Pneumonia is an infection in one or both lungs. Bacteria, viruses, and fungi cause it. The infection causes inflammation in the air sacs in your lungs, which are called alveoli. The alveoli fill with fluid or pus, making it difficult to breathe. Read on to learn more about pneumonia and how to treat it.
Symptoms of pneumonia
- sweating or chills
- loss of appetite
- coughing that may produce phlegm (mucus)
- feelings of tiredness or fatigue
- shortness of breath that happens while doing normal activities or even while resting
- chest pain that’s worse when you breathe or cough
- nausea or vomiting
Other symptoms of pneumonia can vary according to your age and general health:
- Children under 5 years old may have fast breathing or wheezing.
- Infants may appear to have no symptoms, but sometimes they may vomit, lack energy, or have trouble drinking or eating.
- Older people may have milder symptoms. They can also exhibit confusion or a lower than normal body temperature.
Your doctor may also recommend over-the-counter (OTC) medication to relieve your pain and fever, as needed. These may include:
- ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
- acetaminophen (Tylenol)
Your doctor may also recommend cough medicine to calm your cough so you can rest. Keep in mind coughing helps remove fluid from your lungs, so you don’t want to eliminate it entirely.
You can help your recovery and prevent a recurrence by getting a lot of rest and drinking plenty of fluids.
If your symptoms are very severe or you have other health problems, you may need to be hospitalized. At the hospital, doctors can keep track of your heart rate, temperature, and breathing. Hospital treatment may include:
- intravenous antibiotics injected into a vein
- respiratory therapy, which involves delivering specific medications directly into the lungs or teaching you to perform breathing exercises to maximize your oxygenation
- oxygen therapy to maintain oxygen levels in your bloodstream (received through a nasal tube, face mask, or ventilator, depending on severity)
Pneumonia home remedies
Do a saltwater gargle
Apply a lukewarm compress
Drink warm water
If you have chest pain
2. Drink Turmeric tea