Risk factors and prevention of pneumonia

Did you know that a simple cough and chest pain is a sign of pneumonia? 

Pneumonia is a chronic lung disease that can damage your lungs severely and even lead to death. According to statistics, pneumonia causes 14% of children to die under the age of 10.  

But the good news is, you can prevent this disease.  

Keep reading this article about the risk factors of pneumonia and how you can prevent them.  

Pneumonia is a respiratory disease that infects your lungs. It can be acute or chronic according to the degree and duration of infection. It is caused by bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It can infect one or both lungs.  

Our lungs have air sacs also known as alveoli, which are used to suck air from and nose and send oxygen into the blood. Pneumonia infects the air sacs and leads to the filling of pus or fluids in them. This creates difficulty in breathing and limits your oxygen intake. You can notice symptoms like breathing heavily, feeling tired, chest pain, shallow breaths, loss of appetite, fast breathing, irregular heartbeat, etc. Whenever you notice these symptoms, you should visit the doctor of infectious diseases 

Risk factors 

Several risk factors increase the chances of getting this infection, including: 

  • Age group: People with a weaker immune system are more prone to this infection, including: 
    • Children under the age of 2. 
    • Older people (65 and above). 
    •  Women who are pregnant. 
  • People who are suffering from any underlying autoimmune diseases.  
  • Some medications that weaken your immune system (such as steroids, or certain cancer drugs).  
  • Chronic diseases: If you have any underlying chronic condition, including asthma, kidney disease, liver disease, heart failure, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, etc. you have a high chance of developing this infection. 
  • Recently hospitalized: If you have been recently hospitalized due to any reason, chances are high of this infection especially if you were on a ventilator. 
  • Exposure to air pollution and toxins: People who work in farms or factories where they are exposed to air pollution and toxic chemicals are more likely to get this infection.  
  • Smoking: People who smoke have a tough time clearing the mucus from their bodies.  
  • Drugs and alcohol: People who use drugs or drink excessive alcohol have a weak immune system and have more chances of inhaling saliva or vomiting into the lungs due to sedation/overdose.  


In most cases, you can prevent pneumonia by taking these steps: 

  • Vaccination: Getting vaccines is the first line of defense you can take against pneumonia. There are certain vaccines provided by the government that can boost your immune system and protect you from certain types of pneumonia. These shots are particularly important for your children’s safety. So, make sure your children get all the vaccine shots that are required.  
  • Maintain good Hygiene: You must maintain good hygiene so that you can protect yourself from infections that lead to pneumonia, always wash your hands with soap or use an alcohol-based sanitizer.  
  • Don’t smoke: Smoking weakens the natural defense system of the lungs which can easily get infected.  
  • Make your immune system strong: Eat a balanced diet, do regular workouts, reduce your stress, and get plenty of rest to make your immune system stronger.  

Pneumonia is a respiratory disease that can be chronic or acute. While most people do not get chronic pneumonia but those who have weak immune systems always stay in danger. That’s why it is important to prevent pneumonia and you can do that by making your immune system stronger, by taking vaccinations, maintaining good hygiene, eating a balanced diet, working out daily, and getting plenty of rest.                                                                              

Want to know the tests that help diagnose pneumonia?

At Doral Health and Wellness, we have specialists for Infectious Diseases that can help you manage your condition. For more information, you can visit us at 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, 11212, or call us at 1-347-384-5690. You can also visit our website at https://doralhw.org or contact us at info@doralhw.org if you have any queries.