Very few publications have compared different study designs investigating the short-term effects of air pollutants on healthcare visits and hospitalizations for respiratory tract diseases. This study describes, using two different study designs (a case-crossover design and a time-series analysis), the association of air pollutants and respiratory disease hospitalizations. The study has been conducted on 5 cities in Poland on a timeline of almost 4 years. DLNM and regression models were both used for the assessment of the short-term effects of air pollution peaks on respiratory hospitalizations. Both case-crossover and time-series studies equally revealed a positive association between air pollution peaks and hospitalization occurrences. Results were provided in the form of percentage increase of a respiratory visit/hospitalization, for each 10-μg/m3 increment in single pollutant level for both study designs. The most significant estimated % increases of hospitalizations linked to increase of 10 μg/m3 of pollutant have been recorded in general with particulate matter, with highest values for 24 h PM2.5 in Warsaw (6.4%, case-crossover; 4.5%, time series, respectively) and in Białystok (5.6%, case-crossover; 4.5%, time series, respectively). The case-crossover analysis results have shown a larger CI in comparison to the results of the time-series analysis, while the lag days were easier to identify with the case-crossover design. The trends and the overlap of the results occurring from both methods are good and show applicability of both study designs to air pollution effects on short-term hospitalizations.