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.