Good Healthcare Requires Treatment of Your Mind, Body, and Soul

Good Healthcare Requires Treatment of Your Mind, Body, and Soul

Acute Bronchitis Or Pneumonia? 2 Questions To Ask About Your Symptoms To Determine The Difference

by Hugh Larson

If you have a persistent cough, you may wonder whether your symptom is caused by bronchitis or pneumonia. If so, ask yourself the following questions to find out which variation of the symptoms you have, to determine whether you may have bronchitis or pneumonia.

Are You Coughing up Any Discharge?

The first question you should ask yourself when trying to differentiate between bronchitis and pneumonia is about your cough. The two conditions vary greatly when it comes to the amount and color of your discharge.

With acute bronchitis, you will most likely have a dry cough, especially in the first few days. Because the condition is an inflammation of the bronchiole tubes in your lungs, there may not be any mucus buildup.

After a few days, you may see some clear to yellowing mucus. This mucus forms when your body tries to soothe and protect your lung tissue from the inflammation. 

When you have pneumonia, however, you will start coughing up mucus almost immediately. The discharge may have a rusty or greenish color. It may also contain some blood, depending on the extent of the infection.

Since this condition is caused by either a viral or bacterial infection, the body will be working hard to fight off the infection. Your sputum may contain byproducts of the virus or bacteria causing the condition, as well as dead white blood cells sent to fight off the infection.

Are You Running a Fever or Experiencing Chills?

Another question to ask yourself when trying to tell the difference between bronchitis and pneumonia is whether or not you have a fever or are experiencing chills. The presence of a fever is often a tell-tale sign of pneumonia instead of bronchitis.

When you have bronchitis, you typically do not have a fever. Even if you do, it will be very mild. Because bronchitis is caused by inflammation brought on by irritated lungs, the condition does not trigger your body's system-wide immune response.

However, when you have pneumonia, the infection does trigger your immune system. As part of this system, the body raises its core temperature to try to burn up the invading virus or bacteria. You will often have a high fever, coupled with chills that make your body shake while it tries to warm up your body even further.

Whether you have acute bronchitis or pneumonia, you will need more treatment than you can get from over the counter medications and self-care. Contact a family doctor to make an appointment as soon as possible so they can determine which condition you have and prescribe the appropriate treatment.


About Me

Good Healthcare Requires Treatment of Your Mind, Body, and Soul

I have worked in a supportive role in the medical industry for over 20 years, and I have been amazed at the advances in medicine that have been made. While it is always great to hear about a new medication that helps cure a disease or a new surgical procedure that can help someone live a normal life again after an injury, I have been especially amazed at the research that has shown just how much our physical and mental health are connected. Since I keep on top of all of the amazing medical studies being performed and I know others are too busy to hunt them down themselves, I decided to start a blog to share my favorite health tips for keeping both your mind and body healthy.