Bronchitis or Pneumonia: What Condition Is Currently Affecting You?

Bronchitis or Pneumonia: What Condition Is Currently Affecting You?

Aug 01, 2020

When the cold or flu season begins, we all swing into action, trying the best we can to avoid getting infected and weighed down by the illness going around.

You diligently try to avoid your infected colleagues and schoolmates, in hopes that you will not join the masses of people flocking an emergency room near you, looking for flu or cold remedies.

There are seasons that you will get lucky enough to avoid the infections or any trip to the ER near you. However, sometimes you will experience severe flu or cold infection that will put you under for a few days.

Recovering from a cold or flu infection can happen in a matter of days. It may not require any medical intervention, as long the symptoms are mild and not accompanied by any complications.

Bronchitis and pneumonia are both complications that can accompany a cold or flu. Both of these conditions infect the air passages and cause coughs, congestion and discomfort.

It is difficult to tell apart these two respiratory conditions. However, they do differ in several ways and being able to tell what you are suffering from will guarantee that you are getting the right course of treatment.

Bronchitis VS Pneumonia

These two respiratory conditions do exhibit some similar symptoms; however, they affect different areas of the respiratory system. Pneumonia, for instance, targets the air sacs within the lungs, while Bronchitis causes the infection and inflammation of the bronchial tubes.

Let’s get a more detailed look into both conditions and their notable differences.


Bronchitis is a respiratory condition that affects the bronchial tubes causing them to get infected and inflamed. There are two types of bronchitis conditions;

    • Acute Bronchitis

This form of Bronchitis ideally clears out in a few days or weeks. Most patients who visit our emergency room near you suffer from this type of Bronchitis.

    • Chronic Bronchitis

This form of Bronchitis is more persistent and severe, causing more destructive lasting impacts on your lungs. Chronic Bronchitis occurs when individuals have repeated exposure to pollutants and irritants that cause a persisting inflammation of the lungs.

Symptoms and Causes of Bronchitis

Here are some of the significant bronchitis symptoms:

  • Wheezing
  • Difficulties breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Chest congestion
  • A reproductive cough that produces a clear, white, yellow or green mucus
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat
  • Body aches
  • Running nose
  • Exhaustion

With acute Bronchitis, these symptoms do clear out within a few days or weeks, but with Chronic Bronchitis, the cough can persist for over three months or more keep on recurring.

Causes of Bronchitis

Bronchitis is caused by the flu and cold viruses, bacteria or exposure to pollutants and irritants such as smoke, dust or vapors.

When to Call Our Doctor?

You should contact our ER near you if you experience the following symptoms while suffering from a bronchitis infection:

  • If your cough persists for over three weeks
  • If your fever is above 100.4 F
  • I if you are having difficulties breathing
  • If the cough produces mucus that is dark in color or blood-stained
  • If you taste a foul fluid in your mouth when you cough


Pneumonia affects one or both of your lungs at a given time, targeting the alveoli within your lungs. This respiratory condition can be life-threatening or mild, depending on the severity of the infection.

It is particularly detrimental in young adults, children, aged individuals and people with a compromised immune system.

Symptoms and Causes of Pneumonia

Here are some of the pneumonia symptoms:

  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • A productive cough
  • Headache
  • Chest pains
  • Confusion in aged individuals
  • Sweating profusely
  • Occasionally vomiting
  • Muscle aches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Rapid and shallow breaths

Causes of Pneumonia

It can be caused by either fungi, viruses, mycoplasmas or bacteria and at times exposure to chemicals or irritants. Pneumonia can also develop after a bronchitis infection.

When to Call Our Doctor?

You should contact our emergency room near you if you experience the following while having a pneumonia infection:

  • If you begin coughing up pus
  • If your fever won’t go down
  • Difficulties breathing
  • Chest pain
  • If you notice any blood-stained mucus
  • If you experience any extreme weakness or fatigue

Bronchitis and pneumonia are both respiratory conditions that can be treated within our facility. Both of these conditions share symptoms; however, a proper diagnosis can help rule out which condition is affecting you.

Contact us at Express ER (Waco), for prompt treatment of both pneumonia and bronchitis infections.

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