Pneumonia Treatment At Home
- Dr. Sreelekha Daruvuri
- 3 Min Read
- Fact Checked
Pneumonia is a lung infection that can range from mild symptoms to severe diseases. It can affect any individual of any age but at-risk age groups include those less than 5 years of age and more than 65 years of age. Pneumonia treatment at home is possible for mild cases and is often recommended under the supervision of a physician – this is because there is no natural remedy for the lung condition. However, there are natural remedies that will help reduce the severity of symptoms.
Types and Causes of Pneumonia
Pneumonia can affect any part of the lung. The air sacs become filled with fluid in this condition making it hard for the gases to exchange. Pneumonia can be caused by bacteria, fungi, and viruses. In a few cases, pneumonia can also be due to aspiration of food contents. In the cases where Pneumonia affects a lobe of the lung, it is termed Lobar pneumonia and if it affects a bronchiole with surrounding parts, it is called Bronchopneumonia. The most common organisms that cause Pneumonia are Streptococcus, Mycoplasma, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).
The symptoms of Pneumonia include
– Cough with sputum
– Tiredness and breathlessness
– Chest pain.
Pneumonia is diagnosed based on blood tests, chest x-ray, sputum culture, and sensitivity of the sputum with or without a CT scan. In a few cases, depending on the severity of the symptoms and infection, a Bronchoscopy can be recommended as well. Besides those being under the age of 5 and above the age of 65, smokers and individuals diagnosed with medical conditions that affect the lung such as COPD are also at risk of acquiring Pneumonia.
Pneumonia Treatment At Home
As previously mentioned, mild Pneumonia can be treated at home. This includes:
– Oral antibiotics: given in bacterial infection and do not play a role in viral pneumonia unless there is an increased risk of bacterial infections. It’s important to finish the course of the medication even though symptoms are relieved in a day or two to avoid recurrence, complications, and resistance in the microbes.
There are few natural remedies for pneumonia that help in managing Pneumonia symptoms but when used alone cannot treat Pneumonia
– Paracetamol: to control the fever spikes and this also helps in relieving mild chest pain.
– Cough medicines: to be used only if prescribed by a doctor. Coughing is a way to eliminate the secretions and organisms from the body. But in certain instances, cough medications are given to loosen up the secretions.
– Include warm liquids in the diet like soups
– Green tea or any herbal is one of the common Indian remedies for Pneumonia. A warm honey and lemon drink can help relieve discomfort caused by coughing.
– Drink plenty of fluids: Hydration can help the body fight infection better
– Plenty of rest: Do not overdo daily chores just because the symptoms are getting better. It is important to stay active but more importantly, rest is also needed.
– Diet: rich in carbs and protein and greens to be included to boost the immune system.
– Avoid smoking: in any form, be primary or secondhand smoking. This will weaken lung defense mechanisms and also limit lung function.
– Breathing exercises: inhaling a deep breath for 3-4 seconds and holding for 4-5 seconds and exhaling for 5 sec can be an effective breathing exercise. Also, pursed-lip breathing can be done.
Vaccination for Pneumonia
Pneumococcal vaccine can be given to children from 6 months of age and for the elderly as well. Apart from this, the Hib vaccine is also given as a part of the vaccination schedule. The Flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccines are also to be given as pneumonia is a complication of these infections.
Prevention is always better than cure.
– Respiratory etiquette: Washing hands after sneezing, coughing, and blowing nose is to be done. Used tissues are to be discarded in a closed bin.
– Smoking is to be avoided in any form.
– A healthy diet and regular exercise will help in maintaining optimum immunity to fight off infections
If treatment at home is given for mild infection, apart from following these natural remedies for Pneumonia, one should also be aware of the warning signs like breathlessness, severe pain in the chest, fever that does not subside after 2 days of using antibiotics, if the oxygen saturation level is less than 94%, and/or if severe cough with or without blood is present.
It takes time to recover from Pneumonia, it may take a week or two and in a few patients weakness can be present for one month. One should isolate themselves and limit contact with other people to contain the spread. Always be in touch with the doctor and do not self-medicate.
Pneumonia is not uncommon and can be prevented by following simple tips like hand hygiene. If there is suspicion of Pneumonia, contact with an infected individual, or if you are experiencing respiratory conditions such as chest pain, severe mucus-filled fought, fever, and difficulty breathing, consult with a general physician or a pulmonologist to prevent complications and start an appropriate customized treatment plan.