How to Prevent Pneumonia

Three Parts:Taking Care of Your General HealthConsulting a Medical ProfessionalTreating Pneumonia

Pneumonia is a respiratory condition which is caused by an infection in the lungs.[1] Common symptoms include fever, coughing, trouble breathing, and chest pain. On average, pneumonia can be treated at home and usually clears up within 3 weeks with antibiotics. However, there are several measures you can take to prevent getting pneumonia.

Part 1
Taking Care of Your General Health

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    Keep your immune system up. Keeping a strong immune system is important for not only preventing pneumonia, but also plenty of common illnesses and fatigue. People with weak immune systems, children younger than two years old, adults sixty-five years or older, and people with chronic health conditions are at a higher than normal risk of contracting Pneumonia. So make sure to take extra measures to maintain a healthy immune system if you are at a higher risk.
    • Eating too much sugar, not maintaining a healthy weight, stress, and lack of sleep can affect your immune system hampering its ability to fight off infection.[2]
    • Eat healthy foods with plenty of proteins and vitamins like fruits and vegetables.
    • If you know that you lack certain vitamins, like vitamin D, which we largely get from exposure to UV light, take the right supplements to balance what your body doesn’t produce enough of on its own.
    • A bad immune system can be a result of lack of exercise and being overweight. If you are overweight your immune system may not be working at full capacity.
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    Stay away from other sick people.
    • Because Pneumonia can be contracted easily if you are already experiencing other illnesses, even the common cold, avoiding people and places where you might encounter more germs will help you to prevent getting Pneumonia.
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    Wash your hands frequently.[3]Because your hands interact with so many objects and people each day, keeping them clean is a great way to prevent Pneumonia.
    • Think about all the things you touch on a daily basis, and what parts of your own body your hands are coming into contact with, from your eyes to your mouth. Keep them clean to keep yourself healthy.
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    Stop Smoking. One of the easiest, and also possibly hardest ways to boost your immune system and prevent Pneumonia is to quit smoking.
    • Because Pneumonia is a lung infection, smoking, which makes your lungs more susceptible to infections, will make it harder for you to prevent or even battle the ailment.
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    Live a healthy lifestyle. Many doctors recommend this since it can protect you from many types of infections.
    • A healthy lifestyle has just as much to do with what you do as what you abstain from doing. This means avoiding the wrong kinds of fats in food, too much alcohol, or avoiding stressful situations.
    • Fats that are found in plant-based foods and oils like Omega-3 fatty acids are better for you than saturated fats often found in red meat and dairy products like butter.[4]
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    Get enough sleep.[5]The average adult needs between 7 - 8 hours of sleep a night. Take measures to ensure you’re getting enough sleep.
    • Sleep in the right position. You’ll get the best rest when you sleep in a position that keeps your neck and head straight. Also avoid sleeping on your stomach because it causes your head to lie at an awkward angle.
    • Reduce light and sound an hour before going to bed. Give your body time to wind down by not using any electronics. If you feel restless, try reading in bed.
    • Not getting enough sleep can also make it harder to fight off infections.
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    Know the symptoms of pneumonia. Once you know your enemy, you take measures to prevent them from attacking you. By knowing what to look out for, you can further prevent getting Pneumonia.
    • A cough containing strange mucus such as containing the colors green or blood like
    • A Fever, which may be mild or high.
    • Shaking chills.
    • Shortness of breath when climbing stairs.
    • Confusion.
    • Sweating and clammy skin.
    • A Headache.
    • Loss of appetite, low energy, and fatigue.
    • Sharp chest pain.

Part 2
Consulting a Medical Professional

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    Know if you have any major illnesses. Talk to your doctor if you have a serious illness, especially cancer or HIV AIDS as there is a higher risk of contracting Pneumonia due to an already weakened immune system.[6]
    • Other factors like taking certain health medications, or a previous stroke can make Pneumonia easier to contract.
    • To prevent Pneumonia, ensure that you are eating healthy foods and getting as much exercise as possible.
    • Ask your doctor what you can be doing to prevent infection as they can make recommendations that are specifically tailored to you.
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    Consult a doctor if any of the symptoms of Pneumonia appear. However, you may want to make sure that you don’t just have a common cold before making a trip to the doctor and spending the money.
    • If you feel that you may be showing symptoms, consulting your doctor as soon as possible can help you prevent the illness from worsening.
    • While you shouldn’t wait too long to go to the doctor if you do have Pneumonia, one of the ways to prevent getting Pneumonia is to stay away from areas where sick people are, like a hospital or doctor’s office. So it’s best to check to see if your symptoms resemble Pneumonia or just a common cold.
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    Get vaccinated.[7][8]Children will typically get the pneumococcal vaccination which will help your white blood cells learn what the infection is and how to battle it.
    • While this isn’t a cure-all or the ultimate prevention, a vaccination will help your body to learn what to look out for.
    • In addition, getting other vaccinations for illnesses like the measles or the flu can help prevent these illnesses from escalating to Pneumonia.
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    Schedule routine checkups.[9]Getting regular checkups is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle and prevent all types of illnesses and diseases, including Pneumonia; as it’s always easier to prevent something from starting than stopping it once it has.
    • While a regular checkup may not find or prevent Pneumonia exactly, getting checked for myriad illnesses or conditions like immunodeficiency, blood pressure, asthma, etc., will help you prevent any other ailments that could lead to Pneumonia from getting worse.

Part 3
Treating Pneumonia

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    Drink plenty of fluids.[10]Staying well hydrated is very important if you are sick.
    • Avoid drinks with sugar in them.
    • Water that is either warm or room temperature will be most effective for keeping you hydrated, and you can add a lemon for a bit of flavor.
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    Take acetaminophen.[11] Something like Tylenol or Aspirin will reduce pain and a fever, making you more comfortable.
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    Get plenty of rest. Sleeping a lot will help your body recover faster as not exerting yourself will let your body focus on fighting the infection.
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    Get a prescription from your doctor. If you have Pneumonia your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic that will help you to fight the infection within 2 - 3 days.
    • Your doctor will find which antibiotic is right for you based on your age, other health conditions, and medical history.


  • The infection can occur in one or both lungs.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Maintain a healthy diet with exercise.
  • Ensure that your getting all of the necessary vitamins.
  • Avoid places where there is increased risk of getting sick, especially if you are experiencing any symptoms.

Article Info

Categories: Allergies and Immunization