Infections are common at this time of year because we spend much more time indoors with other people. While the flu and common cold are all around us, there is also the possibility of experiencing a chest infection like bronchitis and pneumonia.

Like most infections, the majority of cases of bronchitis and pneumonia can be treated at home with rest and simple remedies, but they can also become serious situations if the infections spread. Get the facts below from our AFC Urgent Care Sevierville team.

Are Bronchitis and Pneumonia Similar?

While both infections affect your chest and lung functions, they affect different areas of your body and can cause different symptoms. Bronchitis affects your bronchial tubes, which transport air in and out of your lungs. Because your airways are affected, a hacking cough is one classic symptom of bronchitis.

Pneumonia affects your alveoli, which are in charge of passing oxygen and carbon dioxide through your blood. When you have pneumonia, your alveoli fill up with fluid and can cause a wide variety of symptoms, like a deep cough with mucus, body aches and chills.

Common Symptoms of Both Infections

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

Do I Need to Treat Bronchitis and Pneumonia?

Many cases of bronchitis and pneumonia will eventually go away on their own with rest and symptom management strategies, though a lingering cough may stick around for weeks. However, since your lungs and airways are affected by these types of infections, it is important to be seen by a care provider if your symptoms don’t go away or get worse.

A worsening case of bronchitis can turn into pneumonia, which can be particularly dangerous if it starts to spread throughout the rest of your body. In addition to a more severe infection that can cause respiratory distress, a bacterial case of pneumonia can get into your bloodstream and even cause multi-organ failure.

Signs of a Severe Pneumonia Infection

  • High fever that lasts for days
  • Chest pain
  • Blood in your mucus
  • Fatigue and confusion

Do you have a concerning cough? Stop by AFC Urgent Care Sevierville today.