What Kind of Cough Indicates Bronchitis or Pneumonia?

Do you have a cough that just won’t quit? It could be the beginning of a lung infection! Infections are certainly common this time of year, so experiencing an illness like bronchitis or pneumonia is always a possibility.

Like the majority of infections, bronchitis and pneumonia can often be treated at home with rest and OTC medication, but serious or severe infections need to be addressed right away.

Get the facts about bronchitis and pneumonia from our AFC Urgent Care Athens, TN team below.

Are Bronchitis and Pneumonia the Same?

Both infections affect your lungs and breathing passages, but they are two different illnesses. Bronchitis affects your bronchial tubes, which help transport air through your lungs, while pneumonia affects your alveoli. With a pneumonia infection, your alveoli fill with fluid and it makes it harder for oxygen and carbon dioxide to pass through your blood.

Since they both affect your chest, a deep, often phlegmy, cough is a common symptom. While bronchitis mostly settles into your upper airway, symptoms of pneumonia tend to be more widespread. You can expect to experience body aches, chills and even nausea or vomiting.

Beginning Signs of a Lung Infection

  • Difficulty taking a full breath
  • Deep cough with clear or green mucus
  • Chest tightness
  • Fever

How are Bronchitis and Pneumonia Diagnosed?

One of the best ways for us to determine if you are suffering from bronchitis or pneumonia is to perform an X-ray of your chest. Our digital X-ray services allow us to get a clear image of where the infection is located in your lungs.

Once we know where the infection is, we can help support your diagnosis with some symptom management strategies and potentially antibiotics if your infection is bacterial. While you head for home to rest and recover, keep a close eye on your symptoms. A worsening cough or high fever could indicate that your infection has spread and could become dangerous if you do not treat it.

Red Flag Signs of Pneumonia

  • High fever that lasts for days
  • Respiratory distress
  • Blood in your mucus
  • Fatigue and confusion

Do you have a concerning cough? Stop by AFC Urgent Care Athens, TN today.