Pneumonia is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. People over the age of 65 are most at risk. Bacterial pneumonia is the most deadly type, even when antibiotics are administered.
HOW TO AVOID PNEUMONIA
A pneumococcal vaccine is a safe, effective way to avoid pneumonia. For most people, one shot lasts a lifetime. The shot is recommended for people between the ages of 50 and 65 and for anyone with a chronic disease or weak immune system. The vaccine protects against pneumonia caused by pneumococcal bacteria, one of the most common causes of bacterial pneumonia.
Treatment will depend on the type of pneumonia involved. General treatment includes:
- > getting plenty of bed rest.
- > drinking plenty of fluids.
- > taking acetaminophen for discomfort and fever.
- > prescription medications.
- > taking an appropriate cough medicine (a suppressant for a nonproductive cough, an expectorant for a mucus-producing cough).
- > oxygen therapy if you’re breathless or turning blue.
- > removing fluid from the lungs by suction or anti-inflammatory medicines.
IF YOU SUSPECT YOU HAVE PNEUMONIA, SEE YOUR DOCTOR
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
- chest pain that may worsen with inhaling
- fever and chills
- coughing with bloody, yellow or rust-colored sputum,
- or with little or no sputum at all
- difficult or rapid breathing
- general fatigue
- bluish lips and fingertips