Pneumonia is an inflammation of the tissue in one or both lungs, which is usually caused by a bacterial infection. Every year on November 12th, World Pneumonia Day is celebrated to raise awareness about pneumonia.
- What Leads to Pneumonia?
- Symptoms of Pneumonia
- Risk Factors
- Diagnosis of Pneumonia
- Treatment for Pneumonia
- Prevention of Pneumonia
- Home Remedies for Pneumonia
What Leads to Pneumonia?
1. Bacterial Infection:
It is the most common type of pneumonia in adults. It can develop on its own or happens after you had a cold (viral cold) or the flu. This kind of pneumonia affects usually just 1 lobe, or area of the lung, which is known as lobar pneumonia.
2. Virus Infection:
Viral pneumonia in most cases is mild. They usually get better in 1 -3 weeks without treatment. However, in severe cases treatment is required.
3. Fungal Infection:
Pneumocystis pneumonia is a dangerous infection caused by Pneumocystis jirovecii. It usually occurs in people with weak immunity like HIV/AIDS patients or patients using medications that suppress their immune systems, like in cases of cancer patients.
Symptoms of Pneumonia
- Mild or high fever
- Shaking chills
- Shortness of breath on exertion
- Loss of appetite
- Age: Kids under 2 years of age and adults above 65 years of age are at a higher risk of developing pneumonia.
- Environment: People exposed to certain chemicals, toxic fumes or pollutants.
- Lifestyles: Excessive use of alcohol, smoking cigarettes, or being undernourished also increases the risk for pneumonia.
- Medical condition: People suffering from a disease like COPD, asthma, etc. are at a higher risk of developing pneumonia.
- People with weak immune system: Patients with weak immune system are at a high risk of developing pneumonia.
Diagnosis of Pneumonia
- Physical Examination
- Chest X-ray and CT chest
- Blood or sputum culture
- Complete blood count
Treatment for Pneumonia
- Take plenty of rest.
- Take plenty of fluids.
- Taking medications like antibiotics.
Prevention of Pneumonia
- Whenever you sneeze or cough, cover your mouth and nose with a handkerchief.
- Throw away the used tissue as germs can live for several hours on it.
- Wash your hands regularly to avoid transferring of germs to another person.
- Avoid smoking
- Exercise regularly.
- People who are at high risk of getting pneumonia should get themselves vaccinated.
Home Remedies for Pneumonia
1. Stay Hydrated:
Keep yourself hydrated. Inpatient suffering from pneumonia, hydration is more important as it helps in loosening the mucus in your lungs. Include water, broth-based soups, like chicken soup, warm tea, etc. Avoid alcohol or caffeine as they dehydrate the person.
2. Use Cold Compresses:
In case of fever, along with taking medicines, the patient may also use cold compresses to cool your body. Wet a cloth in water which is cold or at room temperature and keep it on your neck or forehead for 20-30 minutes. Ensure to replace the cloth with a newly soaked cloth.
3. Soothing Steam:
When you inhale, the moisture in the air helps in loosening the mucus in the lungs. Take warm showers, use steamer or humidifier as it will help in loosening mucus. Use it twice a day.
4. Magical Turmeric:
Try to include turmeric in your daily food, milk or try turmeric tea. Researchers have found that turmeric might help to fight infections and reduce lung irritation.
5. Stay Away from Smoke:
Smoking cigarettes can make your symptoms worse and makes you more likely to get pneumonia or other lung problems in the future.