Saturday, October 1, 2022

What Should You Do When You Have Pneumonia

Nutrition For Lung Health

How do I get pneumonia?

If you have a chronic lung condition, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, you may be at greater risk of developing pneumonia. According to a March 2015 review published in the journal Nutrients, what you eat may play a significant role in the development, progression and management of your lung condition.

According to the authors of the review, eating a Mediterranean-style diet may be the most protective against conditions that affect the lungs. This diet emphasizes fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, dairy foods and healthy sources of protein such as fish and poultry.

Read more:How to Avoid Processed Foods and What to Eat Instead

Spreading Pneumonia To Others

If your pneumonia is caused by a virus or bacteria, you may spread the infection to other people while you are contagious. How long you are contagious depends on what is causing the pneumonia and whether you get treatment. You may be contagious for several days to a week.

If you get antibiotics, you usually cannot spread the infection to others after a day of treatment.

What Can I Do To Prevent Bacterial Pneumonia

  • Prevent the spread of germs. Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use gel hand cleanser when there is no soap and water available. Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth unless you have washed your hands first. Cover your mouth when you cough. Cough into a tissue or your shirtsleeve so you do not spread germs from your hands. If you are sick, stay away from others as much as possible.
  • Limit alcohol. Women should limit alcohol to 1 drink a day. Men should limit alcohol to 2 drinks a day. A drink of alcohol is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1½ ounces of liquor.
  • Ask about vaccines. You may need a vaccine to help prevent pneumonia. Get an influenza vaccine every year as soon as it becomes available.

Don’t Miss: Can Pneumonia Damage Your Lungs

Dairy And Respiratory Problems

You may be surprised to see dairy listed on the foods for pneumonia. No doubt, someone has told you to avoid dairy when you’re sick with a respiratory condition because it causes your body to produce more mucus. But the British Lung Foundation reports that there’s no scientific evidence linking dairy and respiratory problems. The only reason you should avoid dairy is if you have an allergy.

That being said, many people complain that dairy foods make their mucus thick or difficult to manage. You can easily remedy these symptoms by drinking water after you drink milk or eat yogurt.

The Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy advises against cutting whole food groups like dairy out of your diet, unless directed to by your doctor, as it may place you at risk of a nutrient deficiency. If you can’t drink cow’s milk, consider fortified plant milk to get the nutrition your body needs.

How Is Pneumonia Spread From Person To Person

Proceed with Caution for Sneaky Pneumonia Symptoms

Pneumonia is spread when droplets of fluid containing the pneumonia bacteria or virus are launched in the air when someone coughs or sneezes and then inhaled by others. You can also get pneumonia from touching an object previously touched by the person with pneumonia or touching a tissue used by the infected person and then touching your mouth or nose.

Read Also: Signs Of Pneumonia Vs Bronchitis

What Increases Your Risk

You are more likely to get pneumonia if you:

  • Smoke. Cigarette smoking is a strong risk factor for pneumonia in healthy young people.
  • Have another medical condition, especially lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or asthma.
  • Are younger than 1 year of age or older than 65.
  • Have an impaired immune system.
  • Take medicine called a proton pump inhibitor that reduces the amount of stomach acid.footnote 3, footnote 4
  • Drink excessive amounts of alcohol.
  • Recently had a cold or the flu.

You are more likely to have complications of pneumonia and need to go to the hospital if you:

  • Are older than 65.
  • Have some other illness , or have gone to the hospital for a medical problem within the last 3 months.
  • Have had your spleen removed or do not have a working spleen .
  • Have an alcohol use problem.
  • Have a weak immune system.
  • Reside in a place where people live close together, such as a university dorm or nursing home.

How Is Bacterial Pneumonia Treated

Treatment depends on what caused your bacterial pneumonia and how bad your symptoms are. You may need any of the following:

  • Antibiotics help treat a bacterial infection.
  • Acetaminophen decreases pain and fever. It is available without a doctor’s order. Ask how much to take and how often to take it. Follow directions. Read the labels of all other medicines you are using to see if they also contain acetaminophen, or ask your doctor or pharmacist. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly. Do not use more than 4 grams total of acetaminophen in one day.
  • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor’s order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
  • Airway clearance techniques are exercises to help remove mucus so you can breathe more easily. Your healthcare provider will show you how to do the exercises. These exercises may be used along with machines or devices to help decrease your symptoms.
  • Respiratory support is given to help you breathe. You may receive oxygen to increase the level of oxygen in your blood. You may also need a machine to help you breathe.

Read Also: How Often Should I Get My Pneumonia Shot

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.

A Lukewarm Bath Or Compress

What to do for Pneumonia

Soaking the body in lukewarm water may help cool it down.

If it is not possible to take a bath, apply towels or washcloths to the body after dunking them in lukewarm water and wringing them out. This may help the body cool. When the towels warm up, dip them in the water again and reapply.

Chills are often a secondary symptom of a fever. The following home remedies may help ease chills:

Recommended Reading: How Do Doctors Diagnose Pneumonia

Things You Need To Know About Pneumonia

Suddenly in the spotlight, this common lung infection has a lot of causes but can also be prevented in many cases. Learn more to protect yourself.

It doesnt usually get a lot of attention. But all of a sudden, pneumonia has captured attention thanks to Hillary Clintons case. Two experts offer some key information to help you and your loved ones avoid it or get the best treatment if needed.

Who Is Most At Risk For Getting Pneumonia

People who have an increased risk of pneumonia include:

  • People over the age of 65 and infants under age 2. The weakening immune system of older people makes them less able to fight off illnesses. Similarly, the immune system of infants is still developing and not at full-strength, making them more susceptible to infection.
  • People with a health-caused weakened immune system. Examples include:
  • People who are receiving chemotherapy
  • Transplanted organ recipients
  • People who have HIV/AIDS
  • People with autoimmune disease and who are taking medications that suppress the immune system.
  • People who have health conditions that affect the lungs or heart. Examples include:
  • Stroke
  • People who are in the hospital. In particular, people in the ICU or anyone recovering who spends a large amounts of time lying on their backs. This position allows fluids, mucus or germs to settle in the lungs. People who need ventilators to breathe are at even greater risk since they have a difficult time coughing up germs that could cause a lung infection.
  • People who smoke or drink alcohol. Smoking damages lung tissue and long-term alcohol abuse weakens the immune system.
  • People who are exposed to toxic fumes, chemicals or secondhand smoke. These contaminants weaken lung function and make it easier to develop a lung infection.
  • Read Also: What Antibiotics Are Used For Pneumonia

    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.

    The Main Causes Of Pneumonia:

    Is Pneumonia Contagious? Symptoms and Treatment
    • Exposure to a germ
    • Weakened immune system

    Some of the germs that cause pneumonia are easily spread from one person to another. They are carried in the nose and throat of an infected person. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, they spray drops of infected saliva into the air around them. A person who breathes in that air can get pneumonia.

    There are many things you can do to lower your risk of getting pneumonia. Not smoking is an important way to help prevent pneumonia. People who smoke, and children whose parents smoke, are at a higher risk of getting pneumonia.

    Pneumococcal vaccinations help protect you against invasive pneumococcal infections such as pneumonia, bacteremia and meningitis .

    Ask your health-care provider about getting the pneumococcal vaccination. For details on when the pneumococcal vaccinations are required, starting at two months of age, see Ontarios Routine Immunization Schedule. Some adults may need it every five years. Prevention of pneumonia through immunization is even more important now since some infections have become more resistant to antibiotics.

    Don’t Miss: Is Pneumonia A Symptom Of Lung Cancer

    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.

    Should You Exercise If You Have Pneumonia

    If youwith pneumoniayourif they getYouYou canexerciseexercisesExercising your

    . Also know, should you exercise with walking pneumonia?

    You should hold off on exercise while you‘re symptomatic, typically for three to 10 days. You may continue to have a dry cough for several weeks. You can exercise with this dry cough, but vigorous aerobics like running or dancing may be difficult. Once your symptoms begin to improve, you can start exercising again.

    Beside above, how long does it take for lungs to heal after pneumonia? It can take about six weeks to fully recover from walking pneumonia. However, most people recover from pneumonia in about a week. Bacterial pneumonia usually starts to improve shortly after starting antibiotics, while viral pneumonia usually starts to improve after about three days.

    Besides, what should you not do when you have pneumonia?

    Try water, warm tea, and clear soups. Stop smoking if you smoke, and avoid secondhand smoke. Smoke can make your symptoms worse. Smoking also increases your risk of developing pneumonia and other lung problems in the future.

    Can you lose weight with pneumonia?

    In this type of infection, the primary infection does not heal, which results in chronic pneumonia with productive cough, hemoptysis, unintended weight loss, pleuritic chest pain, low-grade fever, and respiratory failure.

    Don’t Miss: La 300 For Pneumonia In Calves

    Types Of Antibiotics For Pneumonia

    Pneumonia is a respiratory infection that affects the lower part of the respiratory system, primarily the lungs or the bronchi.

    The bronchi are the air passages that connect the lungs to the windpipe.

    Because pneumonia causes the air sacs in your lungs fill with pus and fluid, pneumonia can make it harder to take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide.

    Pneumonia is typically caused by a virus or bacterial infection.

    Sometimes fungal infections can lead to pneumonia, but that is rarer, and typically occurs in people with weak immune systems due to other diseases.

    Viral pneumonia will often resolve on its own, though it still frequently requires medical care for supportive treatment.

    Sometimes pneumonia occurs during or after another viral illness, like the flu or a cold.

    If your pneumonia is caused by a virus, antibiotics wont help unless there is also a secondary bacterial infection.

    If you have bacterial pneumonia, you will need antibiotics to prevent complications and to help your body clear the infection.

    Even with antibiotics, it can still take 4-6 weeks to recover from bacterial pneumonia.

    Most bacterial pneumonia that is community-acquired comes from the bacteriaStreptococcus pneumoniae.

    There are several different antibiotics are effective at treating this bacterial infection.

    Things That You Can Do To Help Your Child At Home Are

    What can I do to prevent getting pneumonia?
    • Control the fever with the proper medicine and right strength for the age of your child. Fevers lower than 101° F do not need to be treated unless the child is uncomfortable .
    • Give your child plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
    • See that your child gets lots of rest.
    • Do not give over-the-counter cough medicines or other OTC medicines without asking the health provider first. The child needs to cough and bring up the phlegm. Coughing is the bodys way of clearing the infection from the lungs.
    • Avoid exposing your child to tobacco smoke or other irritants in the air.

    Don’t Miss: Is Laying Down Bad For Pneumonia

    How Soon After Treatment For Pneumonia Will I Begin To Feel Better

    How soon you will feel better depends on several factors, including:

    • Your age
    • The cause of your pneumonia
    • The severity of your pneumonia
    • If you have other at-risk conditions

    If you are generally healthy, most symptoms of bacterial pneumonia usually begin to improve within 24 to 48 hours after starting treatment. Symptoms of viral pneumonia usually begin to improve within a few days after starting treatment. A cough can last for several weeks. Most people report being tired for about a month after contracting pneumonia.

    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.

    You May Like: Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Pneumonia

    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.

    Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    Pneumonia: 15 Things You Should Know (Part 2)
    • I have a chronic condition. Am I at higher risk for pneumonia?
    • Do I have bacterial, viral, or fungal pneumonia? Whats the best treatment?
    • Am I contagious?
    • How serious is my pneumonia? Will I need to be hospitalized?
    • What can I do at home to help relieve my symptoms?
    • What are the possible complications of pneumonia? How will I know if Im developing complications?
    • What should I do if my symptoms dont respond to treatment or get worse?
    • Do we need to schedule a follow-up exam?
    • Do I need any vaccines?

    Read Also: How Much Does It Cost For A 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.

    Popular Articles
    Related news