Pneumonia and Ways to Prevent it
Pneumonia is a medical condition that affects a person’s lungs. More specifically, this inflammatory disease affects alveoli, which are microscopic air sacs in a person’s lungs. Instead of these alveoli having air, they will have fluid and pus resulting in low oxygen intake and painful breathing. Eventually, it leads to death if not managed properly.
Currently, pneumonia affects about 450 million people worldwide leading to 4 million deaths each year. It means that more people die from pneumonia each year than the total number of people currently living in Los Angeles, California. Many of them are children less than 5 years old who account for 15% of all those deaths. Therefore, prevention of this disease should be a top priority for any individual or health agency in the world.
Prevention of Pneumonia through Immunization
It important to note that various types of pneumonia exist with varying causes such as bacterial, viral, fungi, and parasitic infections. It is possible to prevent some cases of this disease, but not all of them. For example, the prevention of pneumococcal pneumonia in adults is possible through a vaccine to counter this specific case of pneumonia. One shot of it can offer an adult protection for up to 5 years.
It also works on children. The Hib vaccine is especially suitable for children helping to prevent the onset of pneumonia and meningitis in future. Most children receive it as infants as soon as they are 2 months old. Though these vaccines do not offer complete protection from the illness and its various strands, it reduces the complications that may arise if the vaccinated person develops pneumonia.
Prevention of Pneumonia through Lifestyle Changes
The most notable risk factor when it comes to pneumococcal pneumonia in healthy adults is smoking and therefore, ceasing to smoke reduces your chances of developing this type of pneumonia substantially.
You should also strengthen your immune system by improving your diet. Eat healthy so that your natural defenses against this disease improve. Proper nutrition is critical for children who are at high risk of developing this illness because their immune systems are still weak. Improving nutrition in infants is possible within the first six months of a baby’s life through exclusive breastfeeding.
Finally, you should wash your hands with soap and water regularly to kill or remove any bacteria, viruses, or fungi that may deposit themselves on your hands. Remember, some of these organisms can cause pneumonia.