Aspiration Pneumonia Treatments
Treatment for aspiration pneumonia depends on the severity of the disease and its cause. Treatments may include:
- Medications: Antibiotics will fight the bacteria causing the infection. Steroids can help reduce the inflammation in the airways.
- Supplemental oxygen: You may need to be on oxygen if the oxygen level in your blood is too low.
- Surgery: If aspiration pneumonia is a result of achalasia or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), surgery may be recommended to correct the problem.
Preventing aspiration pneumonia
If you have a chronic swallowing disorder, your physician may direct you to take these steps to avoid future incidences of aspiration pneumonia:
- Speech pathology: Working with a speech pathologist may help you improve your swallowing technique and strengthen your lips and tongue.
- Dietary changes: Thicker liquids and smaller bites may help you avoid pulmonary aspiration.
- Better eating habits: Avoid eating when you are distracted, sleepy, on certain medications or using poor posture.