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Your cough wont go away, and you feel miserable. Do you have bronchitis? Is it pneumonia? How can you tell?
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tree, which is a tree-looking series of tubes that carry air into your lungs. These tubes swell and fill with mucus when they are infected, which makes it hard to breathe.
Bronchitis is usually caused by a virus, but it can also be caused by bacteria.
If you have bronchitis, your symptoms could include a cough that brings up mucus, wheezing, chest pain, shortness of breath, and a low fever.
Pneumonia is an infection that can settle in one or both of your lungs. Though pneumonia can be caused by bacteria, viruses, and fungi, bacteria is the most common cause.
Pneumonia causes the air sacs in your lungs to fill with fluid. Symptoms that go along with the sickness include cough, fever, chills and trouble breathing.
Bacterial pneumonia can make you very sick very fast, so its important to get medical help quickly and be treated with antibiotics. However, about one-third of the cases of pneumonia in the U.S. each year are caused by viruses, says the American Lung Association. Viral pneumonia cannot be treated with antibiotics.
Theres typically not distinct symptoms that can tell pneumonia and bronchitis apart, because they typically overlap with cough, fever, sometimes difficulty breathing, as well, says physician assistant Breanna Veal, PA-C.
Can You Catch Pneumonia More Than Once
Yes. Pneumonia is caused by many different microbes, and so getting it once does not protect you from getting it again. If you get pneumonia more than once you may need to have more investigations to understand why this has happened. It could be due to a problem in your chest or your immune system, and you may be referred to a specialist.
Symptoms Of Acute Bronchitis
You may have various problems with breathing, such as:
- Chest congestion, where your chest feels full or clogged
- Coughing — you may cough up a lot of mucus thatâs clear, white, yellow, or green
- Shortness of breath
- Wheezing or a whistling sound when you breathe
You may also have some of the typical cold or flu symptoms, such as:
- Body aches
Even after the other symptoms are gone, the cough can last for a few weeks as your bronchial tubes heal and the swelling goes down.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Bacterial Versus Viral Pneumonia In Adults
Symptoms of pneumonia can range from mild sometimes called walking pneumonia to severe. How serious your case of pneumonia depends on the particular germ causing pneumonia, your overall health, and your age.
Bacterial pneumonia: Symptoms of bacterial pneumonia can develop gradually or suddenly. Symptoms include:
- High fever
Additional symptoms appearing about a day later include:
- Higher fever
- Shortness of breath
Chronic Bronchitis Vs Copd
A chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation is another issue entirely when compared to chronic bronchitis. A COPD exacerbation is simply an acute worsening of the symptoms of COPD, such as wheezing, shortness of breath, mucus production, or coughing.
Depending on the kind of COPD a person has , these symptoms may be slightly different.
Patients with chronic bronchitis generally have more mucus production and cough, whereas people with emphysema have more shortness of breath, although either type of COPD can cause any number of these symptoms.
A COPD exacerbation may be caused by an infection , but it may also be caused by non-infectious causes such as fumes, irritants, or smoke.
The treatment for an acute COPD exacerbation is often steroids, inhalers, and antibiotics .
If you have chronic bronchitis or COPD and experience worsening of your symptoms, contact your healthcare provider. They will be able to determine the correct treatment for you.
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Who Is Most At Risk For Getting Pneumonia
People who have an increased risk of pneumonia include:
- People over the age of 65 and infants under age 2. The weakening immune system of older people makes them less able to fight off illnesses. Similarly, the immune system of infants is still developing and not at full-strength, making them more susceptible to infection.
- People with a health-caused weakened immune system. Examples include:
- People who are receiving chemotherapy
- Transplanted organ recipients
- People who have HIV/AIDS
- People with autoimmune disease and who are taking medications that suppress the immune system.
How Common Is Pneumonia
Approximately 1 million adults in the United States are hospitalized each year for pneumonia and 50,000 die from the disease. It is the second most common reason for being admitted to the hospital — childbirth is number one. Pneumonia is the most common reason children are admitted to the hospital in the United States. Seniors who are hospitalized for pneumonia face a higher risk of death compared to any of the top 10 other reasons for hospitalization.
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Is My Bronchitis Viral Or Bacterial
If your symptoms and sufferings wane within 2-3 weeks then you can safely identify it as a vital bronchitis. You may not need any medications since no antibiotic would apply to this.
When your bronchial condition last for more than 3 months and your doctor prescribes you the antibiotics, you are inflicted with bacterial bronchitis.
How Is Pneumonia Treated
How pneumonia is treated depends on the germs that cause it.
- Bacterial pneumonia: Bacterial pneumonia is usually treated with antibiotics. The specific antibiotic choice depends on such factors as your general health, other health conditions you may have, the type of medications you are currently taking , your recent use of antibiotics, any evidence of antibiotic resistance in the local community and your age. Medicines to relieve pain and lower fever may also be helpful. Ask your doctor if you should take a cough suppressant. Its important to be able to cough to clear your lungs.
- Viral pneumonia: Antibiotics are not used to fight viruses. There are no treatments for most viral causes of pneumonia. However, if the flu virus is thought to be the cause, antiviral drugs might be prescribed, such as oseltamivir , zanamivir , or peramivir , to decrease the length and severity of the illness. Over-the-counter medicines to relieve pain and lower fever are usually recommended. Other medicines and therapies such as breathing treatments and exercises to loosen mucus may be prescribed by your doctor.
- Fungal pneumonia: Antifungal medication is prescribed if a fungus is the cause of your pneumonia.
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What Causes Chest Infections
A chest infection is an infection of the lungs or airways. The main types of chest infection are bronchitis and pneumonia.
Most bronchitis cases are caused by viruses, whereas most pneumonia cases are due to bacteria.
These infections are usually spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. This launches tiny droplets of fluid containing the virus or bacteria into the air, where they can be breathed in by others.
The infections can also be spread to others if you cough or sneeze onto your hand, an object or a surface, and someone else shakes your hand or touches those surfaces before touching their mouth or nose.
Certain groups of people have a higher risk of developing serious chest infections, such as:
- babies and very young children
- children with developmental problems
Read more about the causes of bronchitis and the causes of pneumonia
When To Contact A Doctor
It is important to contact a doctor if a person believes that they or a member of their family is experiencing symptoms of pneumonia. While some people may be able to recover at home without medical assistance, others may need medication or hospitalization.
People should seek immediate medical attention if they experience any of the following symptoms:
- breathing difficulties
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Bacterial Vs Viral Pneumonia Symptoms
Bacteria and viruses are the most common causes of pneumonia. Fungi and parasites can sometimes cause it.
When the cause is bacteria, the illness can come on either slowly or quickly. It tends to be more serious than other types.
When a virus causes your pneumonia, youâre more likely to notice symptoms over several days. Early signs will look like the flu — such as fever, dry cough, headache, and weakness — but get worse in a day or two.
What Happens To Your Body When You Have Pneumonia
Even with treatment, some people with pneumonia, especially those in high-risk groups, may experience complications, including: Bacteria in the bloodstream . Bacteria that enter the bloodstream from your lungs can spread the infection to other organs, potentially causing organ failure. Difficulty breathing.
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How Do You Get Pneumonia
Pneumonia can be contracted tons of different ways, from inhalation of fumes to living in a moldy building. Overall, its divided into two different categories: community-acquired pneumonia and hospital acquired pneumonia, says Norman Edelman, M.D., senior scientific advisor to the American Lung Association.
Community-acquired pneumonia can be acquired anywhere, anytime. Bacterial and viral pneumonia are contagious, so you can pick it up from someones stray cough or sneeze, by sharing cups, or not washing your hands as often as you should.
Then there is hospital-acquired pneumonia, which is the kind you pick up while staying in the hospital or at a chronic care facility, like a nursing home or rehab center. We make that distinction because the bugs that cause these two types of pneumonia tend to be different and treated differently, says Dr. Edelman.
What Causes Maternal Pneumonia
Pregnant women may catch pneumonia due to weak immune system. Besides their lung capacity may reduce because of the expansion of their uterus.
Following are some common causes of pneumonia during pregnancy:
1. Bacterial Pneumonia
Pregnant women may develop bacterial pneumonia in one of their lungs or a part of their lung. Common bacteria that cause the pregnant womans lung having pneumonia are haemophilus influenza, streptococcus pneumonia, and mycoplasma pneumonia.
2. Viral Pneumonia
It is common to get your lung infected by viral pneumonia during pregnancy. Viruses that cause pneumonia are Influenza virus, acute respiratory syndrome, and varicella.
3. Fungal Pneumonia
Most rarely, in the third trimester, women may catch fungal pneumonia caused by fungus Coccidioidomycosis.
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Add Spice In Your Foods
If you want your nasal congestion melt and help air inhalation, add some aesthetic spices in your foods. Adding ginger, garlic, black-pepper, cumin, cinnamon, etc. would give you a warm taste and bring your lost appetite.
Fiery dishes with pepper and other spicy ingredients would make your nose run and clear mucus in your lungs.
What Can I Do To Feel Better If I Have Pneumonia
- Finish all medications and therapies prescribed by your doctor. Do not stop taking antibiotics when you start feeling better. Continue taking them until no pills remain. If you dont take all your antibiotics, your pneumonia may come back.
- If over-the-counter medicines to reduce fever have been recommended , take as directed on the label. Never give aspirin to children.
- Drink plenty of fluids to help loosen phlegm.
- Quit smoking if you smoke. Dont be around others who smoke or vape. Surround yourself with as much clean, chemical-free air as possible.
- Use a humidifier, take a steamy shower or bath to make it easier for you to breathe.
- Get lots of rest. Dont rush your recovery. It can take weeks to get your full strength back.
If at any time you start to feel worse, call your doctor right away.
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How Can I Help Myself Feel Better
If your doctor has prescribed medicine, follow the directions carefully.
You may feel better in a room with a humidifier, which increases the moisture in the air and soothes irritated lungs. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids, especially if you have a fever. If you have a fever and feel uncomfortable, ask the doctor whether you can take over-the-counter medicine such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to bring it down. But don’t take any medicine without checking first with your doctor a cough suppressant, for example, may not allow your lungs to clear themselves of mucus.
And finally, be sure to rest. This is a good time to sleep, watch TV, read, and lay low. If you treat your body right, it will repair itself and you’ll be back to normal in no time.
How Long Is A Person With Bronchitis Contagious
For a contagiousness its hard to say because whats actually contributing to the problem could be the viruses, a simple cold versus the flu itself so it could be from one week to even three weeks at a time.
Our smokers are those with other longer pulmonary issues more susceptible to bronchitis most.
Definitely the reason for that is because smokers with the inhalations of the irritants from the cigarettes that is a persistent exposure of irritants to the bronchioles which is the air passageway so that would definitely give rise to increased likelihood of developing bronchitis.
The rock singer Tom Petty famous was suffering from bronchitis when he died of a heart attack.
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How Soon After Treatment For Pneumonia Will I Begin To Feel Better
How soon you will feel better depends on several factors, including:
- Your age
- The cause of your pneumonia
- The severity of your pneumonia
- If you have other at-risk conditions
If you are generally healthy, most symptoms of bacterial pneumonia usually begin to improve within 24 to 48 hours after starting treatment. Symptoms of viral pneumonia usually begin to improve within a few days after starting treatment. A cough can last for several weeks. Most people report being tired for about a month after contracting pneumonia.
Signs Of Pneumonia In Small Children And Older Adults
If you see signs and symptoms of pneumonia in your small child, it is important to see your doctor right away. Pneumonia is the number one most common reason for children in the United States to be hospitalized, and is the worlds leading cause of death for children under 5 years old. If you have any doubts about whether your young child may have pneumonia, seek medical attention just in case.
Older people are at a higher risk of developing and dying from pneumonia. Symptoms of pneumonia in older adults may be different than those in their younger counterparts. They may be fewer or less severe,may not include a fever and a cough may not produce mucus. One of the primary symptoms of pneumonia in older folks is confusion or delirium. You may also see a bluish tinge to the lips and fingertips. Those with pre-existing lung conditions may become sicker faster than those with healthier lungs.
If you recognize any of the pneumonia warning signs mentioned above, contact your doctor as soon as possible for a thorough physical examination and diagnostic testing.
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Symptoms That Differentiate Pneumonia From The Common Cold2
When you are looking at the signs and symptoms of pneumonia versus a cold, it is helpful to look at duration, severity and types of symptoms. Unlike pneumonia, cold symptoms often do not require that you stay home sick, and generally, the symptoms of a cold are not severe enough to warrant a call to your doctor. If your symptoms last longer than 10 days, come on suddenly and/or grow increasingly severe, you should contact your physician as soon as possible as you may have pneumonia. After reviewing the following 12 signs and symptoms of pneumonia, it should be easier for you to differentiate it from the symptoms of a common cold.So what does pneumonia feel like?
- Fever, often high
- Shivering that may be accompanied by teeth-chattering chills
- Cough that is likely to be worse than the mild cough you may experience with a cold
- Mucus that may be rusty, green or blood-tinged
- Shortness of breath
- Vomiting, especially in small children
- Confusion, particularly in older people
- Sharp pain in the chest that worsens when you take a deep breath or cough
Causes And Risk Factors Of Pneumonia
How do you get pneumonia? The majority of the germs that cause infection are spread from person to person through droplets, from coughing or sneezing.
- A weakened immune system due to human immunodeficiency virus or cancer
People who smoke are at higher risk for pneumonia, as are people on immunosuppressive medications, and people who are frequently in close, crowded spaces with others, such as college students and military personnel.
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Differences Between Bronchitis And Pneumonia
The common symptoms of these two diseases cough, fever, fatigue and an aching chest are very similar. Bronchitis can even progress to pneumonia in some cases.
But these are two very different diseases affecting different parts of the lungs, says Dr. Tolle. Pneumonia symptoms also are usually much more serious and, in some cases, potentially life-threatening.
The bottom line? If you have symptoms that match either bronchitis and pneumonia and they dont improve within a week, or if the symptoms keep worsening, contact your healthcare provider.