Pneumonia patients are more likely to suffer from depression and cognitive impairment, according to research. The study uncovered that pneumonia patients are twice as likely to develop cognitive impairment, while hospitalized older patients are at a higher risk for other health complications like a heart attack and stroke.
Senior author Dr. Theodore J. Iwashyna said, “Pneumonia is clearly not only an acute life-threatening event, but also a profoundly life-altering event. The potentially substantial chronic care needs and diminished quality of life for survivors are comparable to the effects of heart disease, yet we invest far fewer resources to pneumonia prevention.”
The researchers found that study subjects who were hospitalized for pneumonia were more likely to develop cognitive impairment – and the impact was so severe that it led to disability and nursing home admissions.
Lead author Dr. Dimitry S. Davydow added, “Even non-critical pneumonia hospitalization can lead to long-term adverse outcomes at a magnitude much greater than we previously thought. Pneumonia prevention and interventions are crucial, given the costly and detrimental consequences for patients.”
In the U.S., there are roughly 390,000 hospitalizations due to pneumonia every year, costing an estimated $7.3 billion. Nearly half of pneumonia survivors die within a year.
When it comes to treating pneumonia, following the directions to the exact specifications is important. People tend to want to stop taking any prescriptions or lighten their dose as they begin to feel better. But this is not advisable. Take your medication for as long as your doctor has instructed.
Here are some natural options for treating pneumonia at home:
Preventing pneumonia can be done effectively through diet. Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables is a great start. Getting lots of rest is also beneficial and helps keep your immune system strong. Vaccination is also a great idea and something everyone should do, particularly around cold and flu season. We’ve already mentioned the importance of handwashing, which prevents the bacteria from spreading, but if you notice that you have a cough or are feeling off for more than three or four days, then go see a doctor.