Pneumonia causes more than a million hospitalizations each year. It is one of the most common infectious killers in children, claiming one child every 39 seconds.
What Is Pneumonia?
Pneumonia is a lung infection. The lungs are made up of small air pouches which fill with air when a healthy person breathes. If a person has pneumonia, these air pouches gets filled with pus and fluid. This makes breathing difficult and limits oxygen intake.
A variety of organisms, including bacteria, viruses and fungi, can cause pneumonia. Most cases occur due to bacterial infection.
Beware Of These Symptoms
Pneumonia is more common during the winter months. Symptoms can develop suddenly over 24 to 48 hours or may develop slowly over several days.
-High fever, sweating and shaking chills
-Persistent or worsening cough with phlegm
-Shortness of breath with normal daily activities
-Chest pain while breathing or coughing
-Loss of appetite, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting
Are You At Risk?
Pneumonia can affect people of any age. But it is most common and serious in very young children upto 2 years of age, people older than 65, and people with underlying medical problems such as heart disease, diabetes, or chronic lung disease.
Exposure to certain chemicals, pollutants, or toxic fumes can also amp up your risk of getting pneumonia. Did you get tested for toxic effects of pollution? Book Lab Test NOW!
Your doctor will also ask you for chest X-ray and certain tests to check for inflamed lungs and know what kind of germ is causing the pneumonia and treat it accordingly.
How To Get It Treated?
Mild pneumonia can usually be treated at home with rest, medicines prescribed by a doctor, and by drinking plenty of fluids. More severe cases may need hospital treatment. Always remember 3Ps: Protect, Prevent and Treat.
How Long Does It Take To Get Cured?
Pneumonia takes time to cure. Here is what you can expect once your treatment starts:
1 week: Fever should be gone
4 weeks: Chest will feel better and mucus production will be reduced
6 weeks: Less cough and easy breathing
3 months: Most of the symptoms should be gone, though tiredness may remain
6 months: Feeling normal and cured
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
Pneumonia may spread from person to person.
-Get vaccinated for flu every year to prevent influenza as the flu is a common cause of pneumonia.
-Get yourself and your family vaccinated with pneumonia vaccines
-In babies, breastfeeding for the first 6 months can boost the baby’s immune system.
-Drink clean water, wash your hands with soap, and keep your surroundings clean.
-Eat right, get enough sleep, and exercise to strengthen your immune system.
(The article is reviewed by Dr. Swati Mishra, Medical Editor)
1. Five Facts You Should Know About Pneumonia. Lung Health & Diseases. American Lung Association. https://www.lung.org/lung-health-and-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/pneumonia/five-facts-you-should-know.html
2. Stop Pneumonia. Every Breathe Counts. https://stoppneumonia.org/