It is sometimes difficult to tell if you have bronchitis or pneumonia because the same infectious organisms cause both. How severe the illness becomes often relates to your general health, according to the Med To Go website. Bronchitis is an inflammation of the tubes that carry air to your lungs. Pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. When you have pneumonia, bacteria and germs can reach the lungs, making breathing difficult. Pneumonia can become life threatening.
With bronchitis, you have a wet or dry cough. A wet cough brings up phlegm, which is clear, yellow or green mucus. A dry cough does not bring up phlegm but can become a hacking cough and can start hurting your chest, abdomen or ribs.
With bronchitis, you may wheeze when you breathe. You may also become short of breath when you move around.
With chronic bronchitis, you have a cough that lasts for weeks or months. The cough produces a lot of phlegm, and it is usually worse in the morning, especially if you are a smoker.
With bacterial pneumonia, severe cases bring on chills, chattering teeth and a high fever.
With bacterial pneumonia, you have moderate to severe chest pain when you cough or take a deep breath.
With bacterial pneumonia, your cough produces sputum, thickened mucus from your lungs. Sputum is yellow, green or rust-colored.
With viral pneumonia, you first have a fever, dry cough, headache, weakness and muscle pain. This progresses to shortness of breath after 12 to 36 hours. Your cough worsens and your fever rises. In severe cases, it becomes hard for you to breathe, and your lips may turn blue.
Mild Flu Symptoms
With walking pneumonia, you have mild flu symptoms that last two or three weeks. You may have fever, headache, body aches and a cough.
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