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How can I tell if I have bronchitis or pneumonia?

How To Tell If You Have Bronchitis Of Pneumonia

Richard Sheldon (Medical Advisor to the CA State Respiratory Care Board) gives expert video advice on: How can I tell if I have bronchitis or pneumonia?

How can I tell if I have bronchitis or pneumonia?

The physician will usually be able to tell you based on listening with a stethoscope, or the history, or having known you as a patient, whether you've moved from a bronchitis to a pneumonia. The symptoms, with pneumonia, can be a little more exaggerated than with bronchitis. But the most important way to tell is with the chest x-ray, and I have taught for years students by telling them that the listening to the chest with a stethoscope is probably something you should do while waiting for the x-ray to dry because the x-ray is a much more positive way, a much more accurate way, to diagnose pneumonia than is the stethoscope. With a stethoscope you'll hear crackles, not wheezes. You may hear a few wheezes, but that wheezing and those crackles can be caused by other things other than pneumonia.