The lungs have a very important function and ensure that you get enough oxygen and that the minute particles of dirt are filtered so they don’t enter your bloodstream. Unfortunately, because your lungs are so exposed to the outside world, respiratory infections can ensue. Pneumonia is the name given to the condition where the little air sacs called alveoli are infected. These can turn into serious infections so it is important to catch them quickly and get rid of them.
How Do You Know If You Have Pneumonia?
Pneumonia as a lung infection can present in a variety of ways depending on what it is caused by, how long you have had it for, how healthy you are and how severe it is. Generally there are a few signs and symptoms, and these include:
- Cough: this may be dry or wet. If it is caused by bacteria then the sputum will be yellow or green, and if caused by a virus this will usually be clear.
- Shortness of Breath: you may feel that you are breathing more quickly or that you are having to work harder.
- Chest Pain: the chest pain can be as a result of all the coughing or because sensitive structures close to the chest wall are being affected.
- Fever: since pneumonia is an infection, chances are you will have a fever.
How You Can Manage Your Pneumonia
1. Get To a Doctor
The first thing you should do is get to a doctor so that they can prescribe the medication you need. If the cause is bacterial then you will get a course of antibiotics that you should take appropriately. If the cause is viral then the medication should focus largely on managing the symptoms, so you will get something for fever, headache, and pain.
2. Drink Lots of Water
If ever there was a time for you to drink lots of water it is when you have pneumonia. It is important to keep your body hydrated so that you can optimize your recovery. Juice and tea is fine too, but water would be your best bet. Try and stay away from any alcoholic drinks because these may interact with your medication and further depress your immune system.
[ Read: How To Increase Your Water Intake ]
3. Rest Well
When your body is fighting off an infection it means you have to rest to allow your body time to do so. The more you try to get up and running the longer you will take to recover.
4. Avoid Strenuous Activity
Because your body is still recovering you can’t afford to hit it with activity that requires a lot of energy and strain. This is why it is best for you do limit yourself and do not exercise until you have recovered.
5. Put Aside the Cigarettes
Smoking is bad for a whole number of health reasons, but it is especially bad for the lungs, so if you have pneumonia you should stop smoking.
[ Read: How To Get Rid of Smoking ]
To speed recovery, add 3 or 4 drops of the essential oils of camphor, eucalyptus, lavender, or tea tree to steam inhalations. This modality can be used to supplement other treatments.
If you can sit up and have no fever, ask someone to massage essential oils of eucalyptus, lavender, or tea tree into your back and chest. Blend 1 or 2 drops of one of these oils into 1 teaspoon of lotion or vegetable oil, and massage gently every half hour.