines become more murky for people who have severe pneumonia.
“For more serious cases that require hospitalization, we’re not only focused on clearing the infection, we’re also focused on preventing or treating complications that can develop including difficulty breathing, fluid buildup in the lungs, sepsis, acute respiratory distress syndrome and lung abscesses,” warns Dr. Lee.
Pneumonia and its complications can wreak havoc on a person’s lungs and body. And, it can take anywhere from one to six months for a person to recover and regain strength after being hospitalized for pneumonia.
Turmeric Ginger And Honey
A staple in most kitchens, these are some of the oldest yet natural home remedies for many flu-like diseases. Turmeric and ginger are known for their anti inflammatory properties. Ginger and honey on the other hand posess antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and are commonly used to treat common cold and coughs. They can be used together as a concortion in hot water or separately. Ginger in warm water helps to soothe the throat and can help relieve chest pain. If taken in early stages, these three can suppress the infection completely without medical care. However, it is always advisable to seek medical advise for a proper diagnosis and prescription as per the condition. Home remedies may work but they are not worth taking the risk.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Pneumonia
Quite often, people with pneumonia have previously had cold or flu symptoms for a few days or weeks that have got worse, not better.
The most common symptoms of pneumonia are:
- cough can be dry or may produce thick mucus
- fever , sweating and shivering though in older people it can cause lower than normal body temperature
- difficulty breathing, or rapid breathing or shortness of breath. In children, the ribs or the skin under the neck can suck in, or babies may bob their heads while breathing
- feeling generally tired and unwell
- loss of appetite
When Would I Need To Be Hospitalized For Pneumonia
If your case of pneumonia is more severe, you may need tostay in the hospital for treatment. Hospital treatments may include:
- Fluids, antibiotics and other medicines given through an IV
- Breathing treatments and exercises to help loosen mucus
People most likely to be hospitalized are those who are most frail and/or at increased risk, including:
- Babies and young children
- People with weakened immune systems
- People with health conditions that affect the heart and lungs
It may take six to eight weeks to return to a normal level of functioning and well-being if youve been hospitalized with pneumonia.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Viral Pneumonia
Signs and symptoms may develop slowly over several days. Your signs and symptoms may be different if you are older than 65 years. You may be confused or have aches and pains instead of the following more typical symptoms:
- Cough, which may or may not bring up mucus
- Fever above 100.4°F or chills
- Shortness of breath, rapid breathing, or wheezing
- Muscle pain and tiredness
- Chest pain when you cough or breathe deeply
- Nausea and vomiting
Southern Cross Medical Library
The purpose of the Southern Cross Medical Library is to provide information of a general nature to help you better understand certain medical conditions. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. This information is not intended to relate specifically to insurance or healthcare services provided by Southern Cross. For more articles go to the Medical Library index page.
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Relief For Your Symptoms
Pneumonia wonât go away overnight. You might need anywhere from a week to a month to get better. Depending on the kind of pneumonia you have, your doctor may prescribe a drug that fights bacteria or a drug that fights viruses to help you get better. While youâre waiting for that to work, there are a bunch of ways you can ease the coughing, aches, and fever.
How Is Pneumonia Diagnosed
Pneumonia can sometimes be hard to diagnose because the symptoms are the same as for a bad cold or flu. If you think it could be pneumonia, you should see your doctor. Your doctor may diagnose pneumonia based on your medical history and the results from a physical exam. He or she will listen to your lungs with a stethoscope. Your doctor may also do some tests, such as a chest X-ray or a blood test. A chest X-ray can show your doctor if you have pneumonia and how widespread the infection is. Blood and mucus tests can help your doctor tell whether bacteria, a virus, or a fungal organism is causing your pneumonia.
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Tea Tree And Eucalyptus Oils
Tea tree oil and eucalyptus oils are antibacterial. And for that reason, they are able to help fight your sickness.
They will help kill the germs that cause pneumonia. Eucalyptus oil also relieves congestion by breaking up mucus in the lungs.
- Boil water and stir in 5 drops of tea tree or eucalyptus oil.
- Pour the water into a bowl.
- Drape a towel over your head, lean over the bowl, and inhale the steam.
- Do this until Stopped getting oil fragrance.
- Now blow nose gently to clear the mucus which causes the problem.
- Repeat 3 times a day.
- You can use other essential oils for pneumonia like lavender, lemon or camphor essential oil in the place of tea tree oil or eucalyptus oil.
- Mix 20 drops of tea tree or eucalyptus oil with 1 tablespoon of almond or coconut oil.
- Before bed, rub the mixture on the neck and chest.
- Leave on overnight, then rinse in the morning.
- Repeat nightly.
- Note: Do not change quantities.
- Dip a cotton cloth in carrier oil or vegetable oil.
- Place it in oven at low temperature and warm the cloth.
- Pour 20 drops of tea tree or eucalyptus oil and rub cloth gently to spread evenly.
- Lie down and place the cloth on the chest.
- Leave it on 30 minutes.
- Repeat 2-3 times a day.
When To Get Medical Advice
You dont get better in the first 2 days of treatment
Fever of 100.4°F or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider
Cough with phlegm that doesn’t get better, or get worse
Shortness of breath with activities
Weakness, dizziness, or fainting that gets worse
Thirst or dry mouth that gets worse
Sinus pain, headache, or a stiff neck
Chest pain with breathing or coughing
Symptoms that get worse or not improving
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How Long Does Pneumonia Cough Last
Most coughs from pneumonia last for 2 weeks. Some people have significant coughs for 3 weeks. About 20% of people may have lingering coughs for a month. It is very uncommon for pneumonia cough to last longer than six weeks. If you still have coughs six weeks after pneumonia, you need to see your doctor to make sure you havent developed anything else.
With regular community-acquired pneumonia, early coughs are usually associated with lots of phlegm. When pneumonia is active, there is significant inflammation inside your lungs. White blood cells and fluids rush to your lungs to fight the infection. Your cough helps get rid of these waste products in the form of thick, yellow phlegm. After about a week, your cough may produce more of a rusty-colored phlegm, as WBCs decrease while dried blood and dead cells increase. As more time passes, you may have more dry coughs than coughs with phlegm.
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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How To Regain Strength After Pneumonia
If you have pneumonia, the first priority is clearing the infection causing it.
This means following your doctor’s treatment plan very closely. Yes, getting plenty of rest. And, yes, taking every single pill in the bottle of antibiotics your doctor prescribed you if your pneumonia is bacterial in nature.
But, even after your primary symptoms fade away, you may be left feeling lousy, with low energy and/or dealing with a cough that just won’t quit. In some cases, you may feel weak for months.
Does Intubation Help Pneumonia
Thus, mucosal injury can reduce mucociliary function, while upper airway defenses are bypassed and the effectiveness of cough is reduced. Indirectly, intubation can result in an enhanced capacity of tracheobronchial cells to bind gram-negative bacteria, an effect that favors airway colonization and pneumonia.
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How Can You Prevent Pneumonia
Experts recommend immunization for children and adults. Children get the pneumococcal vaccine as part of their routine shots. If you are 65 or older or you have a long-term health problem, it’s a good idea to get a pneumococcal vaccine. It may not keep you from getting pneumonia. But if you do get pneumonia, you probably won’t be as sick. You can also get an influenza vaccine to prevent the flu, because sometimes people get pneumonia after having the flu.
You can also lower your chances of getting pneumonia by staying away from people who have the flu, respiratory symptoms, or chickenpox. You may get pneumonia after you have one of these illnesses. Wash your hands often. This helps prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria that may cause pneumonia.
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.
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