Need to know the difference between Bronchitis & pneumonia
Bronchitis or pneumonia is two different respiratory conditions that usually begin as a common cold. At first, you may have a cold and when it worsens may lead to symptoms like cough, fever, fatigue, and so on. Severe cases of cold or infections may lead to the above two respiratory conditions i.e. bronchitis and pneumonia. If not treated properly these two can lead to some severe complications and can be life-threatening also. Let us learn about these two conditions and their differences.
Overview of Bronchitis and pneumonia
Both bronchitis and pneumonia as discussed earlier are two different respiratory conditions that share some common symptoms. Let us have a quick look at these two
- Bronchitis– inflammation of bronchial tubes due to infection is termed bronchitis. It mainly develops from the cold i.e. when the cold virus reaches your airways. Due to this infection, your airways get inflamed and this inflammation narrows the airways and leads to excess formation mucus. Bronchitis can be both acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis is a condition that can result from infection due to a virus or bacteria. Even though this gets cleared up within weeks, it is very contagious. Chronic bronchitis is a condition that lasts longer and is not contagious. People who smoke are more susceptible to it. People with bronchitis have symptoms like breathlessness, wheezing, and most importantly persistent cough along with the mucus.
- Pneumonia– infection of the lungs due to virus or bacteria is termed as pneumonia. Due to infection, the little air sacs called alveoli in your lungs to get inflamed and filled with pus. In few cases, severe bronchitis can lead to pneumonia. It is a serious life-threatening disorder and needs immediate treatment. Common pneumonia symptoms include productive cough, high fever, chills, breathlessness, confusion, dizziness, and so on. Pneumonia can be caused due to organisms like viruses, bacteria, and fungus. Several factors like low immunity, asthma, and other chronic conditions can worsen your condition and can trigger pneumonia.
Difference between Bronchitis and Pneumonia?
Even though both these respiratory conditions share few common symptoms and affect an individual’s ability to breathe, but they have a huge difference. Bronchitis symptoms include dry cough which can produce mucus, sore throat, and body ache, whereas people with pneumonia face symptoms like productive cough along with high fever, chills, fatigue, sweating, fast heartbeat, and rapid breathing, gray or blue colored nails, and lips and confusion. Generally bronchitis is not life-threatening, whereas pneumonia is a life-threatening disorder which needs immediate treatment.
How to identify?
Identifying the difference between bronchitis and pneumonia is very crucial for early and accurate treatment. Though both bronchitis and pneumonia look similar, people with pneumonia face symptoms like high fever, chills, pain in the chest while coughing or while breathing, whereas in bronchitis people may not have fever and chills as pneumonia. Consult your doctor immediately if you experience symptoms of both bronchitis and pneumonia. By examining your symptoms your doctor suggests few tests through which he can easily differentiate between these two and offer you accurate and quick treatment. Do not neglect your symptoms as they can sometimes be life-threatening.