Recovering from pneumonia: how long will it take?


Sometimes it seems that a person recovering from pneumonia will recover throughout their life. With a "normal" cough or cold, we usually feel better after a week or two. However, pneumonia is more serious, and symptoms may be noticeable up to three months after you first feel unwell.

Many factors affect how long you recover from pneumonia, including:

  • How old are you
  • What type of pneumonia are you struggling with?
  • How do you take care of yourself at this time?
  • Your general health before pneumonia

It's no secret that young and generally healthy people can recover from illness faster than older people or people with health problems.

While there is no exact time frame for recovery, you can expect to feel the effects of pneumonia from weeks to months.

Learn more about the road to recovery from pneumonia.

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Watch out

Pneumonia can be treated at home. It is best to complete and start taking your prescription medication right away.

Not all forms of pneumonia can be treated with antibiotics, but those who can treat themselves with antibiotics at home can expect to receive them for five to seven days. Some people may be prescribed a shorter or longer medication regimen; it all depends on what your healthcare provider deems appropriate for your particular case.

Continue the full course of antibiotic treatment.

Most people begin to feel better about two days after starting antibiotics, but it is important to continue taking the medication until a prescription is given, unless your healthcare provider tells you otherwise.

Recovery program

Although recovery from pneumonia is different for everyone, you will likely feel better within a few days of starting antibiotic treatment.

Here is an example of a pneumonia recovery timeline:

  • In seven days : your temperature will return to normal.
  • One month : You will make less mucus and your breasts will feel better.
  • Six weeks : breathing becomes easier, cough subsides.
  • Three Months – Although you may still feel tired, most of the other symptoms will go away at this point.
  • Six months : you should be back to normal.

What to expect based on age and health

Here's how age can affect your recovery from pneumonia:

  • Babies younger than 6 months are usually hospitalized for pneumonia for precautionary reasons.
  • Children older than 6 months are more likely to receive treatment at home if they are normally healthy.
  • Older adults can take longer to recover from pneumonia, as our immune systems naturally weaken as we age, especially if you already have a medical condition. In addition, the elderly and chronic patients are more likely to be hospitalized for pneumonia, as the incidence of complications and mortality increases in those over 65 years of age.

Why is the recovery taking so long?

Almost everyone with pneumonia will ask themselves or their doctor at least once, "Why does it take so long to recover from pneumonia?" After all, you will feel better within a few days of starting antibiotics or, in some cases, steroids. Like everything else in medicine, there are many reasons why it takes so long to recover.

When bacteria enter your body, your body goes into defense mode to kill them. At some point, you start taking antibiotics and after a few days you feel better. This improvement is due to the fact that the bacteria have been treated. However, your body is now in purge mode, removing all waste, such as mucus, from your lungs.

Your body starts working overtime to clean up any remaining "junk". Your body uses several mechanisms to remove mucus from your lungs. Due to this movement, you experience a productive cough.

Fatigue and pneumonia

You may also feel tired for several months after fighting pneumonia. This fatigue occurs when your body channels as much energy as possible into the immune system until it becomes clear that there is no reason to work overtime.

Returning to daily activities

Whether you can treat pneumonia at home or if you've been hospitalized for pneumonia, the best thing you can do is take care of yourself while you recover. Here are some tips for recovery:

  • Stay home : Make sure you stay home until the fever subsides and there is at least a minimal cough. Staying home and resting not only improves your recovery, but also protects everyone you come in contact with from illness.
  • Rest more : Sleep when you need to and don't relax while you recover.
  • Drink lots of fluids : This will help keep your body hydrated as it will help to get rid of the disease.
  • Full Prescription Medication – Be sure to complete the full course of any antibiotic, even if you feel better.
  • Take it easy : Immerse yourself in your daily life.

Pneumonia is a serious infection that can damage the lungs. While many people seem to make a full recovery from pneumonia, their lungs may not be able to return to the same level of activity as before.

This opportunity is just one reason why it's important to gradually increase your activity level as you recover and practice any breathing techniques that your healthcare provider may recommend.

Complications and relapses


If you encounter any of the following scenarios, contact your doctor immediately:

  • Fever and productive cough that does not go away or worsens.
  • New shortness of breath during normal daily activities
  • Chest pain when breathing.
  • Suddenly got worse like I had the flu again

Get the word of drug information

As you recover, your pneumonia may regain full force. A big part of achieving full recovery is slowly returning to your daily life.

Don't be afraid to ask for help when you recover. Recovering without help can be difficult, exhausting, and potentially take longer. Asking someone for help can make a big difference in your recovery, both mentally and physically.

As always, if you feel worse or think you are not improving, take the time to call your PCP to discuss your concerns. While treatment recommendations can sometimes seem very educational, there is no single treatment in medicine. Sometimes an adjustment is required.

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