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Preventing Pneumonia

Pneumonia is an infection in the lungs. Those most at risk include the elderly, smokers, and people with chronic lung diseases (such as emphysema or asthma). The tips below can help you prevent pneumonia. Follow them and any guidelines from your healthcare provider.

Closeup of hands in sink with running water. Hands are covered with soap suds.

Avoid Infection

  • Wash your hands often to keep from picking up germs.

  • Avoid touching your face and mouth with your hands.

  • Use disposable tissues instead of a handkerchief. Throw used tissues away.

  • Avoid people who have a cold or the flu.

  • Try to avoid crowded places.

  • Ask your healthcare provider if you need a pneumonia vaccine. Also, everyone should get a yearly flu shot which lowers your risk of pneumonia. 

Do Suggested Breathing Exercises Man sitting at desk. Arrow from mouth shows him exhaling.

Deep breathing and coughing exercises can help clear your lungs. Your healthcare provider may suggest them. If so, you will be shown how to do them. Do them as often as your healthcare provider instructs.

Take Care of Your Body

  • Ask your healthcare provider whether you should increase your fluid intake. If so, drink at least  6–8 glasses of fluids a day.

  • Eat well-balanced, nutritious meals.

  • Avoid drinking alcohol.

  • Don’t smoke. Avoid places where people are smoking.

  • Ask your healthcare provider whether you need a pneumonia vaccine or a yearly flu shot.

Balance Activity and Rest

  • Moving around helps keep your lungs clear. Ask your healthcare provider what type of activity is best for you. Walking is often a good choice.

  • Get enough rest. Sleep at least 8 hours each night. Rest or nap during the day as needed.

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 2/1/2012
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
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