Pneumonia refers to an infection of the lungs that result in inflammation of the air sacs, affecting oxygen supply. Pneumonia ranges in severity from mild to serious. The condition is most often found to be serious in infants and elderly people above the age of 65-years-old. People with different medical conditions and weak immune systems may also have serious and distressing symptoms of the disease. Mild form of this disease can be treated with simple home remedies while severe cases may require hospitalization. Prompt treatment and good care would be helpful in treating the disease in otherwise healthy people.
You can protect yourselves from pneumonia by taking the flu shot every year. This is because flu may sometimes lead to pneumonia, particularly among people who are at high risk of getting the infection.
Other ways of protecting oneself from infection include:
- Pneumococcal vaccination to protect from Streptococcus pneumoniae infection
- Develop hygienic habits like washing hands before eating and cooking
- Avoid close contact with people who have flu and cold
- Have healthy, balanced food
- Exercise regularly
- Quit smoking
- Avoid alcohol abuse
Treatment of pneumonia focuses on curing the infection and complications, if any.
Treatment options for pneumonia include:
- Antibiotics – Type of antibiotics given will depend on the cause of infections. Under normal conditions the symptoms may reduce within three days. Doctors may change the drug if the person does not show any improvement.
- Antiviral drugs – This medication is recommended for viral pneumonia. Symptoms may subside within three weeks.
- Fever medications – Medications like aspirin and ibuprofen may be suggested for controlling fever.
- Cough medicine
Hospitalization may be required if the individual is older than 65-years-old.
Other warning signs include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Reduced blood pressure
- Rapid breathing
- Very low temperature
Simple home remedies and tips are helpful in controlling the symptoms of pneumonia:
- Adequate sleep and rest
- Avoid taking up too much stress even when the symptoms reduce. This will decrease the chances of recurring infections
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Take the required dose of medication
- Individuals above the age of 65-years-old may be hospitalized if they contract pneumonia.