When a condition like pneumonia strikes, chances are, it is going to take some time to recover. Pneumonia is better known as a lung infection. It is not contagious. However, pneumonia causes infections in our upper respiratory tract like the throat and nose. This, as a result, can be contagious.
Pneumonia is a serious condition. It can also inflict anyone at any time. Pneumonia is especially risky for babies below age 2 and adults who are 65 years and above.
Other individuals who are at risk of getting pneumonia include:
– Those who are living in a hospital or related institutions
– Those who are utilizing a ventilator
– Those who have a weak immune system
– Those who are affected with asthma
– Those who are frequently being hospitalized
– Those who have certain heart diseases
What causes pneumonia?
When our upper respiratory tract gets infected from common cold or flu, pneumonia would usually follow. Germs like fungi, bacteria, and viruses usually cause these infections. Germs are then spread in different ways including:
– Direct contact like holding hands or kissing
– Surfaces that are contaminated
– From the air when sneezing or coughing without covering the mouth and nose
– From places like hospitals and healthcare centers
How is pneumonia diagnosed?
When pneumonia occurs, the infection in our lungs inflames both the air sacs. When they are inflamed, pus or fluid will fill the sacs causing phlegm followed by fever and chills.
Pneumonia symptoms can vary between individuals. Some people may experience mild pneumonia, while others may experience severe symptoms. It usually depends on the severity of the infection, our health as well as our age.
When you experience one or two of the following symptoms, it usually indicates pneumonia. These symptoms include:
– Pain in the chest especially when breathing or coughing
– Constant coughing which produces phlegm
– Cold sweats followed by chills
– Nausea and vomiting
– Feeling winded or short of breath
It is usually best to contact your doctor if you have problems with breathing and have high fevers that are persistent.
For infants or newborns, symptoms do not usually show up immediately. However, once they vomit, show signs of low energy, followed by fever and cough, it is best to see the pediatrician as soon as possible.
How is pneumonia prevented?
There are vaccines available to reduce the risk of pneumonia. However, it does not guarantee to eliminate the condition.
In addition or instead of resorting to vaccines, there are preventive measures you can follow to keep your immunity strong. With that, you lower your risk of getting pneumonia. One of these ways is maintaining good hygiene. Keeping healthy habits is also helpful.
These habits include:
– Keeping away from cigarette smoking
– When washing your hands, lather thoroughly with mild soap and rinse
– Always keep sanitizing alcohol handy if washing hands is not possible
– Avoid getting close to people who are ill
– Have enough and proper rest
– Maintain a healthy diet or fruits, vegetables, lean meat, and fiber
Additionally, there are also home remedies you can try to help with pneumonia. Although they won’t treat the condition entirely, it can significantly reduce the symptoms.
Coughing is usually one of the first few symptoms that appear when you have pneumonia. These coughing fits are usually intensely followed by expelling of phlegm.
To lessen the severity of coughing:
– Drink herbal tea like eucalyptus, peppermint, and fenugreek
These type of herbal tea is helpful when it comes to soothing an itchy throat. In other studies, fenugreek is reported to help break down the production of mucus.
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– Gargle your mouth with salt water
Coughing is usually caused by the mucus that is lingering around the chest and throat. Gargling with warm water with salt can ease the irritation while eliminating the germs and mucus.
Pain in the chest
When pneumonia occurs, a feeling of discomfort is usually felt around the chest area especially when coughing or breathing.
To ease the discomfort of chest pains:
– Drink turmeric or ginger tea
The pain in the chest is caused by coughing persistently. Drinking warm ginger or turmeric tea can help soothe and ease the pain. It is because of the anti-inflammatory properties in their roots that help heal the pain naturally.
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Having a fever can indicate other types of condition. However, fevers usually indicate inflammation. When there is inflammation in the body, it usually poses a risk of pneumonia. To prevent complications from pneumonia, it is important to keep the fever down.
– Stay constantly hydrated
During a fever, it is important to maintain hydration by drinking lots of water and fluids. Cold or iced drinks can also help the body to cool down.
– Warm compress or baths
Lukewarm baths or compress can also help lower the body’s temperature and lessen the fever.
– Pain relievers
Over-the-counter medication can also help relieve symptoms like pain and fever. Take note, however, that medications should be taken after meals and should be taken only in recommended dosages.
Infections in our respiratory tract can also lead to shortness of breath especially in pneumonia cases.
To ease the discomfort of shortened breath:
– Drink caffeinated beverages
To open up with airways, drinking small amounts of coffee and tea can help.
– Getting a good amount of rest
To help repair our bodies at a cellular level, getting enough rest is essential. When our body is rested, it also helps in allowing us to breathe better. When we have pneumonia, there shouldn’t be too much physical efforts.
Chills are also known as symptoms of pneumonia that is a result of a fever. It is important to make sure the fever goes down to help lessen the chills.
To help chills to subside:
– Drinking liquids that are warm
Warm water, tea and a hot bowl of soup can help warm the body while filling it with additional nutrients and electrolytes.
Although these tips and remedies can lessen the symptoms, it is still important to see your doctor and follow through with his recommendations.
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