Among the various physiological systems in the human body, respiratory and digestive systems are the predominant which gets infected very fast.
Among these two, respiratory system gets infected comparatively faster and can make you suffer from various types of diseases very easily. These can be hard to cure.
One such potentially harmful respiratory disease is called as Pneumonia.
What is Pneumonia?
Pneumonia is basically a lung infection or disease which makes an individual feel sick.
Pneumonia affects the person’s breathing capability due to the filling up of pus (or any other fluid) into the lung tissue.
Normally it is not a big problem these days and can be treated in the home itself by following certain home remedies.
But in case of older adults, small babies, infants and people suffering from additional diseases it can become chronic making the patient more ill.
These people should be cared properly and provided with most appropriate pneumonia treatment on time.
What Are The Causes?
Pneumonia is usually caused by droplet infection or transmission. This means that germs from one person may enter the lungs of another person through normal respiration or when expelled out through sneezing or coughing
Usually person with weaker immune system gets infected when there are higher number of germs and virus present in the atmosphere.
This can be present in the form of droplets of moisture which when inhaled by the person causes the infection.
One can get the infection when visiting places like school, office, public places, hospitals, etc. Even when you are in the so called safest home environment you can get infected with this disease.
The public place borne pneumonia that is via office, schools, etc. is called as community-acquired pneumonia, whereas the hospital borne pneumonia is called as healthcare associated or Hospital-acquired pneumonia.
Common Types of Pneumonia
Depending on the causes, pneumonia has been classified into three major types. These are as follows:
1- Bacterial Pneumonia: Most common bacteria which causes pneumonia in humans is Streptococcus pneumoniae.
The other bacteria which also cause this infection are Chlamydophila pneumoniae, orlegionella pnuemophila, pneumocystis jiroveci, etc.
Most of the time the bacterial pneumonia occurs with people whose immune system is compromised like in case of cancer, AIDS, etc.
2- Viral Pneumonia: In many cases pneumonia is caused by viruses. And most of the death caused due to pneumonia occurs because of viral infection.
Old age people and young children are prone to getting this type of viral infection.
Viral pneumonia is especially dangerous for pregnant ladies and for people with lung disease or heart problem.
It has been seen that the flu virus triggers the viral pneumonia and makes it become fatal in most of the cases. It is therefore important to treat the initial symptoms of flu as soon as possible.
: Mycoplasma pneumonia is also termed as “walking pneumonia”. It is an unusual type of pneumonia when compared to other two types mentioned above.
Mycoplasma pneumonia is more common in young adults and older children. Normally the mycoplasma cause very mild grade pneumonia which can be easily treated by taking fewer medications.
Certain home remedies for this type of pneumonia can also be easily applied for treating the problems at faster pace.
Besides the above mentioned, there are few other types of pneumonia which are less common and occurs very rarely.
At times these types of pneumonia can be caused because of simple inhalation of food particles, gases, dust particles, liquids, fungus, etc.
Signs and Symptoms of Pneumonia
The most common symptom that occurs in pneumonia is continuous cough with sputum expulsion which is generally rusty green in color or tinged with blood stains.
Few other early symptoms of pneumonia due to any causative factor are:
- Continuous fever with chills and shivering
- chattering of teeth due to chills
- Short and rapid breathing
- Chest pain and burning sensation in the wind pipe due to continuous cough reflex
- Rapid heart beat and palpitation
- General muscle and body fatigue
- Nausea and vomiting due to heavy infection
- At times diarrhea also accompanies
- Physical and mental weakness
The major diagnostic tools and procedures which clearly confirms pneumonia are as follows:
-> Pathological conditions with a detailed case history of the patient gives a clear outline of the problem. This also confirms about why the problem actually occurred to the person.
-> In case when above does not work, doctor may also recommend getting a chest X-ray with the help of which the lungs can be clearly viewed and the problem can be detected partially
-> Once any problem is detected, taking a routine blood test gives the other complete details of the concerned problem. This is the reason, in most of the respiratory troubles blood test and chest X-ray is advised together
-> If all the above measures failed to find out the actual problem, a lung biopsy test is advised with which the pneumonia and the causative organism together can be identified easily
Is A Humidifier Good for Pneumonia?
Using a good branded humidifier for pneumonia is often recommended for relieving the symptoms fast at home.
Getting an ultrasonic humidifier for your room helps in maintaining the atmospheric humidity at proper levels which in turn prevents further progression of the problem.
These types of humidifier are quite and efficient in working. Also it kills the bacteria and molds of water (if present) before releasing the mist of air.
People often think about using a humidifier in breathing problems and asks: can a humidifier cause pneumonia? The truth is, it really helps rather than providing any harm when used properly.
As dry air can worsen the cough and pneumonia conditions, it is often recommended to add a best humidifier for pneumonia in the infected person’s room for a faster relief.
Care that you use a cool mist humidifier and not a steam vaporizer as it can cause burns.
We strongly recommend buying a good humidifier for pneumonia so that you can give your loved ones the best they deserve.
Using essential oils for pneumonia is also recommended by many and hence using a humidifier with an aroma diffuer, which makes the air therapeutically hygienic and healthy, is also a good option.
This air is beneficial for health as it is loaded with all the best benefits of aromatherapy essential oils.
If you are still confused about whether a humidifier can help with pneumonia or not, do consider talking to your health care provider to get the best recommendation.
Best Treatment for Pneumonia In Elderly
Patients suffering from chronic pneumonia infection should try to take the medicines as prescribed by the physician.
In case of bacterial pneumonia the immediate and most effective treatment is consuming powerful antibiotics. This antibiotic treatment for pneumonia is usually advised for at least a week to get complete recovery.
Always try to complete the course and do not stop taking medicines even if the signs of improvement are seen. Rather it is important to confirm with the doctor before stopping the treatment course.
In case of viral pneumonia, antibiotics does not help much in curing the problem. It may prevent the complications of pneumonia. But for getting complete relief, proper rest with good diet is recommended.
Generally in the case of pneumonia (due to any cause) the patient should:
- Take plenty of rest
- Drink lots of water and other liquid items
- Try to avoid smoking, alcohol, tobacco, tea & coffee, etc.
At times when continuous cough disturbs your sleeping hours, try to consult your doctor and get a good cough suppressant medicine for getting relief.
Care that you do not give any of these medications to children before taking proper advise from your doctor.
5 Best Home Remedies for Pneumonia
Below are the 7 best home remedies that can help in getting relief from the problem fast. You can try them out in case you do not want to take medicines.
1- Natural herbs are considered as one of the most effective home remedies for pneumonia treatment. Pleurisy Root, Baikal Skullcap, Garlic, Ginger, Turmeric and Holy Basil are some of the best herbs for pneumonia treatment at home.
2- Improvements made in the diet can also help effectively in treating the pneumonia problem at home. Carrot and spinach juice are often recommended for getting faster relief.
Experts also advice to drink potassium broth and removing the animal based proteins from the diet which can help in getting the relief from pneumonia fast.
3- Try to take a bath in warm or hot shower to increase the peripheral circulation which may suppress your pneumonia symptoms naturally.
You may also try to take facial steam added with a few drops of eucalyptus oil to get relief from cough and chest congestion caused due to pneumonia. It also acts as a good expectorant.
4- Performing deep breathing exercises after a hot shower or facial steam also helps to strengthen the chest muscles effectively and can be tried in addition.
5- Taking massage with heavy percussion movements over the neck, shoulders and back helps to relieve the chest congestion, loosens the mucus accumulation in the lungs and windpipe and also helps to expand the chest freely.
The pressure during the massage movements should be limited because more pressure can cause tiredness to the individual.
Recovering From Pneumonia: What To Expect?
The complete recovery time for pneumonia may range from few weeks to about six months. This usually depends upon the general health condition of a person, are and severity of the infection.
However you can see the symptoms improving (like fever) in about 3-4 days of taking the medicines.
In case you are suffering from severe infection, it can take about 2-3 months to get your symptoms (like chest pain, cough, breathlessness, etc) resolved.
Symptoms like fatigue can still take few more weeks to go off completely.
Eliana is a nurse by profession who loves writing online, spending time with her family and caring for seniors. She has already worked as an associate editor on various mom, baby, home appliances, kitchen and healthy living blogs. In her spare time she also enjoys drawing, reading/writing kindle eBooks and improving her skills a bit.