Pneumonia Prevention

Pneumonia is not a trivial problem and can be fatal if not treated well. Whenever possible, you need to prevent yourself from getting infected particularly if you’re considered a high risk to get this disease.

Vaccines

One of the best ways to prevent the flu and pneumococcal pneumonia is to get anti-flu shots.  There are vaccines for pneumococcal pneumonia as well as for the flu. People who are vaccinated with anti-flu vaccines doesn’t guaranty them immunity from vaccines though; they, however, tend to experience:

  • Less likelihood of complications
  • Shorter duration of the symptoms
  • Less severity of the symptoms

Pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine – One shot of the pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine can last for about five years or more. This type of vaccine is more important for people who:

  • Are 5 to 18 years old suffering from health issues like cancer, lung diseases or heart diseases.
  • Are 5 years old and younger
  • Smoke
  • Have weak immune systems, prolonged and serious medical conditions or chronic diseases
  • Are 65 years old and above

Influenza vaccine – This is the typical flu shot that enables some people to less likely get a flu or make its symptoms a lot more tolerable.  Its efficacy is good for a year and is often administered in October or November prior to the peak flu season. An added advantage of this vaccine is that it also prevents pneumonia which often comes to people who have just ended their flu.

Hib Vaccine – Hib is short for haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). This is bacteria that can cause meningitis and pneumonia. Children are administered with the Hib to make them more resilient to this bacterium.  It is usually administered on infants who are around 2 months old.

Other Steps in Preventing Pneumonia

Listed below are healthy advises in helping you not be infected with pneumonia pathogens:

Always maintain the health of your immune system – To do this always perform healthy exercises everyday like daily walking, get adequate rest and eat a healthy diet.

Stop smoking – Smoking tobacco can do harm to your body in so many ways. One harm it can wreak is that it impairs the lungs’ ability to defend against pathogens and filter out germs.

Always clean your hands with water and soap; if no soap and water is available, rubbing alcohol or alcohol-based sanitizers will do to kill germs.

One thing you should do if you are suffering from pneumonia is to limit your exposure with people especially with friends and family to prevent infecting others with your illness. Cover your mouth and nose while sneezing or coughing and dispose of the used tissues as soon as possible.

Eva Paglialonga is a licensed acupuncturist and massage therapist in Miami, FL and the medical director of Needles and Moxa Wellness Center.

Pneumonia – Coping and Support

Sometimes the road to recovery from pneumonia can take quite a long time and you may need support to better cope with your condition once in a while. Each person has his own way of coping but knowing of typical mental and physical difficulties experienced by other people with pneumonia can help. Listed below are some helpful tips to help you better cope with pneumonia.

Rest – Resting can provide your body the means to strengthen its immune system.  Getting satisfying sleep or bed rest for at least 10 hours a day can help relieve the pain and discomfort of pneumonia and boost your immune system to give the body enough strength to fight the condition.

Diet – A healthy digestive system can also help in addressing pneumonia. Consuming lots of vegetables and fruits and restricting your intake of animal proteins can help the body produce antibodies to battle the pneumonia infection. Instead of eating meat, you can avail of vegetable proteins contained in cauliflower, eggplant, potatoes, peas, artichokes, spinach and beets among others to reinforce your body and make it strong and energetic. You can also consume fresh juices of citrus fruits, cranberry, cucumber, apples and carrots that can replenish the body with the vitamin requirements it needs. Potassium is required for pneumonia sufferers to repair lung tissues damaged by the infection. You can get this important ingredient from radish, garlic, parsley and celery among others.

Herbal and steam bath – Inhaling steam can be helpful in relieving the symptoms of pneumonia. You can use a large pan filled with hot water adding some drops of aromatic oils like peppermint oil or eucalyptus scent to help you breathe easily. While breathing in the steam, cover your head with a towel to get the maximum amount of steam as possible. To help detoxify your body, you can take an oxygen or sauna steam bath for around 20 minutes. It helps more to add to your bath a quarter cup of sea salt, half a cup of baking soda and 2 cups of hydrogen peroxide for better body detoxification.

Hot compress – Help relieve the inflammation and pain of your pneumonia symptoms using a warm cloth compress or a hot water bag on your chest. Doing so will help dissolve and melt the mucus making it easy to expel.  You can do this twice or thrice a day to help relieve discomfort and pain symptoms.

Seek help – If you’ve been hospitalized and feel weak and unable to do your normal routines, ask help from someone who can help you with everyday tasks until you can eventually do them on your own.

Go to pulmonary rehabilitation – A lot of medical centers provide for pulmonary rehab these days and it can involve counselling, education and helpful exercises to help you regain your normal strength and function to do your normal activities and attain your ideal weight.

Participate in a support group – Online or community support groups are available for people needing help with their pneumonia and chronic lung problems.  You can help others or be helped when you join a group having the same health experience.

Avail of professional help – A lot of people infected with pneumonia suffer from depression. If you have pneumonia and are depressed, you need to be in touch with a mental health specialist or your doctor to treat you and get you off your depression.

Ivelisse DeJongh is a Miami acupuncturist and the medical director at DeJongh Acupuncture Clinic.

 

Pneumonia – Lifestyle and Home Remedies

Pneumonia sufferers need to follow the necessary steps in order to get well and help their condition from worsening. Some healthful tips include:

  • Get enough rest to help build up the immune system
  • Staying true to your treatment course which your doctor has recommended and prescribed – You need to take all the medications that your physician has prescribed. Regardless of how you feel, you need to take all the antibiotics that your doctor has told you to take.  You may start to feel better before you finish the medicine, but you should continue to take it. If you stop too soon, the pneumonia may come back.
  • Talk to your doctor to know when is the good time for you to have a followup care. Your doctor may recommend a chest x ray to verify if your pneumonia has completely resolved or not.

Different people have their own ways in reacting to pneumonia. Some may resolve their condition rather quickly and can return to their normal daily life like within a week while others may eventually see some improvement after a month or more. Most of the time people recovering from pneumonia feel tired for around a month.

Some effective home remedies that one can give for someone with pneumonia can include:

  • Tea – One can prevent pneumonia from developing beyond its early stages by drinking a cup of tea made from fenugreek seeds. This tea causes the body to perspire, expel toxins and lessen fever. One can take daily up to four cups of fenugreek tea and when symptoms gradually improve the number of cups can be reduced as well.  To make the tea more flavorable, honey and some drops of lemon juice can be included to the tea.
  • Garlic – Garlic has very powerful antibiotic properties and can be an effective home remedy for pneumonia. With garlic fever is reduced within a couple of days.
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sarsaparilla roots
  • Parsnip juice – About a quarter of a liter daily of parsnip juice can provide great relief of pneumonia symptoms and makes the lungs function much better.
  • Carrot juice – Carrot juice mixed with cucumber, beet or spinach juice can be a powerful mixture to battle pneumonia infections.
  • Willow bark – This and feverwort tea can lower the fever caused by pneumonia and lessens the discomfort of the patient