CareNow® - November 19, 2014
by CareNow

It’s been a frigid week in North Texas. We hope you and your family have managed to stay warm! With the cold weather coming in for the holiday season, you’re bound to hear about today’s subject. Is it bronchitis or pneumonia?

These two conditions often get confused. We’ll be discussing each so you can know the difference when you or a family member starts to feel ill.

What is Bronchitis?

Acute bronchitis is a respiratory disease resulting from inflammation of the bronchi tubes (bronchi). These tiny, irritated airways in the lungs will begin to close as they swell. This results in the following symptoms:

  • Fits of coughing
  • Sputum Production
  • Sore throat
  • Chest discomfort and congestion
  • Chills
  • Body aches

When you cough, it’s common to feel a sharp pain in the chest. Symptoms should be closely monitored to make sure they don’t get worse.

Who Gets Bronchitis?

Both children and adults can get bronchitis. It usually occurs after someone has had a viral illness such as the common cold or the flu.

Treatment

In the majority of cases, acute bronchitis will heal on its own in about a week. Over the counter medication can help relieve symptoms. Increasing your fluids will help relieve the inflamed airways. The cause of most acute bronchitis is a virus, therefore antibiotics are not typically used. A patient may be prescribed antibiotics if they have an underlying medical condition.

If the symptoms become worse or don’t get better, another infection might have developed.

What is Pneumonia?

Pneumonia is an infection in the lungs. Pneumonia shares a lot of the same symptoms with bronchitis with a few more additions. Generally someone with pneumonia will feel much worse than someone with bronchitis.

Symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chest pain
  • Painful or consistent cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wet or moist cough
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Chills

Who Gets Pneumonia?

Anyone can suffer from pneumonia. However, it can be a more serious condition in patients at the extremes of age, such as the very young and the very old, or patients with other medical conditions.

Treatment

There are several types of pneumonia. Doctors use antibiotics to treat bacterial pneumonia. You should always consult a healthcare professional for a diagnosis and the best way to treat it.

Whatever the case is though, you’ll need lots of rest. Thousands of Americans die from pneumonia every year. It’s is a serious illness that requires time to recover from.

If you or a family member have bronchitis or pneumonia, don’t wait until the symptoms get worse. Check into your local CareNow online. Our medical experts are ready to help you feel better.