How Long For Lungs To Heal After Pneumonia

About pneumonia 

Pneumonia defines as an acute infection of the lung. The lung is made of small sac alveoli. In a healthy person when breaths the alveoli are full of air. When a person has pneumonia the alveoli are filled with fluid and pus resulting in limiting breathing, and oxygen intake and making breathing painful. Pneumonia is a major infection that caused death in children.1


Pneumonia is caused by bacteria or viruses or fungi. 

Bacteria: streptococcal pneumonia ( pneumococcal pneumonia) caused 90% of all pneumonia.2 Bacterial pneumonia causes lobular pneumonia means affect one part or  life off the lung. The major risk of bacterial pneumonia include people with viral infection or with respiratory disease or weakened immune systems. Pneumonia that has a different appearance on an x-ray, or different symptoms, or response to different antibiotics is called atypical pneumonia. Bacteria that cause atypical pneumonia include:3

  • Mycoplasma pneumonia: infects people younger than 40 years old. The patient presented with a mild cough. It is referred to as walking pneumonia
  • Chlamydophilia Pneumoniae: causes upper respiratory tract infections and cases of mild pneumonia 
  • Legionella pneumonia: causes legionnaire's disease, dangerous for pneumonia. Legionella doesn't transmit from person to person. It is associated with exposure to contaminated water from cooling towers and outdoor fountains

Virus: a virus that infects the upper respiratory tract and causes pneumonia. The most common cause of pneumonia in adults is SARS-COV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19 and influenza viruses. The most common cause of viral pneumonia in children is a respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Viral pneumonia caused by covid-19 effect two lungs and causes a low level of oxygen in the blood resulting in respiratory failure and causes acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Viral pneumonia caused by the influenza virus may be severe or fatal. The virus invades the lungs and multiplies. This type of pneumonia is most serious in people who have pre-existing heart or lung disease and pregnant women.3

Fungal pneumonia is effecting people with chronic health problems or weakened immune systems, and people who are exposed to large doses of fungi. Pneumocystis pneumonia is effecting people who have weak immune systems due to HIV/AIDS or immunosuppression, such as those used to treat cancer or manage organ transplants. It is a serious fungal infection caused by Pneumocystis jirovecii. Other fungi include:3

  • Cryptococcus 
  • Histoplasmosis
  • Coccidioidomycosis

Signs and symptoms 

Symptoms include: 

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Pleuritic chest pain
  • Chest pain
  • Cough
  • Sputum can be bloody or purulent 
  • Myalgias(muscular pain)
  • Dyspnea ( difficult respiration and shortness of breath)

Signs of pneumonia includes: 

  • Confusion
  • Decrease breath sound
  • Abnormal lung examination
  • Wheeze
  • Ill appearance
  • Pleural rub
  • Crackles
  • Egophony ( a bleating sound sometimes observed in the patient with lung disease)
  • Dullness to percussion 

How Long does it take for the lungs to heal after pneumonia

It may take time to cure from pneumonia? The time taken to recover different from person to person depending on general health, age and severity of the diseases. Some people feel better and returned to their normal life within week. Some others can take a month or more. Most of people continued to feel they are tired for a month.5

Generally, once you start taking antibiotics your symptoms being to improve. After one week of medication, the fever should be gone. You will feel the chest better and produce less mucus after four weeks. In six weeks you will laugh less and find it easier to breathe. In three months, most of the symptoms should be gone and you may feel tired. In six months you should be back to normal[An adequatete testing is very important to ensure maintaining progress toward full recovery and avoiding retrogression. Important to talk with your doctor about the time you can go back to your normal routine. It may take many weeks for your x-ray to clear up. While you are recovering ensure that.6

  • Limit your contact with your family and friends
  • When you cough cover your nose and mouth

How to treat your lungs after pneumonia

At home management 

You can manage the treatment in the home by:5

  • Drink adequate fluids to help loosen secretion and bring up phlegm 
  • Drink warm beverages
  • Take a steamy bath to help open the airway and ease of breath
  • Get rest. It's very important not to exaggerate the daylily activity unit you are in full recovery


Treatment of pneumonidependsnd on the type of pneumonia. The goal of treatments to cure the infection and prevencomplicationson. Take every medication that your doctor prescribesbe. If the cause of pneumonia is bacteria, you will be given antibiotics. Even if you start to feet better after a double of days it's very important to use all antibiotics until is gone. If you stop the antibiotic you may have risk for infection to come back and you increase the chance of germ resistancest the treatment in future.

Pneumonia that causes by viruses doesn't respond to a typical antibiotic it is treated with antiviral medication. 

In severe cases you may give intravenous fluid and antibiotics or oxygen therapy.5


  • Stop smoking
  • Exercising your lung. You exercise by taking slow deep breaths or blowing through a straw into a glass of water. Deep breathing is important for cleaning the mucus from the lungs. Before you start exercising ask your doctor if the breathing exercise help you.6
  • Minimize exposure to outdoor air pollution
  • Good oral hygiene. Brush your death at least twice a day to protect yourself from the germs in your mouth leading to infection.5

What should you do if you feel that your lungs are not recovering after pneumonia

Treatment failure (TF) is defined as a clinical condition with inadequate response to antimicrobial therapy. Clinical response should be evaluated within the first 72 h of treatment, whereas infiltrate images may take up to 6 weeks to resolve. If the lung doses not treat after pneumonia then your doctor obtains microbiological samples, an empirical change in antibiotic therapy is required to cover a wider microbial spectrum.7


Pneumonia is an acute infection of the lung. Pneumonia is caused by bacteria or viruses or fungi. The main symptom include Fever, Chills, Pleuritic chest pain, Chest pain, Cough and Sputum can be bloody or purulent. Treatment of pneumonidependsnd on the type of pneumonia.pneumonia can btreatednt by medication or bmanagingge your life style. If you feel that your lung are no recovering after pneumonia,your doctor may change the antibiotic that you are usingse.


  1. Pneumonia.
  3. What Causes Pneumonia? 
  4. Ebell, Mark H., et al. ‘Accuracy of Signs and Symptoms for the Diagnosis of Community‐acquired Pneumonia: A Meta‐analysis’. Academic Emergency Medicine, edited by Shahriar Zehtabchi, vol. 27, no. 7, July 2020, pp. 541–53. (Crossref),
  5. Pneumonia Treatment and Recovery.
  6. Recovering from Pneumonia - British Lung Foundation’. Asthma + Lung UK, 8 Oct. 2015,
  7. Menendez, Rosario, and Antoni Torres. ‘Treatment Failure in Community-Acquired Pneumonia’. Chest, vol. 132, no. 4, Oct. 2007, pp. 1348–55. PubMed,
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Malaz Ameer Ata Almanan

Medical Student - University of Bahri, Khartoum, Sudan

Malaz Ameer Ata Almanan Mohammed. 4th year medical student. Researcher enthusiast. Passionate about ophthalmic surgery. I would like to be ophthalmologist.

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