Do I Have Bronchitis or Pneumonia?

So you woke up with a fever, you’re coughing and your chest feels full of mucus. Now what? Chances are you are suffering from some type of lung infection!

Bronchitis and pneumonia are two common lung infections, and both infections can produce similar symptoms. Read on as our AFC Urgent Care Fountain City team explains the differences between these two illnesses below.

What’s the Difference Between Bronchitis and Pneumonia?

A bronchitis infection affects the bronchial tubes that carry air to your lungs. When the infection sets in there, it causes irritation along the lining of your bronchial tubes, which leads to the development of a severe cough. In cases of pneumonia, your alveoli are affected. Alveoli are the little air sacs that help oxygen pass into your blood. Pneumonia causes fluid to build up in your alveoli and can cause trouble breathing.

Since bronchitis is typically contained to your bronchial tubes, symptoms tend to be more localized in your chest area. It is crucial that you take care of yourself if you have bronchitis, since if your infection doesn’t resolve, it could turn into pneumonia and cause you even more troublesome symptoms.

Symptoms of Bronchitis

  • Tightness in chest
  • Severe coughing with clear or green mucus
  • Wheezing
  • Fever

Which Lung Infection Is Worse?

In most cases, having pneumonia makes you feel worse than a case of bronchitis. Pneumonia symptoms tend to be more widespread throughout your body, and you can experience a fever and chills along with a severe cough. If your case of pneumonia was caused by bacteria, there is also a risk of that bacteria getting into your bloodstream and causing a serious situation called bacteremia.

Pneumonia can also be caused by a wider range of things. Viruses, bacteria, funguses and even inhaling something you shouldn’t have (like food) into your lungs can all cause pneumonia. Since the presence of fluid in your lungs can make it hard to breathe properly, pneumonia is especially dangerous to vulnerable populations, like older adults or people with compromised immune systems.

Symptoms of Pneumonia

  • High fever that lasts for days
  • Chest pain
  • Blood in your mucus
  • Fatigue and confusion

Do you have a new cough? Stop by AFC Urgent Care Fountain City today.