Pneumonia is the inflammation of alveoli caused by an infection that is produced when the lungs are exposed to different germs than those that are normally found there. One of the main symptoms of pneumonia is fever and can develop as a consequence of becoming overly exposed to a large quantity of bacteria, fungi and viruses. After becoming ill, say from a common cold (flu), the immune system and the covering lining the respiratory airways are negatively affected quite significantly. There are many chronic diseases that weaken our immune system and simply increase our exposure time to microbes. For example, diabetes, bronchitis or cancer are all chronic conditions that can make the lungs and airways more susceptible to pneumonia.
Symptoms of Pneumonia
In general, health improvement from pneumonia happens a couple days (2 – 3 days) after the commencement of treatment with antibiotics. For people who are in overall good health, complete recovery time is about 7 days. However, if the patient suffers from other ailments, recovery can take even longer.
The symptoms of pneumonia include fever accompanied by cold sweats, breathing difficulties, muscular pains, chest pain (especially during inhalation) and coughing up phlegm.
Proper Treatment should always be determined by a medical professional who will consider age, medical condition and severity of illness. Your doctor will also base treatment from the results of radiography and lab tests. In the majority of cases, antibiotics and repose will be prescribed. The most common cause of pneumonia today is of viral origin which mostly affects the children and adults over 50 years of age.
Recommendations for treatment at home can be summarized as follows:
– Repose until fever and chest pain has disappeared. Also, make sure you no longer have difficulty breathing.
– Make sure to drink abundant liquids so that the organism produces more fluid, thus thinning out phlegm.
– Do not swallow phlegm when coughing, rather, make sure to spit it out in the washroom sink or toilet. You should not ingest any expectorant unless otherwise indicated by your doctor.
Another important step towards prevention is flu vaccination and pneumonia (if you are older than 65 or if you suffer from a chronic respiratory illness).
Maintain a balanced diet. While we hear about new diets every day, it is for good reason. It is through our diet that we obtain our nutrients and energy, so making sure to have a diet rich in veggies, fruits and legumes is crucial in the prevention of pneumonia and other diseases.
Finally, exercise! Exercising helps to increase your lung capacity and is good for all bodily systems.