In this article, you will learn the meaning of Pneumonia, the types, causes, symptoms, preventions, and some home remedies to get rid of Pneumonia.
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Have you ever wondered why some people find it difficult to breathe? It feels as though they are being choked. This may be due to an issue with their lungs. The lung is a very vital part of the human respiratory system, and any problem with it makes it very difficult to breathe. Some of the diseases of the lungs include Asthma, Bronchitis, Pleural effusion, lung cancer, Emphysema, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, and Pneumonia. One of the major causes of concern is pneumonia.
According to WHO, Pneumonia accounts for 14% of deaths of children that are below 5 years. Previous studies also showed that Pneumonia is the eighth leading cause of death, and among the infectious cause of mortality rate, it ranked first. It is therefore of great importance to get rid of it. This article will teach you how to do that.
What is Pneumonia?
Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs caused by infections. These infections include viruses, bacteria, and fungi. It affects one or both lungs, and it causes the air sacs of the lungs to be filled with fluid or pus.
Causes of Pneumonia
Here are the common causes of Pneumonia:
A mechanical ventilator is a machine that helps to administer oxygen to a patient through intubation, which is a tube that is passed through the mouth, nose or front of the neck down to the lungs using an endotracheal tube. Ventilator-associated pneumonia occurs about 48 hours or more and affects the lungs when the tube that carries oxygen to the lungs is infected with germs.
Hospital-acquired pneumonia occurs 42-72 hours following admission to a hospital. It is usually caused by a bacterial infection.
Healthcare-associated pneumonia is a category of pneumonia that occurs in people who are not in the hospital but have had recent contact with the hospital. It occurs about 48 hours or more after extensive contact with the hospital or a nursing home.
Community-acquired pneumonia is pneumonia that occurs outside the hospitals. It is gotten when a person breathes in droplets from sneeze or cough from an infected person. They are caused by typical agents like Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenza, etc; and are also caused by atypical agents like Chlamydia pneumonia, Legionella.
Types of Pneumonia
The following are the types of pneumonia:
1. Bacterial pneumonia
Bacterial pneumonia is the inflammation of the lungs that are caused by a bacteria infection. It may affect a segment of the lung or the entire lung. When your body becomes too weak due to impaired immunity that can occur due to illness, old age, poor diet, etc. It makes it difficult for your body to fight off infections. When your lungs become invaded with bacteria, it will be difficult to attack them and you will experience symptoms like cough with thick bloody sputum, chest pain, shortness of breath, fever, etc.
Complications of bacteria pneumonia include:
Bacteria in the lungs can be passed to other organs through the circulating bloodstream. This causes bacterial infection to be transmitted to other organs surrounding the lung that are involved in respiration ( breathing). This results in respiratory failure.
Sepsis occurs when there is blood poisoning, and your immune system begins to attack itself because of infection It is a very dangerous response of the body to an infection. The most common cause of sepsis is a bacterial infection. If adequate treatment is not given, it may lead to death.
Bacterial pneumonia can lead to lung abscess by causing the inflamed lung to be filled with pus. This happens when a segment of the lung is dead due to a bacterial infection. The dead segment forms a space where pus fills.
Viral pneumonia is when the lung is infected by a viral infection. Common viruses that cause pneumonia include, Influenza A and B, Rhinovirus, Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human Metapneumovirus, etc. Viral pneumonia is more common in children and older adults due to their weak immune systems. Viral pneumonia can be gotten from the common cold or flu. People having morbidities that results from viral infections, such as rhinitis, conjunctivitis, pharyngitis, and so on, are predisposed to viral pneumonia. Symptoms of viral pneumonia include fever, chills, dry cough, wheezes, weakness, dizziness, cyanosis, chills, tiredness, chest pain, etc.
Fungal pneumonia is the inflammation of the lungs due to a fungal infection. This can either be endemic fungi or opportunistic fungi. It can also result from the combination of the two.
A fungus is said to be endemic when the transmission affects a particular geographical location or niche and does not increase exponentially. Endemic fungi contain different fungi with similar characteristics. Examples include blastomycosis, penicilliosis, histoplasmosis, etc.
An opportunistic fungus, as the name implies, is always looking for opportunities in people that are vulnerable, which are seen in people having compromised immune systems These people include patients that are in the hospital, in particular those in the Intensive Care Unit, those with comorbidities, etc. Examples include candidiasis, cryptococcosis, trichosporonosis, etc.
Classification of Pneumonia
Pneumonia can be classified based on the area of affectation. It is classified into three. They include:
Lobar pneumonia is an infection of the lungs that affects one or more lobes or segments of the lungs.
Stages of Lobar Pneumonia
Stage 1: Congestion
Congestion occurs within a day (24 hours) following infection of one or more segments of the lungs. This causes inflammation of the alveoli and causes an increase in the flow of blood to the blood vessels. In this stage, just a few bacteria are present. Symptoms include tachypnea, loss of appetite, tiredness, cough, etc.
Stage 2: Red hepatization
Red hepatization occurs within 2-4 days following the infection of the lungs. During this stage, the body’s immune system will try to fight off these infections. The lung that is infected becomes dry, and firm which makes it resemble the consistency of a liver, giving a pink appearance.
Stage 3: Gray hepatization
Grey hepatization occurs within 4-8 days following the infection of the lungs. In this stage, a protein involved in the storage in the body called Hemosiderin is assembled making the color of the lung change. It changes to a grey or yellowish color. Macrophages begin to form and red blood, which contains the infection is destroyed.
Stage 4: Resolution
During resolution, the infection-fighting of the lungs becomes resolved. It occurs within 8-10 days following the infection of the lung. The immune system begins to function properly and resolves the inflamed alveoli.
Bronchial pneumonia is an infection that affects the tube that connects the windpipe to the lungs.
Interstitial pneumonia is an infection of the alveoli (responsible for the exchange of carbon dioxide, and oxygen between the lungs and the blood) of the lungs
Prevention of Pneumonia
The following are the ways by which pneumonia can be prevented:
Vaccination is very effective in the prevention of pneumonia. These vaccines include the Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13), which helps in defending the body against 13 kinds of bacteria. This is important in children and older adults with weak immune systems.
Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) helps in defending the body against 23 kinds of severe bacteria that cause pneumonia
Smoking has different adverse effects, and it will be necessary to avoid it. The lungs contain cilia which help to filter dirt and clean the lungs. Smoking helps to put a hold on the activity of these cilia and also reduces it, thereby causing dirt to be in the lungs, which can lead to pneumonia.
Wash your hands
Bacteria that cause pneumonia are carried from the hand to the body when the hand is contaminated with germs. Germs enter the hand through the following, sneezing, visiting the toilet, shaking other people’s hands, and so on. It is, therefore, proper to wash your hands with soap and water.
Use hand sanitizers
Hand sanitizers help to kill germs in the hand. It is more efficient to remove germs by applying hand sanitizers after washing your hands with soap and water. When using alcohol-based sanitizer, the alcohol in it should not contain anything less than 60% concentration. This makes it more effective. When there is oil or grease in your hands, you should wash your hands and not use hand sanitizer directly as it won’t clean the germs in that situation.
Protect yourself from sick people
It is good to protect yourself from people who are sick as droplets from their sneeze, and cough can touch through contact thereby, infecting you with infection.
Watch out when cooking
It is important to be conscious when cooking as not being conscious may lead to the burning of food, which causes smoke. Smoke can also be obtained from frying and not paying attention to it. Inhalation of this smoke is bad for the lungs, and continuous inhalation may lead to pneumonia. We should, therefore, be careful while cooking.
Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Pneumonia
Here are the best home remedies to get rid of pneumonia:
When you have pneumonia, it is important to rest adequately, so as to speed up the recovery process. This will enable you to get well fast.
Breathing exercises are one of the effective ways to get rid of pneumonia. The following are the procedures to follow.
- Find a comfortable position either by lying or sitting.
- Breathe in deeply through your nostrils, and hold for about three to five minutes.
- Slowly breathe out through your mouth and repeat 5 times.
If you have secretions in your lungs you can try the following procedures:
- Sit upright with your chin raised up a
- Slowly take in deep breaths through your nostrils
- Hold for three to five seconds and forcefully cough it out.
This method helps to clear mucus that has resulted from pneumonia.
Warm Shower/ Steam Inhalation
Taking a warm shower, inhaling steam, and drinking hot beverages can all help to reduce the symptoms of pneumonia. This works by breaking loose congestions, and mucus that has built up as a result of pneumonia. When we breathe in inhaled steam, it helps to loosen mucus from the lungs. This helps in clearing the airways and improving breathing. Hence, reducing pneumonia.
Water is very useful for proper body functioning. When you have pneumonia, one of the symptoms that may be present is fever, which causes dehydration. Drinking water helps to balance the loss of water to the environment and helps to cool down the body.
Saltwater gargling is one of the ways by which pneumonia can be resolved. Put a very small quantity of salt in warm water, and gargle it. This helps to clear mucus in the throat, thereby reducing irritation, and providing a soothing effect.
Tumeric tea has antimicrobial and antioxidant property that helps to fight off infections in the lungs thereby helping to resolve pneumonia. Persistent coughing can cause pain in the chest. Tumeric tea has anti-inflammatory property that helps to reduce chest pain.
Garlic is very popular in the treatment of various health conditions. Garlic contains “Allicin” which helps to stop the growth of bacteria in the lungs. Garlic also fights against fungi, bacteria, and viral infections. Garlic has also been discovered to have anti-inflammatory properties. All these health benefits of garlic make it very special and also used in the treatment of pneumonia by reducing the effect of the infection-causing pathogens, and the infection itself.
You should definitely see changes after trying the above measures. Pneumonia symptoms felt should be resolved or reduced. However, if the home remedies to get rid of pneumonia do not reduce or have any effect on the symptoms felt, it is very important to carry your doctor along.
The information contained in this post "Best 7 Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Pneumonia" is for educational purposes only. Always consult your primary care doctor before using the remedies that are provided. The information is provided by The Hidden Cures and while we do timely, in-depth research on the information that we provide to you, everything stated may not be up to date or accurate from the time it was written.