Pneumonia is a respiratory infection that affects millions of the American population. The cause of pneumonia can be a viral or bacterial infection in the lungs. Everybody is at risk of getting the disease; however, children, the elderly and people who take certain medication are at a higher risk.
Though this disease has home remedies, there are safety measures that you can take to prevent yourself from it. The streptococcus bacteria is the major cause of pneumonia. It mostly targets a weak immune system and cause the inflammation of the lungs.
Our discussion is aimed at reducing the high number of pneumonia cases by learning more about the disease. We will focus on how it occurs, the symptoms, how you can prevent it. Enjoy!
What causes pneumonia and what are its symptoms?
Apart from a weak immune system, medical conditions such as asthma, heart diseases, and diabetes increase the risk of getting this disease. Both children and people above 65 years can suffer from pneumonia since their systems are not strong.
A surgical operation and poor nutrition are all possible causes of the disease. People who take drugs and alcohol also expose themselves to it. Other conditions such as kidney failure, AIDs, and leukemia can cause respiratory infections.
The first symptom you may notice with this condition is an extremely high fever. It can also cause coughing and make your mucus bloody. You may experience chills even when the temperature is normal and start shaking. It may affect your breathing during vigorous activity and cause fatigue.
Your eating patterns may not be normal when suffering from pneumonia since it lowers appetite. It also causes chest pain and excessive sweating. You may even notice the color change in your lips or fingernails. Most elders with this condition also experience confusion.
Ways of preventing pneumonia
Boost your immune system
We mentioned that the bacteria that causes this infection targets on a weak immune system. That is why boosting it can prevent you from pneumonia. It also ensures that you don't get other illnesses or suffer from symptoms such as fatigue.
You can boost your system by taking healthy foods that contain enough vitamins and nutrients such as vegetables and fruits. Increase your intake of lean protein and fiber to assist in the digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Expose yourself to some sunlight to get vitamin D from the natural source or take supplements that boost the already existing levels in the body. Being overweight can also affect your immune system. Proper exercises should help you keep off excess weight and improve your metabolism.
Avoid contact with sick people
Pneumonia is a contagious disease that can spread fast from close contact. Staying away from crowded areas can prevent you from getting into contact with germs that increase your risk of getting respiratory infections. Public transportation may not be the best if you are ill or having some symptoms. Avoid areas such as waiting rooms or grocery stores that are overpopulated.
Clean your hands often
You can reduce the effect of germ contamination from washing the hands often. Clean hands reduce the risk of getting pneumonia. Ensure that your hands are clean after activities such as visiting the bathroom, changing diapers or blowing the nose. Do not eat or prepare meals before washing the hands. Get a hand sanitizer to use in public places that may not have water taps and soap.
Avoid substance abuse
Alcohol and drugs expose your body to respiratory infections such as pneumonia. For instance, smoking tobacco affects your lungs and exposes you to diseases. People who misuse opioids are also not safe. Though some of these drugs may not be illegal, abusing them can cause such effects. Opiate withdrawal with the help of a professional will prevent you from pneumonia and other illnesses.
Adjust your lifestyle
This starts with your eating habits. Avoid taking unhealthy foods such as saturated fats found in red meat. Instead, use plant-based foods that provide you with natural nutrients that are healthy for your body. Avoid stress and get enough rest every night.
When sleeping, you should ensure that you maintain good sleeping positions. Your neck and head should remain straight as you rest. Do not lie on the stomach since it makes your head lie in an improper angle. Enough sleep makes your body strong to fight infections. Minimize the amount of light before sleep so that you don't have difficulties falling asleep.
Your body needs sufficient fluids to function properly. Therefore, increase your water intake as you avoid drinks with a lot of sugar. You can flavor your water with some natural components such as lemon to get rid of the plain taste.
Avoid cold showers
Excessive bathing with cold water can make you get pneumonia. Warm the water before bathing and cover yourself with a towel immediately after bathing. When it is too cold outside, use a humidifier to regulate the temperature.
Visit the doctor
A doctor can diagnose any severe illnesses that put you at risk of getting pneumonia. Some of the diseases include cancer, kidney disease, and AIDS. Understanding the condition of your health can help you take the necessary safety precautions against such infections. Go for check-ups regularly to keep track of your health and catch any diseases early enough. Regular checkups also help you monitor your blood sugar levels.
In most states, the immunization against pneumonia happens after five years. This should not only be limited to children. You can also get vaccinated if you have a health condition. In children, the vaccine improves the functioning of the white blood cells in the body for them to develop a strong immunity. You can also get vaccinated against other illnesses such as measles to keep you safe from both diseases.
You don't have to wait for the effects of pneumonia if you can prevent it. Use the strategies above to improve your health and boost your immunity. It starts with the adjustments that you make today