As this news worthy winter rages on, we are still in the midst of cold and flu season. Unfortunately, these illnesses don’t always stop there. In some cases, they can develop into more serious illnesses such as bronchitis, and even pneumonia. Many people frequently confuse pneumonia with bronchitis, because the symptoms of these two illnesses can be deceivingly similar. So as you try to stay warm and healthy this winter, be sure to read up on the signs and symptoms of bronchitis, and pneumonia to better prevent the harmful progression of these two respiratory illnesses.
Types of pneumonia: There are a few
There are many different forms of pneumonia, but the common denominator of all types is that this respiratory illness flourishes in the lungs. Common variations of pneumonia comprise of:
- Viral Pneumonia- This type of pneumonia tends to be the most common, and the least devastating of all the different variations. As can be gathered from it’s name; viral pneumonia begins as a virus. Due to the nature of viruses, this type usually cannot be treated by an antibiotic, but it will usually last a substantially shorter time than bacterial pneumonia.
- Bacterial Pneumonia- Bacterial pneumonia is far more severe, and stems from a bacterial infection. The good news is, with bacterial infections, antibiotics will usually be prescribed as treatment. In addition to antibiotics, your doctor may suggest a few specific over the counter medications that will help ease the symptoms you are experiencing in the process.
- Fungal pneumonia- It is also possible to contact pneumonia from a fungus, or organisms that fungi lives and breeds in such as bird droppings or types of dirt. Usually, people who develop this particular type of pneumonia are already suffering from a weak immune system, or may possibly have an autoimmune disease.
- Mycoplasma pneumonia- Also known as Walking Pneumonia , mycoplasma pneumonia is actually a mixture of both viral and bacterial forms. This type tends to be less acute than the above types, and is most frequently seen in young children, and the elderly.
Symptoms of pneumonia
Symptoms of pneumonia will vary with the severity of the illness, but will usually include:
- Chest Pain
- Productive Coughing (producing phlegm)
- Shortness of Breath
Types of Bronchitis
Different from pneumonia, Bronchitis is a respiratory illness that grows in the airways that connect to your lungs. There are two types of bronchitis that you will need to watch out for:
- Chronic Bronchitis – The chronic form of this illness can potentially last for a very long period of time, and can even build up to the point of COPD. It is important to seek medical attention immediately so that your bronchitis cannot culminate into something more serious. Most forms of bronchitis are viral, and so are rarely treated with antibiotics.
- Acute Bronchitis – This form may only last for a week, but symptoms could stay put for weeks to come and can often times morph into pneumonia if not treated. In this case, your doctor may suggest over the counter medication to help relieve the symptoms until the actual illness resolves itself.
Symptoms of Bronchitis
Symptoms of bronchitis, like pneumonia, will vary depending on he intensity of the illness, and which form you may have. Most symptoms also tend to overlap with pneumonia, and can be quite confusing to the person experiencing them. It is then always advisable to seek professional medical attention when you start undergoing these symptoms:
- Body Aches and Chills
- Sore Throat
- Chest Congestion and/or Pain
- Wheezing or Shortness of Breath
If you recognize any of the above symptoms please visit us at any of our 3 Danbury walk in centers: 2 Main Street, 100 Mill Plain Road or our newest center, 76 Newtown Road, 7 days a week. We can help. Walk-ins welcome!