Bronchitis is an infection that affects the bronchial tubes. These tubes are air pathways that carry air to your lungs. Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. Although bronchitis and pneumonia both cause coughs and can develop after more common illnesses such as common cold or flu, they are significantly different. Only your doctor can diagnose your illness and determine which treatment is right for you. There are many symptoms of bronchitis or pneumonia. It causes a cough that often brings up saliva. It can also cause shortness of breath, low fever, wheezing, and pain as well as stiffness in the chest. There are two types of bronchitis or pneumonia: acute and chronic.
Pneumonia becomes severe when the infection spreads deeper into the lungs. This infection causes the air sacs within the lungs to fill with fluids. Pneumonia is more likely to develop in smokers, older adults, and people with diseases in other organs, and anyone with a weak immune system. This infection is mainly caused by bacterial infection and contact with substances that harm the lungs such as tobacco smoke, dust, hazes, vapors, and air pollution.
Acute bronchitis or pneumonia symptoms
It is a shorter illness that usually follows a cold or viral infection. This is the more common one. Acute bronchitis typically has a cough that lasts around three weeks, but it doesn’t usually cause any problems after that.
These infections may spread through the air when a person with this disease coughs or by direct contact. Risk factors include exposure to dust, tobacco smoke, and air pollution. Many cases of bronchitis or pneumonia occur due to high levels of air pollution or bacteria. The treatment of acute bronchitis typically involves rest, paracetamol(acetaminophen), and NSAIDs to help with the fever. These are easily available below $2 at any general and medicine stores.
Chronic bronchitis or pneumonia symptoms
It causes a constant cough and is a persistent condition that lasts for three months or more per year for at least two years. Most people with chronic bronchitis have a chronic frustrating respiratory disease. Tobacco smoking is the most common cause, with some other factors such as air pollution and genetics playing a lesser role. Its treatment includes quitting smoking, vaccinations, therapies, and often inhaled medications and steroids. Some people may benefit from long-term oxygen therapy or lung transplantation.
What are common bronchitis or pneumonia symptoms?
Mainly the infected person can have several problems with breathing, such as the following:
- Chest cramming, where your chest feels full or blocked.
- A cough that may perhaps carry up a lot of mucus that’s clear, white, yellow, or green.
- Shortness of breath as well as difficulty in breathing.
- A wheezing or a whistling sound when you breathe.
- Body pains and anxieties.
- You may feel “wiped out” which is a lot of fatigue.
- A low fever
- A blocked, stuffy nose
- A sore throat
- Chest tightening
- Exhaustion can also be one of acute bronchitis or pneumonia symptoms, although it may also indicate a lot of other things such as you might be dehydrated, undernourished.
Treatments for bronchitis or pneumonia symptoms
People suffering from bronchitis are usually instructed to rest, drink liquids, breath warm and moist air, and take cough syrups and pain relievers to manage symptoms and ease breathing. Suppressants are also taken as they block your cough reaction. Dextromethorphan is the most common element for this. Most of the times acute bronchitis is cured without any specific treatment, but there is no cure for chronic bronchitis. To keep bronchitis or pneumonia symptoms under control and alleviate the symptoms, doctors might prescribe the following:
- Cough medicine: It is recommended that coughing should not be completely blocked as this is a significant way to carry up mucus and remove irritants from the lungs.
Inhalers are used to open the bronchial tubes, and they are used to clear out mucus.
- Anti-inflammatory medicines and glucocorticoid steroids: These are for more insistent symptoms as they help in decreasing chronic inflammation that may cause damage to tissues.
- Oxygen therapy: Oxygen is a very important elements for human beings to survive; for people with short breath, this therapy helps in improving oxygen intake.
- Lung reintegration program: A respiratory therapist helps one to improve breathing especially for those that suffer from short breaths.
- Antibiotics: Bacterial infections can be overcome with such medications, but not for viral infections. They may also prevent secondary infections.
Additional behavioral remedies
- Eradicating the source of irritation to the lungs, for instance by stopping smoking.
- Exercise can also help overcome this infection. One of the most common exercises is to do pursed-lip breathing. Sit in a chair with your back straight. Inhale deeply and hold the breath for three-four seconds. Exhale with your lips partially closed; this is similar to the action of whistling. This helps increase the pressure in the airways and build strength in the lungs.
As mentioned above, bronchitis or pneumonia is quite a common infection and can be cured, and precautions are needed. Even after the other symptoms are gone, the cough can last for a few weeks while your bronchial tubes heal and the swelling goes down. If it goes on much longer than a few weeks, then it can be problematic. Then you need to consult your doctor.