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Signs of Pneumonia and How to Protect Yourself

By Genevieve Cunningham

With the fall and winter seasons approaching and the fuss about a presidential candidate’s health in the media, you’ve probably heard all you could ever want to know about pneumonia. This is a serious disease with serious consequences. While we usually equate it to a problem most seen in the elderly or small children, anyone can catch the illness, and complications can arise quickly. To protect yourself and stay as healthy as possible this upcoming season, take a look at these signs and symptoms of a problem, as well as some tips for staying well.

Warning Signs

A cold is minor, the flu can be a big deal, but pneumonia is definitely serious and doctor worthy. But how do you know which is which? Though there are many symptoms of pneumonia, and each person may experience a different variety, here are some of the most common warning signs that might signify that it’s time to get some help.

  • Fever and Chills - Though this can accompany all sorts of illnesses, it often comes with pneumonia patients. If you're overly chilled (or especially shivering) with fever, get to the doctor.

  • Sharp Pain in the Chest - If your chest hurts upon breathing, especially if that pain is sharp or consistent, you might need care now.

  • Cough - A cough with pneumonia might also be accompanied by strong colored mucus, or even blood streaked.

Prevention Techniques

The prevention techniques for pneumonia are similar to other illnesses. They are all about keeping your body as healthy as possible while doing your best to avoid excessive germ exposure. Some of the most common include:

  • Wash Your Hands and Cover Your Mouth - Make sure to wash your hands often and cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough.

  • Boost Your Immune System - Use Vitamin C or other immune boosting vitamins during the cold and flu season, but it only works before you get ill.

  • Get to the Doctor - If you suspect any sort of respiratory or lung infection, get to the doctor for advice and treatment before it becomes serious. Those considered at high risk may also be able to get a pneumonia shot for more protection.

While pneumonia isn’t the worst disease in the world, it can definitely cause enough problems to keep you down and out. Protect yourself from this potentially dangerous illness by using these prevention tips and watching out for these common symptoms. And of course, always get to your medical professional if you have any doubts or concerns.

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