The 6 Best Tips to Prevent Pneumonia

12 May, 2020
Pneumonia is a lung infection that is normally caused by underlying conditions like the flu or colds. Today, we'll tell you the best strategies to help you prevent it.
 

Pneumonia is an infectious disease that affects the respiratory system and normally occurs as a consequence of other conditions like the flu or colds. It can happen at any age, but babies and older adults are more likely to develop it. How can you prevent pneumonia?

Nowadays there are various strategies to keep this disease from appearing. In fact, there are two types of vaccines that reduce the risk, above all in the most vulnerable populations.

In this article, we’ll review other key habits that can protect you from this condition.

6 tips to prevent pneumonia

Pneumonia isn’t a contagious disease, though it usually happens after a respiratory infection, like a cold or the flu. These diseases are caused by viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms. Fortunately, some preventive measures can be key to avoiding the development of this disease.

Don’t miss this: Everything You Need to Know About Treating Pneumonia

1. Vaccination

A child getting a vaccine to help prevent pneumonia.
The main preventive measure in high-risk groups is vaccination, an individual and collective measure.

Nowadays there are two types of vaccines that can help prevent pneumonia: the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13 or Prevnar 13) and the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23 or Pneumovax23). However, these don’t eliminate the risk; they just reduce it.

 

The pneumococcal conjugate vaccine can help to prevent attacks from up to 13 types of bacteria in both children and adults. People with a weakened immune system, no matter their age, should also get a dose of this vaccine.

The pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine can protect you from up to 23 types of bacteria. However, it’s not recommended for children. It is usually given to adults over 65 since they’ve already gotten the other vaccine.

Warnings:

  • In some special cases, the pneumonia vaccine is contraindicated and should be avoided. This includes people allergic to the vaccine or its components, pregnant women, and patients with a severe cold or flu.
  • On the other hand, both vaccines can have side effects like reddening and pain around the injection site, muscle pain, moderate fever, and cold.

2. Prevent pneumonia: Avoid tobacco

Excessive consumption of tobacco is one of the main causes of chronic respiratory illnesses. Due to this, smoking patients have a high probability of suffering from pneumonia. So, in the case of respiratory infections, it’s essential to quit smoking completely.

3. Wash your hands constantly

Washing hands.
Hygiene is fundamental to avoid pneumonia and its triggers.
 

One of the factors that influence the appearance of respiratory tract infections is not washing your hands correctly. While with the naked eye you can’t see it, many kinds of bacteria and viruses accumulate on the surface of your hands that can lead to serious infections.

For this reason, to prevent pneumonia it’s important to wash your hand several times a day, preferably with warm water and antibacterial soap. Make sure you wash your hands, above all, after coming in contact with shared surfaces, before and after going to the bathroom, and before eating or touching your mouth.

Read also: 8 Symptoms of Pneumonia that You Shouldn’t Ignore

4. Avoid contact with sick people

As we already mentioned, pneumonia isn’t contagious. However, the diseases that can cause it are. Due to this, when family members or friends are sick, you should take care. Wear a mask and gloves or simply avoid being near that person to prevent pneumonia.

5. Sleep well to prevent pneumonia

Woman sleeping to avoid pneumonia.
When you’re suffering the symptoms of pneumonia, a repairing rest will help to defeat the disease.

Sleeping well is crucial for treating any illnesses caused by a weakened immune system. While you rest, mechanisms are activated that are key to fighting against viruses and bacteria.

 

So, to prevent pneumonia it’s important to take enough time to restespecially when you have a respiratory infection.

Is it hard for you to sleep? If so, try the following:

  • Meditate a little before going to bed.
  • Prepare the room before going to bed (set the temperature, cover the windows, etc.)
  • Drink tea with sedative properties (like valerian).
  • Read or listen to relaxing music.

6. Maintain a healthy diet

Nutrition is key to maintaining a strong immune system. Eating foods full of vitamins A, B, C, and E, in addition to minerals like potassium, iron, and calcium, improves the response of your body’s defense mechanisms and, therefore, speeds up your recovery from infections.

If you have a respiratory illness and you want to prevent pneumonia, make sure to include the following in your diet:

  • Citric fruits
  • Berries or red fruits
  • Pears and apples
  • Bananas
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Fatty fish
  • Lean meats
  • Dried fruits and nuts
  • Legumes
  • Whole grains

Remember that pneumonia is a serious complication that comes from respiratory infections. Due to this, if you experience any symptoms, consult your doctor immediately. The earlier you get help, the better the prognosis.

 
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