Approximately 1 million adults in the United States are hospitalized each year for pneumonia, and 50,000 die from the disease. It is the second most common reason for being admitted to the hospital – childbirth is number one. Pneumonia is the most common reason children are admitted to the hospital in the United States. Seniors who are hospitalized for pneumonia face a higher risk of death compared to any of the top 10 other reasons for hospitalization. Although, this is one of the most common health problems. Usually, children and newborn babies have more chances of getting pneumonia than others. That is the reason one should know these home remedies for pneumonia.
“ The main thing that makes it dangerous is that pneumonia is a contagious disease. That means it spread from person to person by droplet infection.”
So let’s know the droplet infection;-
“ Droplet infection is a type of communicable disease source that means, the bacteria or virus of that particular disease spreads from person to person by saliva, urination, or sweat”
Now you can understand the severity of this disease as it spread from person to person when person with pneumonia sneezes or any clothes that has sweat particles came into the contact with another healthy person, then the chances of getting pneumonia increases in healthy person.
We will be discussed what is pneumonia, it’s symptoms and possible causes and in the end, we will discuss some tips that can be useful to prevent pneumonia and some home remedies that are effective against pneumonia.
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What is pneumonia
“ Pneumonia is a type of infection that can occur in one lung or both lungs”
It can occur due to a fungal, bacterial, or viral infection. The lungs are made up of small sacs called alveoli.
It is a serious infection in which the air sacs fill with pus and other liquid.
It can be a complication of the flu, but other viruses, bacteria, and even fungi can cause pneumonia.
That can make it hard for the oxygen you breathe in to get into your bloodstream. The symptoms of pneumonia can range from mild to severe and include cough, fever, chills, and trouble breathing.
Many factors affect how serious a case of pneumonia is, such as the type of germ causing the lung infection, the person’s age, and overall health. The people most at risk are infants and young children, adults 65 or older, and people who have other health problems.
Pneumonia is a leading cause of hospitalization in both children and adults. Most cases can be treated successfully, although it can take weeks to fully recover.
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Types of pneumonia
There is no special classification of pneumonia, however, it can be classified on the basis of its cause.
Bacterial pneumonia:- Bacterial pneumonia is pneumonia that’s caused by bacteria. The most common bacteria that is responsible for Bacterial pneumonia is “Streptococcus pneumoniae.”
These bacteria normally live in the upper respiratory tract. In certain circumstances, it can go down into the lungs and cause infection.
Bacterial pneumonia infects more than 900,000 Americans each year.
The circumstances that can help bacteria to go down into the lungs is normally happens after cold or flu.
Viral pneumonia:- Viral pneumonia is caused by a virus, and there are plenty that can make you sick.
In more severe cases, you may need supplemental oxygen as a treatment.
Fungal pneumonia:- This is a rare form of pneumonia. It does not infect people usually. There is a condition called valley fever, which is a type of fungal pneumonia caused by the fungus “Coccidioides”.
This type of pneumonia often occurs in a person with a weak immune system.
If someone is suffering from diabetes, AIDS, or cancer, then the chances of fungal pneumonia increase.
Walking pneumonia:- Walking pneumonia can occur due to any of the main causes of pneumonia like bacterial, viral, or fungal.
According to medical reports;- it’s most commonly the result of an infection by the Mycoplasma pneumonia bacteria, which causes milder infections in the respiratory system.
Chemical pneumonia:- Chemical pneumonia is caused by a toxin that you inhale.
Chemical pneumonia was caused by chlorine gas, which was used as a weapon in World War-I.
But it’s possible to get chemical pneumonia from other things, including by accidentally breathing in large amounts of fumes from cleaning supplies, pool equipment, or even air fresheners, if they’re sprayed directly into someone’s airways. These things can irritate the lungs and respiratory tract.
Aspiration pneumonia:- Aspiration pneumonia is an infection that can happen when you accidentally inhale substances into your lungs, like your own stomach acid or food particles. That causes inflammation and “sometimes this injury can be followed by a secondary bacterial infection”.
This condition is more common in people who have a brain injury, neurological disorder, trouble swallowing, or have used drugs or alcohol anything that can interfere with the gag reflex that would help keep these substances out of the lungs.
Symptoms of pneumonia
Symptoms of pneumonia can range from mild (cold- or flu-like symptoms)
The symptoms can vary from their different causes.
Every cause has different symptoms.
Bacterial pneumonia:- Symptoms of bacterial pneumonia can develop gradually or suddenly. Symptoms include;-
- High fever (up to 105° F)
- Tiredness (fatigue)
- Trouble breathing: rapid breathing or shortness of breath
- Cough with mucus (might be greenish in color or contain a small amount of blood)
- Chest pain and or abdominal pain, especially with coughing or deep breathing
- Loss of appetite
- Confused mental state or changes in awareness (especially in older adults)
Viral pneumonia:- Symptoms usually develop over a period of several days.
Early symptoms are similar to flu symptoms, which include;-
- Dry cough
- Sore throat
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle pain
There are following other symptoms that can appear about a day later;-
- Higher fever
- Cough with mucus
- Shortness of breath
Causes of pneumonia
Pneumonia can be caused by a wide variety of bacteria, viruses, and fungi in the air we breathe.
There are more than 30 different causes of pneumonia.
- Bacteria:- This type is caused by various bacteria. The most common is Streptococcus pneumoniae. It usually occurs when the body is weakened in some way, such as by illness, poor nutrition, old age, or impaired immunity, and the bacteria are able to work their way into the lungs. Bacterial pneumonia can affect all ages, but you are at greater risk if you abuse alcohol, smoke cigarettes, are debilitated, have recently had surgery, have a respiratory disease or viral infection, or have a weakened immune system.
- Virus:- This type is caused by various viruses, including the flu (influenza), and is responsible for about one-third of all pneumonia cases. You may be more likely to get bacterial pneumonia if you have viral pneumonia. There are a lot of viruses that can lead to viral pneumonia. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common cause of pneumonia in children, but the influenza virus and SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, are the main causes of pneumonia in adults,
- Fungi:- Fungal pneumonia is more of a potential issue for people with chronic health complications or weakened immune systems.
Tips to prevent the pneumonia
You can reduce your risk of getting this disease by following a few simple steps.
Take vaccine shots:- Get a flu shot every year to prevent seasonal influenza. The flu is a common cause of pneumonia, so preventing the flu is a good way to prevent pneumonia.
Children younger than 5 and adults 65 and older should get vaccinated against pneumococcal pneumonia, a common form of bacterial pneumonia. The pneumococcal vaccine is also recommended for all children and adults who are at increased risk of pneumococcal disease due to other health conditions.
Wash hands at regular intervals:- Wash your hands frequently, especially after blowing your nose, going to the bathroom, diapering, and eating or preparing foods.
According to the reports, washing hands can save you from about 15 communicable diseases.
Quit smoking:- Tobacco damages your lung’s ability to fight off infection, and smokers have been found to be at higher risk of getting pneumonia.
Certain good habits:- Take vitamin C abundantly in your diet. Do certain yoga daily that is proven to be useful for increasing the oxygen concentration in blood and helps to increase the lung capacity.
Pruning position:- Recommended by the Union Health Ministry, pruning is a method in which a person lies down on the stomach. This is a great position for relieving severe respiratory distress and improving oxygenation levels in the body.
Home remedy for pneumonia
There are following certain home remedies that are effective to treat pneumonia;-
Pineapple juice is a good natural option for relieving coughs, as this substance is able to inhibit cough.
Since it has high amounts of vitamin C, pineapple juice also helps strengthen the immune system and reduces the inflammation of the respiratory system.
Ways to use pineapple juice:- Crush the ingredients in a blender and drink two to three times a day, or whenever you have a coughing fit.
As it is a completely natural juice, this home remedy can be used by adults or children, as well as pregnant women.
Ginger is a medicinal root that has high concentrations of gingerol and shogaol, which both have analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. This means that ginger can help reduce any type of pain, especially muscle pain and general malaise.
In addition, the phenolic composites of ginger also have a strong antioxidant effect, helping to strengthen the immune system.
Ways to use ginger tea:- Place the ginger into the boiling water and let it sit for five to ten minutes. Then strain, cool, and drink two to three times a day.
Turmeric has a chemical compound that is called “curcumin”. Due to curcumin, turmeric has great anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Anti-inflammatory property relieves cough, flu, cold, and joint pain.
Ways to use turmeric tea:- Add 1 tsp of turmeric powder to boiling water.
Let it simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the fresh tea and serve it with honey and lemon. Drink at least one cup of tea a day.