Viral And Bacterial Pneumonia: Its Symptoms And Natural Remedies

Pneumonia is a lung disease caused by various infectious organisms. In pneumonia there is acute inflammation of lung tissue. Bacteria as well as viruses are the two microorganisms that are predominantly responsible for pneumonia. It is a leading cause of death and morbidity in developing as well as developed countries. It is also a commonest cause of hospitalization both in adults as well as children.

The disease can be community acquired pneumonia in young healthy individuals as in case of viral pneumonia. It can be hospital acquired pneumonia which occurs in people with weak immune system.

Cough, breathlessness, and fever are the triad of pneumonia. Often it is associated with bloody sputum. Pneumonia is easily treated at home with various medicines and home remedies; however children, elderly individuals and people with serious illness have to be treated in hospital.

Pneumonia due to viruses does not pose serious risk as compared to pneumonia caused as a result of bacterial infection.

What Are The Symptoms Of Pneumonia?

The commonest mode of spread of infection to the lungs is by inhaling infectious droplets. The symptoms of pneumonia may vary according to the infectious agents as well as the person’s immune status.

Community acquired pneumonia:

  • Pneumococcal pneumonia: Caused by pneumococcal germs, the patient presents with high fever and chill accompanied with dry cough and chest pain. After two to three days he may complain of rusty red sputum with shortness of breath.
  • H. influenzae pneumonia: It is caused due to H. Influenza virus. It occurs in patients usually suffering from pre-existing cold. The patient complains of fever, tiredness, cough with sputum (yellow or green), breathing difficulty, diarrhea and blue lips and nails.

Hospital acquired pneumonia:

  • Nosocomial pneumonia: This type of pneumonia often occurs in immune-compromised patients. Hospitalized patients are vulnerable to this infection. The onset is insidious and occurs within 2 to 3 days after hospitalization. It is common in ICU patients or patients on nebulization and critically ill patients. Cough with sputum and fever are the presenting symptoms.
  • Staphylococcal pneumonia: It generally develops in patients at their extreme of age. Elderly and infants both are affected. Fever, cough, chest pain, breathlessness, blood in sputum, fast heart rate, vomiting and nausea are important clinical symptoms.

Natural Home Remedies For Bacterial Pneumonia

Most of the pneumonia can be treated at home. Pneumonia caused due to bacteria may require hospitalization in some cases. Children, patients with compromised immunity and elderly individuals also require hospitalization.

Conventional treatment consists of antibiotics for bacterial pneumonia. Patient begins to feel better after 2 to 3 days of antibiotic course. He should continue it as recommended by his physician.  Besides conventional treatment, few home remedies can be complimentary in enhancing the healing process. Here they are:

  • Garlic: Garlic has an anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial action and works very well in early stages of the disease when consumed internally. A paste of garlic can also be applied externally on chest.
  • Fenugreek seeds: Tea made from fenugreek seeds will help body to produce perspiration and reduce the period of fever.
  • Fomenting chest with warm napkin or towel will reduce chest pain. Rubbing oil of turpentine is also an effective home remedy for alleviating chest pain due pneumonia.
  • Juice of vegetables like carrots, spinach, beet and cucumber is also beneficial in pneumonia.
  • Ginger is effective in many respiratory disorders. It is beneficial in pneumonia too. Mix one teaspoon of ginger juice with one teaspoon of honey. Take it two times in a day. It helps to reduce fever and liquefy the thick mucus from the lungs.
  • The patient should drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.

Prevention Of Community Acquired Pneumonia

  • Preventive measures in general include washing hands and use of gloves by the care taker of the patient. Wearing face mask is an effective way to prevent the disease.
  • Patient should discontinue smoking. Patient who is undergoing any type of operation should quit cigarette smoking immediately.
  • High risk patients such as elderly individuals and those having low immune level should take influenza and pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine.