Pneumonia And Bronchitis Specialist

Orem Internal Medicine

Jeffrey G Ogden, M.D.

Board Certified Internal Medicine & Preventive Medicine Specialist located in Orem, UT

If you are coughing, running a fever, and cannot catch your breath, you may have either pneumonia or bronchitis. Infections in the tubes that bring air to and from your lungs, or the air sacs in your lungs, can be dangerous. Make an appointment either online or over the phone with Dr. Jeffrey Ogden at Orem Internal Medicine in Orem, Utah, before your symptoms worsen.

Pneumonia and Bronchitis Q & A

by Jeffrey G Ogden, M.D.

What is pneumonia?

Pneumonia is an infection that causes inflammation of the air sacs in your lungs. This irritation often leads to your air sacs filling with fluid or pus. Other symptoms include a cough with discolored phlegm, often accompanied by fever, chills, and difficulty breathing.

Pneumonia results from a variety of germs, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. While infants, seniors, and those with suppressed immune systems are the most at risk for developing pneumonia, it can affect anyone at any age.  

How is pneumonia treated?

It's essential to make an appointment with Dr. Ogden at Orem Internal Medicine if you have chest pain, difficulty breathing, a fever higher than 101 F, as well as a persistent cough, especially if you're coughing up discolored mucus.

Dr. Ogden prescribes an antibiotic for bacterial pneumonia. However, antibiotics won't alleviate viral pneumonia as might be caused by influenza. Specific anti-virals may be needed.  If pneumonia is severe you may require additional oxygen or even hospitalization.  That’s why it is so important to be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider like Dr. Ogden.

What is bronchitis?

Bronchitis is the medical term for swelling in the main air passages to the lungs. It is often accompanied by coughing, sinus congestion, and gray-green mucus.

Most bronchitis starts with a virus, like a common cold.  Left untreated it can progress to a secondary bacterial infection. When that happens, there is usually discolored phlegm from a productive cough, and fever.

How is bronchitis treated?

With an acute viral bronchitis, symptom treatment is best. Decongestion, hydration, and staying rested usually are adequate. With worsening or prolonged symptoms then evaluation by a qualified healthcare provider like Dr. Ogden is essential.

Anti-virals for influenza, antibiotics for secondary bacterial infections, inhaled steroids for inflammation, and inhaled medications to open up the airways are how bronchitis can be treated by your provider at Orem Internal Medicine.

How can you avoid pneumonia and bronchitis?

As with avoiding most infections, you should wash your hands often. Don’t smoke, and make sure you and your children are up to date on all vaccinations, including the Seasonal Influenza Vaccine. For those aged 60 or older, make sure you have had your two pneumonia vaccines (PPV23 & PCV13).

Regardless of whether you are diagnosed with pneumonia or bronchitis be sure to:

  • Decongest the sinuses and chest with over-the-counter medications such as Mucinex ®
  • Increase fluid intake
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Take medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol ®) for aches and fever control

If you are coughing, having difficulty catching your breath, and not feeling like yourself, call or make an appointment online today with Dr. Jeffrey Ogden at Orem Internal Medicine in Orem, Utah.