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Preventing Lung Infections

When you have lung problems, you’re more likely to develop a lung infection if you get a cold or the flu. To stay healthier, avoid contact with germs and get prompt treatment at the first sign of illness.

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Take Precautions

Taking the following precautions can help you avoid illness:

  • Wash your hands often, and keep them away from your face. Most germs are spread through hand-to-mouth contact.

  • Get a flu shot every year. And ask your healthcare provider about a pneumonia vaccination.

  • Stay out of crowds, especially in the winter when more people have colds and flu.

  • Exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet, and get enough sleep.

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When to Get Treatment

If you get sick, the sooner you seek treatment, the more likely you are to prevent worsening of the damage to your lungs. Call your healthcare provider at the first signs of any of the following:

  • Increased shortness of breath, or wheezing

  • A fever or chills

  • Severe coughing with discolored mucus

  • Increased fatigue

  • Chest tightness that does not go away with your normal medications

  • Ankle swelling or rapid weight gain

Talk with your healthcare provider about what you should do if you’re ill, and keep a list of your medications with you in case you get sick away from home.

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 5/15/2011
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
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