Can Pneumonia Go Away On Its Own?

Medically Reviewed on 9/4/2020
Mild pneumonia may be healed by body's defense system.
Mild pneumonia may be healed by the body’s defense system.

Mild pneumonia may be healed by the body’s defense system. However severe cases of pneumonia require medical attention especially viral pneumonia

  • Pneumonia may be usually treated at home by drinking sufficient fluids and having sufficient rest. 
  • Doctors may prescribe antibiotics or antiviral drugs for the treatment. Painkillers, such as paracetamol may be prescribed to relieve pain and reduce fever.

Usually, the symptoms disappear as per the below trend if proper care is taken:

  • Within one week patients may recover from high temperatures. 
  • Within four weeks patients may recover from body pains including chest pain. Mucus production may be substantially reduced
  • Within six weeks patient may recover from cough and may be able to breathe better
  • Within three months most of the symptoms may be resolved however in a few patients tiredness would continue due to age or pre-existing diseases such as diabetes
  • Within six months most people recover and are able to continue with their daily work. 

In severe cases, the patient may require hospital admission and treatment

  • Patients may be given fluids, antibiotics, antiviral drugs intravenously. Antibiotics may not be given for COVID as antibiotics may not work on viruses, such as coronavirus. Antibiotics do not work for viral infections.
  • The patient’s oxygen saturation may be maintained via an oxygen mask.
  • In very rare and serious cases of pneumonia, breathing assistance is given through a ventilator in an intensive care unit (ICU).
  • In case of aspiration pneumonia object that's causing pneumonia, may need to be removed by an instrument called a bronchoscope

What is pneumonia?

Pneumonia is a chest infection which makes an individual hard to breathe. The disease usually affects the tiny air sacs in the lungs, called alveoli. An individual may have symptoms that are similar to having flu or a chest infection. Symptoms may develop gradually over a few days but may progress much faster. Below are a few common symptoms of pneumonia:

  • Coughing with or without mucus
  • Felling of generally unwell, weakness, and tiredness
  • High temperature (might also sweat and shiver)
  • Difficulty breathing or getting out of breath quicker than normal
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Loss of appetite

What are the different types of pneumonia?

The different types of pneumonia include:

  • Community-acquired pneumonia: This is the most common type of pneumonia. It is a condition in which an individual gets infection through someone already infected in his family of community. Community-acquired pneumonia is much less contagious than flu or a cold because most people’s immune systems can kill the bacterium before it causes severe infection. Most people with community-acquired pneumonia are unlikely to give the disease to another person.  
  • Hospital-acquired pneumonia: This is when pneumonia develops while an individual is in hospital being treated for another condition or having an operation. 
  • Viral pneumonia: Viral pneumonia is often contagious and can spread to others. Common causes include the flu in adults and respiratory syncytial virus, particularly in children. Individuals with viral pneumonia are at risk of developing bacterial pneumonia.
  • Fungal pneumonia: This is when pneumonia is caused by fungi. It’s is more likely to affect people with a weakened immune system
  • Aspiration pneumonia: This is a condition when pneumonia is caused by food going down the wrong way, or inhaling vomit, a foreign object, or harmful substance. It’s fairly common in the elderly, or people who have conditions that cause swallowing difficulties or reduced level of consciousness


What is pneumonia? See Answer

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Medically Reviewed on 9/4/2020
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