How to reduce the risk of pneumonia
Can pneumonia be prevented? Yes. You can reduce your risk of developing pneumonia by doing just a few simple things.
Each year, pneumonia contributes to 50,000 adult fatalities and 100,000 hospital admissions in the US. After childbirth, it ranks as the second most common reason for hospital admission.
The most common reason for pediatric hospital admissions in the US is pneumonia. Pneumonia poses a higher risk of death more than any of the top 10 other causes of hospitalization.
- 1 How do lungs function?
- 2 What is pneumonia?
- 3 Symptoms of pneumonia
- 4 How is the condition of pneumonia diagnosed?
- 5 How to reduce the risk of pneumonia
- 6 How can I tell pneumonia apart from the flu or common cold?
How do lungs function?
The main functions of your lungs are to take oxygen into your blood and expel carbon dioxide. This takes place as you breathe. When you are healthy, your breathing occurs 12 to 20 times per minute.
When you breathe in, air moves through your voice box, down the back of your throat, and into your windpipe (trachea). You have two airways in your trachea (bronchial tubes).
The left lung is reached by one bronchial tube, and the right lung by the other. The airways must remain open as you breathe in and out for the lungs to work at their peak efficiency.
Swelling (inflammation) or mucus may make it harder to breathe because they can obstruct the airways’ ability to move oxygen. You experience difficulty breathing and feel more worn out than usual as a result.
What is pneumonia?
A buildup of fluid or mucus leads to the lung disease known as pneumonia. Your alveoli, which are tiny air sacs that carry oxygen from the air you breathe into your blood, are less effective at doing their jobs as a result of these deposits.
Symptoms of pneumonia
Mild to severe pneumonia symptoms are possible. Depending on your risk factors and pneumonia, you may experience different symptoms. The symptoms of the common cold or the flu are similar to those of the common symptoms. They comprise:
- Difficulty breathing
- Coughing up mucus
- Fever and chills
- Chest pain
You might also perspire and experience headaches and extreme fatigue. Additionally, some people experience diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.
Call your primary care physician if any of these symptoms are severe. Additionally, if your cold or flu symptoms suddenly worsen, you should contact your doctor right away.
How is the condition of pneumonia diagnosed?
If you think you might have pneumonia, you should see a doctor. Your doctor may determine that you have pneumonia based on your medical history and the results of a physical exam.
It can be challenging to diagnose pneumonia because the symptoms resemble a severe cold or the flu. By excluding bacterial, viral, or fungal infections with blood and mucus tests, your doctor can identify the cause of your pneumonia. They will examine your lungs with a stethoscope. Your physician may also request a blood test or a chest X-ray. An X-ray of your chest can tell your doctor if you have pneumonia and how serious the infection is.
How to reduce the risk of pneumonia
Smoking damages your lungs and hinders their ability to fight off illnesses like pneumonia. Along with other illnesses that can result from smoking, smokers are more likely to develop life-threatening pneumonia.
Your lungs will become stronger and more equipped to fight infection if you stop smoking. You will be less likely to develop pneumonia as a result.
Don’t or drink less alcohol
Your body’s ability to fight off disease and maintain health is compromised when you abuse alcohol. Alcohol abusers are more likely to develop pneumonia and its problems.
According to experts, women shouldn’t consume more than one alcoholic beverage per day. Men should limit their drinking to two.
There are two different pneumonia vaccines on the market. They are designed to safeguard those more vulnerable to pneumonia, such as infants and older individuals. They offer a defense against Streptococcus pneumoniae, the most typical cause of pneumonia.
Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV) is recommended for those over 65 and those in high-risk groups over the age of two. The majority of adults only require this vaccination once in their lifetime.
The NHS administers the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) to all newborns. When a baby is two months old, they receive their first dose.
Keep your hands clean
Cleaning your hands regularly, particularly after diapering, using the toilet, picking your nose, and before preparing or consuming food, can reduce the rush .
Healthy food, regular exercise, and enough sleep can help reduce your risk of pneumonia and other infections. If you are concerned about your health, go to your doctor to find out what healthy lifestyle modifications you may make.
How can I tell pneumonia apart from the flu or common cold?
Do I have the flu, a cold, or even pneumonia? Knowing when to get medical help is crucial, even though it can be difficult.
Common symptoms are:
- Serious chest pain or congestion
- Trouble breathing
- 102 degrees or higher for fever
- A pus-producing cough.
Compared to cold and flu symptoms, pneumonia symptoms last longer. If your symptoms aren’t too bad, you can try some natural remedies like getting more rest, drinking more fluids, and taking some over-the-counter medications to see if that helps.