Both of these conditions have to do with the lungs and many of their symptoms (shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing) are very similar. You might have even thought at one time you had one of them and went to the doctor, only to find out that you have the other. So how about we clear things up right now.
Inflammation versus infection
Bronchitis is what you have when your bronchi (those large tubes that connect your lungs to your throat) are inflamed. This inflammation can be acute, lasting a few days, or it can be chronic, lasting three months or longer. Acute Bronchitis is caused is generally caused by a virus such as the common cold or flu, and will generally go away once your immune system picks back up and will usually not require treatment. Chronic Bronchitis is generally caused by bad air or heavy fumes and is much tougher to get rid of.
Pneumonia happens when the tissue of the lungs themselves become infected. This infection can be caused by viral, bacterial, fungal, or chemical agents present in the lungs. It can also be caused by certain microorganisms.
There are currently four different types of pneumonia on the books:
Walking: the most common type of mild pneumonia caused by bacteria and usually gives the sufferer a dry cough.
Aspiration: Caused when you inhale food, liquids or other secretions into your lungs.
Opportunistic: This type waits until the immune system is compromised, then strikes
Regional/ occupational: Pneumonia that is caused by exposure to harmful chemicals,
The incubation period of the viral type of pneumonia can be as long as six days, or might show up within 24 hours. The viral type can take a long time to get over,but the bacterial kind can usually be cleared up in one two weeks with the right kind of antibiotics.
So there you have it. Bronchitis is inflammation and pneumonia is infection. The best way to combat both of these conditions is to take good care of your health, especially the health of your lungs. Eat right and keep your immune system in tip-top shape. Do not smoke, and avoid places with heavy air pollution. You might also want to take supplement to ensure a super strong immune system.