The Differences Between Pneumonia And Bronchitis

 In this age of industrialization, respiratory infections are very common. These infections might be caused due to pollution, viruses or bacteria and sometimes it may spread from person to person. Bronchitis and Pneumonia are two such respiratory infections that affect your respiratory system and affect your respiration.

Bronchitis and Pneumonia, affect different parts of the respiratory system. People, due to their similar symptoms tend to confuse Bronchitis with Pneumonia and vice versa. It is recommended to visit urgent care to find out which condition you are facing.

It is very important to timely identify if the infection is Bronchitis or Pneumonia, in order to effectively treat the condition. In order to differentiate between these two infections, it is necessary to have a basic understanding of them.


Bronchitis is a condition which causes inflammation or swelling of the inner lining of bronchial tubes. The condition reduces the affected person’s ability to properly inhale air. There are two types of Bronchitis i.e. acute (short term) and chronic (long terms).


Some of the causes of Bronchitis include:

  • Virus
  • Bacteria
  • Environmental factors
  • Pollution
  • Smoking
  • Prolonged exposure to anything that can damage airway tissues.


The symptoms of acute and chronic Bronchitis may differ but the symptoms of Bronchitis in general are:

  • Breathlessness
  • Persistent Cough (may produce mucus)
  • Full body pain
  • Sore Throat
  • Chills
  • Chest discomfort
  • Nasal blockage
  • Sore throat



Pneumonia is an infection that affects the lungs and causes inflammation of air sacs in the lungs. In this condition, pus and fluid get filled up in air sacs and makes extremely difficult for the victim to breathe properly. The severity of Pneumonia ranges from mild to life-threatening.

Pneumonia is divided into different types depending upon the reason that cause the infection. The three major types are Community-acquired Pneumonia, hospital-acquired Pneumonia, and Aspiration Pneumonia.


The air we breathe is filled with germs, bacteria, and viruses. The infection can be transmitted by other humans as well. Some major causes of Pneumonia are:

  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Fungi
  • Pollution
  • Smoking
  • Cold


Infants usually don’t show most of the symptoms of Pneumonia except coughing, vomiting and showing signs of low energy levels. The general symptoms of Pneumonia include but are not limited to:

  • Painful breathing
  • Painful productive Coughing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Lower body temperature
  • Breathlessness
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Low energy levels
  • Difficulty in eating


The biggest difference between these conditions is that while Bronchitis affects the bronchial tube, Pneumonia affects the lungs. Although both the conditions show some similar symptoms like chest pain, breathlessness, and chills, they can be differentiated on the basis of some other symptoms such as:

  • Bronchitis causes persistent coughing while Pneumonia results in productive coughing.
  • While Pneumonia causes fever, Bronchitis causes sore throat.
  • Pneumonia causes sore fatigue whereas Bronchitis results in body aches.


Whenever you see any of the symptoms mentioned above, visit urgent care for a professional medical consultation.