Some people may need to be hospitalized. Treatment depends on the severity of the pneumonia. You may receive antibiotics, which treat bacteria. Some people may get special antibiotics to treat bacteria that live in the mouth.
The type of bacteria that caused the pneumonia depends on:
Where you live (at home or in a long-term nursing facility, for example)
Whether you've recently been hospitalized
Recent antibiotic use
You may need to have your swallowing function tested. Patients who have trouble swallowing may need to use other feeding methods to reduce the risk of aspiration.
The outcome depends on:
The severity of the pneumonia
The type of bacteria causing the pneumonia
How much of the lungs are involved
If acute respiratory failure develops, the patient may have a long-term illness or die.
Many people who have aspiration pneumonia have other serious health problems, which may affect the outlook for recovery.
Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; and Denis Hadjiliadis, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.