What to Expect when Recovering from Pneumonia


Pneumonia is an acute respiratory infection caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi that affects one or both of the lungs. The infection causes inflammation in the alveoli (air sacs in the lungs) of the patient. Then, the air sacs become filled with pus or fluid, and that makes breathing difficult.

Pneumonia should not be taken with levity! Infants, young children, people older than 60, and people with weakened immune systems usually have more serious cases of pneumonia.

If you’ve been diagnosed with pneumonia, here are some crucial details to note about possible treatments and what to expect during your recovery period.


How is Pneumonia Treated?

Depending on the severity of the infection, type, and age of the patient, treatment ranges from the simple use of antibiotics to breathing treatments to hospitalization. Most cases of pneumonia are treated by the use of antibiotics, intake of fluids, and lots of rest, but the more severe cases involve hospitalization.

After diagnosis and treatment, what most people want to know is the recovery process. How long does it take for one to be completely recovered from pneumonia? Are there any complications? Is there a chance for recurrence? Are my lungs fine?

The first thing to note is that it takes a few weeks to a few months for complete recovery from pneumonia.


Recovery from pneumonia depends on factors like:

  • What type of pneumonia you are being treated for
  • Your age
  • Previous health conditions
  • How you take care of yourself during recovery


Recovery Timeline

  • 1st Week: Your fever and chills should be reduced or gone
  • 4th week: Reduction in production of mucus and decreased pain in the chest
  • 6th week: Ease in breathing and less coughing
  • 1 month: Most of the symptoms should be gone
  • 6th month: You should be able to return to your daily routine.
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Can Complications Occur During The Recovery Process?

People can recover totally from Pneumonia, but there’s a possibility of infections, a reduction in the capacity of the lungs, and a possibility of complications. Such complications are:

  • Pleural Effusion: Fluid accumulating around the lungs is known as Pleural Effusion. Pneumonia may cause fluid to build up in the thin spaces between layers of tissue that line the lungs and chest cavity (pleura). If the fluid becomes infected, you may need to have it drained through a chest tube or removed with surgery.
  • Difficulty in breathing: Respiratory difficulty is a common feature of pneumonia. The patient even after receiving treatment, could still have difficulties in breathing for a period. This might result in a need to be hospitalized or the use of a ventilator until the lungs heal properly.
  • Lung abscesses: This is the build-up of pus in the lungs. This complication is most common among older people, people with weakened immune systems, and people who misuse alcohol.

Developing complications while trying to get better is disheartening, which is why you should find a lung doctor around you if you think you’re not recovering as well as you should or experiencing complications.


Relapses: How To Avoid Them

The key to a complete recovery is taking things easy as you go. Here are a few tips to avoid a relapse or recurrence:

  • Rest adequately: Stay at home if you can, and try as much as possible to avoid stress. It is advisable to stay home until your fever and coughing disappear to speed up your recovery process.
  • Increase your fluid intake: Drink lots of fluids to help your system run better. Also, fruits rich in Vitamin C should be a constant part of your diet as Vitamin C reduces your risk of lung infections.
  • Eat vegetables: Green leafy veggies like kale, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, carrots, celery, cauliflower, and other organic vegetables should be on your diet.
  • Proper hygiene: Practice proper hygiene, as this reduces your risk of a relapse.
  • Take and complete your medications: Ensure you finish all the prescribed medications. Don’t stop taking them because you feel better. Use them until your doctor says otherwise.
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Most importantly, learn how to keep your lungs healthy.


Final words

Never hesitate to reach out to a pulmonologist if you feel any symptoms of pneumonia or notice irregularities in your recovery process. You can also contact us at ANY time to connect with an efficient lung doctor or make more inquiries about lung health.

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