Bronchial pneumonia is a bacterial or viral infection affecting the bronchial tubes and patches of the lungs. Irritation and inflammation can spread to several bronchi patches and is likely to be present in both lungs. Patients can develop this condition after being sick from a cold or flu due to a weakened immune system; asthma and allergy sufferers--as well as smokers--are more susceptible to bronchial pneumonia due to decreased lung capacity. This disease is more common in infants, children, the elderly, and patients with compromised immune systems, affecting the respiratory system as well as the entire body.
One of the most common symptoms of bronchial pneumonia involves a low-grade fever, typically 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Patients feel generally warm to the touch. Fever presents quickly and causes both sweating and chills. Fever that rises to 102 degrees Fahrenheit and lasts for an extended period must be reported to a doctor immediately.
An unproductive, relatively dry cough that produces little to no mucus characterizes bronchial pneumonia. Coughing is persistent and causes discomfort and wheezing, but mucus is not a predominant symptom of the illness. However, if mucus is expelled, it may be tinged with blood.
Respiratory problems--such as shortness of breath or rapid breathing--occur with or without physical exertion. The inflamed and irritated lungs impede breathing, causing shallow, strained air flow and difficulty in taking deep breaths.
Chest pain and discomfort, such as heaviness or tightness within the chest, develops with bronchial pneumonia. A dull ache within the lungs may be experienced. So may a sharp, shooting pain when inhaling occurs.
Exhaustion and fatigue are common with bronchial pneumonia infection, as the entire body system combats the illness. Patients experience an increase in fatigue over the course of the day, and bouts of coughing can further drain energy. Headaches, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite with periodic episodes of diarrhea are often experienced.