Bronchitis and pneumonia has some of the same symptoms so therefore, many people believe that treating bronchitis and pneumonia will also share some of the same remedies. This theory is true up to a point, but you have to understand first the type of bronchitis and pneumonia that you might have. Those illnesses caused by a virus will be treated differently than those that are caused by some type of bacteria.
The basic difference between bronchitis and pneumonia is that bronchitis is primarily an inflammation of the air passageways called bronchi that lead from the trachea to the lungs. With pneumonia, there is an actual infection of the lungs with the alveoli (air sacs) filling up with fluid or pus, causing breathing problems.
Understanding the Differences in Bronchitis and Pneumonia
Both bronchitis and pneumonia can start out innocuous enough from a cold or even an allergy. With bronchitis, you may develop a dry cough in the beginning but within a day or two you could have a moister cough which may bring up clear, yellowish or green phlegm. With pneumonia, the cough comes up from the lungs and may be green or spotted with blood.
In terms of fever, you may get a mild one with bronchitis but pneumonia will usually cause you to have a higher fever of about 101?F or higher. In addition, the best way to determine pneumonia is to have a doctor x-ray your chest area. Bronchitis will present clear lungs while pneumonia will show signs of infection.
In treating bronchitis and pneumonia, it is also important to know whether they were caused by a virus or bacteria. Often , the doctor will test the mucus for signs of bacteria as well as conduct a blood test to verify things. When it comes to a bacterial infection, treating bronchitis and pneumonia will usually be through various forms of antibiotics. The blood and phlegm test will help doctors pinpoint what type of bacteria is present so that the proper antibiotic treatment can be chosen.
Treating Bronchitis and Pneumonia when Caused by a Virus
When a virus is the cause of these respiratory illnesses, there is no drug that can help so the infection has to run its course. With bronchitis, it may take a week or two to clear up the infection and start feeling more normal. However, with pneumonia, the time frame could be several months because lungs take longer to heal.
Treating bronchitis and pneumonia caused by viruses usually boils down to the symptoms. You can treat the symptoms and provide yourself some relief while the illness runs its course. Some remedies that can be used when treating bronchitis and pneumonia include breathing in steam several times a day either through a shower or vaporizer and drinking plenty of fluids like water, juice and soup which work to thin the mucus so that it can be expelled easier. Oxygen treatments may be necessary for viral pneumonia sufferers when breathing becomes labored or difficult.