Pneumonia related coughs can be particularly excruciating. In the beginning it’s a non-productive cough as no sputum is produced. Usually, 7-10 days after the onset of symptoms, the cough becomes productive with a lot of sputum and is a sign of recovery. To speed up the drainage process, it is essential to take sufficient amounts of water, as this waters down the thick mucus in the lungs.
4. Shortness of breath
As pneumonia develops and the lungs get filled with mucus, ventilation becomes inefficient and the blood oxygenation level drops. This causes a shortness of breath which can be so severe that patients may feel they are going to suffocate. Patients usually describe the feeling as “trying to breathe through the straw.”
All pneumonia patients have shortness of breath to some extent, some during physical activity (walking), while others have it even at rest. Once the mucous start to drain out, breathing will resort to normal levels.