What Is the Difference Between Pneumonia and Congestive Heart Failure?

Pneumonia is a lung infection which inflames air sacs in the lungs whereas congestive heart failure occurs when the heart muscle does not pump blood as well as it should, according to Mayo Clinic. The two diseases share a number of symptoms including coughing and fatigue.

People with congestive heart failure may also experience fluid retention, dizziness, and rapid or irregular heartbeats, as reported by WebMD. In addition to coughing and fatigue, individuals with pneumonia may suffer fever, sweating, chills, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or headache, as stated by the Mayo Clinic.

Pneumonia occurs when a person breathes a virus or bacteria into his lungs, according to Mayo Clinic. Generally, the body's immune system can prevent the virus or bacteria from infecting the lungs. However, when germs overpower the immune system, one or both of the lungs become infected and pneumonia results. Pneumonia is most often acquired in a hospital or health care facility.

Congestive heart failure, also known as heart failure, occurs when narrowed arteries or high blood pressure cause the heart to become too weak to fill and pump effectively, notes Mayo Clinic. Congestive heart failure can be caused by a number of conditions, including coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.