Bronchitis or Pneumonia; Which Is It?

Bronchitis-pneumonia-symptoms-differenceWhen it comes to bronchitis and pneumonia, the symptoms of both can sometimes seem interchangeable, and can in turn become very confusing. When faced with a serious upper respiratory illness it is important to get medical attention as soon as possible, as often times if not treated bronchitis can lead to pneumonia. So when do the symptoms of the common cold hit the point of becoming a serious illness?  Bronchitis or pneumonia….which is it?

What are the symptoms of bronchitis?

Bronchitis in it’s most basic sense is an infection of your airways, leading to your lungs. This infection often times will develop from a common cold that has spread, and then concentrated in your chest.

Signs and symptoms to watch out for may include:

  1. Sore throat
  2. Chills and body aches
  3. Chest congestion
  4. Chest pain
  5. Shortness of, and uncomfortable breath
  6. Persistent coughing
  7. Wheezing

In the case of bronchitis, you may be experiencing a chronic, or acute version:

Chronic Bronchitis: With this type of bronchitis, your symptoms may last for weeks before experiencing relief.

Acute Bronchitis: In this case, your symptoms won’t last as long as chronic bronchitis, unfortunately the symptoms will be marginally more severe. Acute bronchitis is usually onset by a virus, and so when being treated, antibiotics will rarely help.

What are the symptoms of pneumonia?

Bronchitis-pneumonia-symptoms-differencePneumonia is a respiratory illness that arises in the lungs. There is a vast range in the acuteness that you can experience this illness, usually depending on whether it is born from a virus (which may only last for a few days), or from bacteria (which can last for weeks, include fever, and potentially be fatal).

Signs and symptoms of pneumonia include:

  1. Sweating and chills
  2. Fever
  3. Shortness of, and uncomfortable breath
  4. Chest pain
  5. Coughing (will usually produce phlegm)

Pneumonia is contagious, and is usually transmitted by the inhalation of airborne droplets (such as from a sneeze or cough). And so it is very important to keep away from those infected, and especially to keep young children and the elderly at a safe distance.

So… Bronchitis or Pneumonia: Which Is It?

As seen above, many of the signs and symptoms of both respiratory illnesses are very similar and even the same. So how can you tell the difference? Truly, bronchitis is an illness that develops in your airways, as opposed to pneumonia which develops in your lungs. People who experience pneumonia will feel the symptoms far more severely that when it comes to bronchitis. When it comes to the treatment of these two illness, bronchitis is again, usually viral and so in this case cannot be treated by use of antibiotics. However, in the case of pneumonia, the more severe types tend to be bacterial in nature, and so can be combated with antibiotics.

In both cases of bronchitis and pneumonia, if you believe that you are experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, come visit us at your local AFC Urgent Care Vernon. We are open 7 days a week, and accept walk-ins. Call us at 860.986.7600 .