Prevention is the best treatment for pneumonia. To protect your body from developing pneumonia, get plenty of rest, eat a balanced diet, and practice good hygiene. It is also important to exercise. According to Cheryl Stouffer, pneumonia care specialist at Washington County Hospital, regular exercise increases resistance to respiratory infections.
Vaccines also are available to protect against influenzal and pneumococcal pneumonia. Because pneumonia is a common complication of influenza, or the flu, getting a flu shot every fall helps to prevent pneumonia.
"Believe it or not, frequent hand washing is also pneumonia prevention," Stouffer says. "Fingers are the most incriminated source of transmission."
Germs most commonly enter the body through mucous membranes in the eye and nose.
Flu vaccines are recommended for adults and children with chronic cardiovascular or pulmonary system disorders. Otherwise healthy individuals who are older than 65 are urged to get the shot. Adults and children with chronic metabolic diseases, such as diabetes, kidney dysfunction, anemia or asthma, are advised to receive the vaccine.