Is It Pneumonia or Bronchitis?
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Is It Pneumonia or Bronchitis?

The next few months are those months when many people get sick. A lot of the time we know we don't feel good but we may not know what it is that we have. There is the flu of course and then there is bronchitis and pneumonia and most people really don't know which one it is that they have since both of them will give you a terrible cough. Many people also don't really know that there are three different types of pneunmonia. I will try as best I can to help you understand the differences of those pneumonias and Bronchitis.

The next few months are those months when many people get sick.  A lot of the time we know we don't feel good but we may not know what it is that we have.  There is the flu of course and then there is bronchitis and pneumonia and most people really don't know which one it is that they have since both of them will give you a terrible cough.  Many people also don't really know that there are three different types of pneunmonia.  I will try as best I can to help you understand the differences of those pneumonias and Bronchitis.  

Viral Pneumonia

The easiest way to describe a viral illness is that it is something you catch from someone else.  Viral pneumonia is an infection of the lower airways.  You will likely get it ifyou are in contact with someone else who has it.  The symptoms of viral pneumonia are:  A low grade fever, an annoying persistent cough, a runny nose, and possibly a headache. A viral pneumonia can take up to a few weeks to get rid of and if you are lucky enough to catch it in the very beginning then an anti viral taken within the first 48 hours can help you get better a lot faster.  After that the best treatment is rest.  So if you know someone who has pneumonia and you start to notice any or all of the symptoms above you should get to the doctor right away for treatment. With Viral Pneumonia you will have an annoying cough but you will not feel completely awful. 

Bacterial Pneumonia

Bacterial Pneumonia will make you feel a lot worse than viral pneumonia.  Bacterial pneumonia happens when some sort of bacteria gets in to your body and infects your lungs causing them to become inflammed and therefore making it hard for your lungs to work properly and can seriously effect your breathing.  it can be very dangerous.  You can get the bacteria in your body a lot of different ways, you can get it virally, but you can also get it by inhaling bacteria, or fungus, and certain chemicals can cause it.  The bacterial strains in one person to another can be quite different.  The symptoms of bacterial pneumonia are:  High fever, a lot of coughing that is full of phlem (thick mucasy white stuff), difficulty breathing, the chills, and chest pain.  You will have a lot of trouble breathing and may even ahve abdominal pain.  There are antibiotics to help treat it but you will need to be tested to find out what strain of bacteria you have.  If you have any combination of the symptoms above you should see a doctor right away.  The longer you wait to get treatment the more damage you can do to your body.  This won't go away with just rest. 

There are vaccinations for both viral and pneumonia, if you are over 60 years of age or have any type of chronic condition then you should probably get vaccinated.  

Walking Pneumonia

Walking pneumonia is a little less serious but if you don't rest and take care of your self it can get worse.  Like bacterial pneumonia it is also a bacterial infection of the lower airways.  That is why it has the potential to get worse.  Where bacterial infections are usually caused by any number of different bacterias walking pneumonia is usuallmore specific and comes from the mycoplasma pneumonia bacteria.  Symptoms are:  Cough, sore throat, fatigue, low grade fever, and chills.  Walking pneumonia can last for several days or several weeks.  Most people can handle their daily routines when they have walking pneumonia but peopel should be aware that they do need to rest up more than usual.  If you don't rest and get antibiotics it could turn in to a more serious problem.  When I was in college I had walking pneumonia, but I continued to work three jobs, and go to school, and I ended up very seriously ill and almost died, So when I say get some rest, I mean it. 

Bronchitis

The main different between pneumonia and bronchitis is that pneumonia is an invection of the ower airways while bronchitis is an inflammation of the upper airways.  Bronchitis can be caused by a virus, bacteria, or an allergic reaction.  The symptoms of bronchitis are lot of coughing producing phlem, wheezing, and sometimes a low grade fever.  Bronchitis usually lasts a few weeks.  Usually with bronchitis aside from the cough you don't feel that awful.  That is one way to tell the different between bronchitis and bacterial pneumonia.  Bronchitis usually is best treated by getting lots of rest. 

Things Are More Serious with Any of the Above If....

Wth any type of pneumonia or bronchitis things can take a turn for the worse, they don't often to but they can.  If you begin to experience any of these symptoms go back and see your doctor right away.  If you are still coughing after two weeks, if your fever gets worse or chills are not present when they were not before or if your chills have gotten worse, if you are having difficulty breathing, your breathing has become very fast, your heart rate is very fast, you are having persistent wheezing, or chest pain. 

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Comments (1)

Because you've had pneumonia, it doesn't make you an expert between the two. Nor should you be giving advise if you are NOT an expert. Bronchitis is very serious and can be viral or bacterial... If it is bacterial, you will need antibiotics and a possibility of different types of therapies. You do feel "awful" (an understatment) and could easily lead to COPD! You may want to google "Bronchitis" and get educated. I've had both and they are both serious, and make you feel very ill. I would NOT recommend Rae Morvay to friends and associates as an expert in Respiratory Health  

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