When you experience a cold or the flu, you probably know how it’s going to go. You start to feel tired and achy, and you park in front of the TV or curl up with a good book for a few days until you feel better.

With a cough, however, it’s a little harder to tell what you’re experiencing. If a cough gets bad, it could either be bronchitis or pneumonia, but how are you supposed to know what you’re dealing with?

Our AFC Urgent Care Knoxville team provides some helpful answers below.

What Is Bronchitis?

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes, which carry air to and from the lungs. People who have bronchitis often cough up thickened mucus, which can be discolored. Additionally, there are two types of bronchitis: acute and chronic.

We’ve listed some common bronchitis symptoms below.

Common Bronchitis Symptoms

  • Cough
  • Production of mucus (sputum), which can be clear, white, yellowish-gray or green in color—rarely, it may be streaked with blood
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Slight fever and chills
  • Chest discomfort

What Is Pneumonia?

Pneumonia is another infection in the lungs, but instead of the bronchial tubes, it occurs in tiny air sacs in the lungs called alveoli. It can be mild, but is sometimes serious—especially for the very young, adults 65 or older, and people with weaker immune systems.

Common pneumonia symptoms include a cough, fever, shaking chills and shortness of breath, which are all similar to bronchitis. Don’t wait to call your doctor or visit our AFC center if you experience any of the symptoms we’ve listed below.

Reasons to Call Your Doctor for Pneumonia

  • A cough that won’t go away
  • Coughing up pus
  • Chest pain
  • Fever that stays at 102 F or higher
  • Shaking chills
  • Shortness of breath as you go about your day
  • Trouble breathing
  • Inability to keep liquids down

Feeling rough? Don’t hesitate to stop by our AFC Urgent Care Knoxvillecenter today!