Pneumonia – Symptoms, treatment and possible complications

pneumonia symptoms treatment and possible complications

Pneumonia is a complication of infections of the respiratory tract. If you take timely measures and proper treatment, the recovery will take about 2-3 weeks. Approximately one-third of cases of lung inflammation require hospitalization.

Sometimes people with pneumonia stay in the hospital for other reasons. In almost all cases, the cause of the disease is an infection of lung tissue or alveolar bacteria. In rare cases,  the reason is viruses, fungi or parasites. Harmful substances or some allergies can also cause pneumonia. The disease should not be underestimated because there are not rare cases when it ends with death.

Pneumonia Prevention and symptoms

At risk are people with weak immune systems – elderly, people, with chronic diseases. For small children, the best prevention is the vaccine against pneumonia. Sports activities are also a good way to protect children and adults.

Typical symptoms of pneumonia are fever, wheezing and breathing difficulties. Sometimes, however, they are not as strong. The medicines are important, especially when the reason is bacteria fungi or viruses. In other forms of pneumonia, the treatment should relieve symptoms and prevent bacterial infection.

Inflammation of the lungs

Infections are easily spread, especially in places where there are lots of people. The transmission of the infection usually gets airborne spread. Causes of pneumonia are usually bacteria, mainly pneumococcus. Influenza and other viruses, however, can also provoke inflammation. At risk are patients in intensive care units, especially those who are on artificial respiration.

Inflammation of the lungs is damaging its cells and the surrounding tissue between them. The necessary for the exchange of gasses in the body cavities are full with mucus and water deposits.This makes the oxygen supply of the body very difficult.

A typical bacterial pneumonia starts with a sharp rise in the temperature. The temperature can reach 40 degrees. Breathing speeds up, the pulse is also fast, because of lack of oxygen. If the body does not obtain oxygen, lips and nails turned blue. This condition is called cyanosis.

If the cause is a virus, the disease may be atypical – a cough is dry, the temperature is high.

Possible complications

Complications occur when the treatment does not start on time, if they are wrong antibiotics or they do not work, or if there are other diseases. There is complications that affect the liver – lung abscess, for example. Sometimes the cause of the infection can spread throughout the body, causing sepsis, inflammation of the brain or affect the heart.

Giving the diagnosis starts by examination of the chest. Next step is to do an x-ray. The X-ray will give information for the changes in the lung due to the bacterial infection. Blood tests can also confirm that there is a serious inflammation.

In certain cases, it is worth making and microbiological blood analysis for precise detection of the infectious agent.

Treatment of pneumonia

Antibiotics are a mandatory part of treatment for bacterial lung inflammation. Initially, the doctor gives medication without knowing exactly what is the cause. Individual characteristics, chronic diseases, pregnancy or lactation are important conditions, which must be taken into account.

At viral pneumonia are given antibiotics only if there is an additional bacterial infection. On the other hand, patients should take the medicines as per the doctor’s advice, even meantime to feel better. Unless a positive change within 2-3 days, you should tell your doctor. He will change the therapy.

Pneumonia during pregnancy

Pulmonary inflammation creates a dangerous situation particularly if the patient is a pregnant woman. Factors such as high temperature,poor breathing with oxygen deficits could endanger the life and development of the baby.

Moreover, some of the microorganisms responsible for specific pneumonia can pass the barrier of the placenta and directly impact an unborn baby. Therefore pneumonia during pregnancy requires treatment in hospital and monitoring of both mother and child.

The treatment includes antibiotics.

Pneumonia and children

Pneumonia is a disease affecting children and unfortunately ranks leading position among the reasons leading to high infant mortality rate.

By young children, pneumonia is carried out with common bacterial reactions leading to disorders in blood circulation. The child refuses to eat, coughs and fever rise – these are symptoms where it is mandatory to seek a doctor. Complication due to unsuitable treatment can develop sepsis which can lead to death.


As the treatment for pneumonia usually lasts longer and is done with antibiotics, the best way to remove their bad influence is to take probiotics. To antibiotic therapy, doctors recommend intake of B vitamins and probiotics that aim to restore the intestinal flora.

Probiotics help gut health, which is essential for the health of the whole organism. For the same reason, you can drink probiotics after being sick.

There should be three hours pause between taking the probiotics and the antibiotics.

Inhalations and other measures

Additional measures aim to relieve complaints and prevent complications. The patient should rest until full recovery. Inhalations assist breathing. It is important to take enough fluids, especially when there is a high temperature.

It is better to make vaccinations for children and the elderly, people with chronic heart or lung disease, or in patients with poor immune systems. Immunizations against influenza do not protect against respiratory tract infections. But have in mind that can significantly reduce the risk of inflammation of the lungs.

Pneumonia and natural treatment

Herbs and other natural medicines may be part of the treatment of pneumonia, of course, if your doctor approves it.

Classics in the natural treatment of pneumonia is honey!

A good therapy is a mixture of honey and olive oil in equal parts: take one tablespoon three times a day before meals. This will relieve breathing and calms a cough.

Fresh juices from carrots and spinach can relieve the recovery of lung tissue. Other useful natural products are sesame, ginger (with honey) and cinnamon. Experts in this field use herbal treatment of pneumonia only as an accompanying treatment.


About Jane Peterson

Jane Peterson is a supportive nutrition and fitness coach and registered dietitian nutritionist known for her health advices and innovative ideas to inspire and motivate people to reach their goals. She has a passion for personal training and enjoys motivating people, using specific exercise programs and track their progression for success. As a parent herself, Jane Peterson knows what it means to have to work hard to keep a good shape during pregnancy and after having a baby. She is interested about improving the way children eat, pediatric nutrition and family meal planning. Jane has several years of personal and professional experience and is practicing as a freelance food and health writer. She works personally with a small number of hand picked clients, transforming their health and their physiques using her four key elements of wellness: lifestyle, exercise, nutrition and supplementation.