FindaTopDoc Investigates Chest Infections: Bronchitis vs. Pneumonia

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Learn more about chest infections like bronchitis and pneumonia.

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FindaTopDoc enables readers to live a happier and healthier life. For more information about FindaTopDoc, visit

When people are sick and feel pain in their chest, have difficulty breathing and are frequently coughing, they don't always know what exactly is wrong with them. In fact, many chest infections have very similar symptoms. People want to know if they have bronchitis, pneumonia, or maybe something else. It is important to find out what the cause of the sickness is, because different illnesses need different types of treatment, and some illnesses are contagious.

Symptoms of chest infections

As mentioned, many chest infections have similar symptoms which include difficulty breathing, frequent coughing, pain and tightness in the chest, fever, wheezing, headache, fatigue, pain in the joints and muscles, confusion, loss of appetite and more.

Often, the chest becomes infected after a person or baby has experienced the common cold or the flu. Sometimes, a chest infection can even be caused by asthma or allergies. People who suffer from diseases like COPD, diabetes, HIV and cystic fibrosis are more susceptible to chest infections as well. Generally, people with heart-related diseases or immune disorders are more likely to get sick. So, it is especially important for these people to be cautious of their health.

Types of chest infections

There are various organs and body parts within the chest that can become infected, and knowing the origin of the infection can tell which infection is actually present. For example, pneumonia is an infection of the lungs. On the other hand, bronchitis is an infection of the bronchial tubes, which are the passages that bring air to the lungs.

During pneumonia, bacteria or a virus causes inflammation in the lungs and the air sacs fill with fluids. People experience the symptoms of general chest infection plus a high fever, chills, fast heart beat and faster breaths. If pneumonia is severe, a person can even become hospitalized. It can be diagnosed by looking at an x-ray of the lungs.

During bronchitis, people will likely experience the general symptoms of a chest infection. Bronchitis is typically not as severe as pneumonia.

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Anthony Casimano
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