Authored by Dr Laurence Knott, 20 Jan 2015

Patient is a certified member of
The Information Standard

Reviewed by:
Prof Cathy Jackson, 20 Jan 2015

Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lung tissue. It is usually due to infection. Pneumonia tends to be more serious than bronchitis. Bronchitis is an inflammation or infection of the large airways - the bronchi. Sometimes bronchitis and pneumonia occur together - this is called bronchopneumonia.

Have you seen posters in your GP's waiting room warning about the unnecessary use of antibiotics for coughs and colds? You may also have seen adverts on the TV about the dangers of pneumonia and how important it is for some people to get vaccinated. Confusing, isn't it? Well, this leaflet is designed to help you tell the difference between pneumonia and run of the mill chest infections, when to see a doctor, and the treatment you may need.

Pneumonia means inflammation of the lung tissue. It's normally due to infection. It's often more serious than bronchitis, which is inflammation or infection of the large airways - the bronchi (see diagram). You can get both conditions at the same time. This is called bronchopneumonia.

Lungs showing patch of pneumonia

Further reading and references

I’m a 29 year old male, and have been feeling very off since my cold symptoms last week. My cold has since gone away except for congestion, but I feel like I smoked pot ( I don’t smoke pot btw) or I’...

Health Tools

Feeling unwell?

Assess your symptoms online with our free symptom checker.

Start symptom checker