Pneumonia is most common during cold and flu season. It is a respiratory infection that can inflame one or both of your lungs. It occurs due to a bacteria or virus attack. It’s highly contagious and can be transmitted via sneezing, coughing, and the inhalation of germs. It makes breathing difficult and, in some circumstances, can be very serious. People with strong immunity can recover within two weeks; however, those with existing conditions or weaker immune systems may experience more severe symptoms and require professional care. Here are some things that you should know about pneumonia.
Symptoms Of Pneumonia
Pneumonia symptoms can be mild or severe depending on your age, what causes it, and your overall health. The most common symptoms of pneumonia are:
- Shaking chills
- Shortness of breath (for some people, this happens only when they climb stairs)
You may also experience:
- Pain in chest with breathing or coughing
- Run-down feeling
- Heavy sweating and damp skin
- Confusion (more common for adults 65 and older)
Make sure to contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.
What Causes Pneumonia?
Pneumonia can be caused by:
- Viruses (the one that cause colds and the flu)
- Certain chemicals
- Mycoplasmas, which are like bacteria and give you milder symptoms
How To Treat Pneumonia?
If you have pneumonia due to bacteria, your physician will prescribe an antibiotic. However, if it’s a virus infection, you may get an antiviral drug. In a severe case, you may need to go to the hospital. Just make sure to start taking the antibiotic as soon as possible. Take your medicines as recommended by your doctor, until it is gone, even if you feel better. If you have any chronic health problem such as diabetes, or lung or heart disease, try to keep it under control. Your prescriber might also want you to:
- Drink fluids to avoid dehydration.
- Avoid alcohol and cough & cold medicines.
- Use a humidifier to make warm, moist air.
- Avoid smoking.
- Take complete rest.
- Don’t miss any doses. Ask what to do if you miss a dose.
How To Prevent Pneumonia?
To prevent future episodes of pneumonia, you should:
- Get a flu shot every year.
- Quit smoking.
- Stay healthy. Get lung disease, heart disease, and diabetes under control.
- Wash your hands often. Practice good hygiene.
- Eat healthy food.