Friday, September 22, 2023

What’s The Difference Between Bronchitis And Pneumonia

Symptoms Of Acute Bronchitis

Bronchitis vs. Pneumonia: How are they Different?

You may have various problems with breathing, such as:

  • Chest congestion, where your chest feels full or clogged
  • Coughing — you may cough up a lot of mucus thatâs clear, white, yellow, or green
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing or a whistling sound when you breathe

You may also have some of the typical cold or flu symptoms, such as:

  • Body aches

Even after the other symptoms are gone, the cough can last for a few weeks as your bronchial tubes heal and the swelling goes down.

Bottle Blowing And Salt Pipes

A Swedish study was carried out with 145 adults hospitalized for community-acquired pneumonia. These patients were divided into three groups. Group A was given early mobilization with no breathing-associated exercises, group B was instructed to sit up and take 20 deep breaths 10 times daily, and group C was instructed to sit up and blow bubbles in a bottle containing 10 mL water through a plastic tube 20 times on 10 occasions daily. In this study, length of hospitalization was significantly modified in groups B and C: group A patients were hospitalized for a mean of 5.3 days, group B for 4.6 days, and group C for only 3.9 days. The number of days with fever was lowest in the bottle-blowing group. It should be noted that early mobilization itself is known to significantly decrease hospital stays in pneumonia patients. Despite the positive clinical results, C-reactive protein levels, peak expiratory flow, and vital capacity were not significantly affected.

An alternative to bubble blowing is the use of a salt pipe. These pipes are inhaler-type devices containing tiny salt particles said to ease breathing. The practice originated in central Europe, where individuals with respiratory complaints would spend time in salt caves or mines to help relieve their breathing problems.

Bronchitis And Pneumonia: Whats The Difference

Bronchitis and pneumonia are common illnesses in the United States and around the world, but they are different both in how they spread and how serious they could be. However, they do share numerous symptoms, which makes each illness difficult for the average individual to identify on their own. Although both can strike the average person and leave them bedridden for a few days, its important to know which one is which and when the illness becomes so severe that its time to visit the emergency room.

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What Type Of Bacteria Causes Pneumonia

What type of bacteria causes pneumonia? Common Causes of PneumoniaA common cause of bacterial pneumonia is Streptococcus pneumoniae . However, clinicians are not always able to find out which germ caused someone to get sick with pneumonia. Community-acquired pneumonia is when someone develops pneumonia in the community .

What strain of bacteria causes pneumonia? The most common type of bacterial pneumonia is called pneumococcal pneumonia. Pneumococcal pneumonia is caused by the Streptococcus pneumoniae germ that normally lives in the upper respiratory tract. It infects over 900,000 Americans every year.

What are the 3 major causes of pneumonia? The three main causes of pneumonia are bacteria, viruses, or fungi. Treatment depends on the cause. Pneumonia is a type of infection that affects your lungs. It can affect one or both lungs.

What kind of pneumonia does Covid cause? Most people who get COVID-19 have mild or moderate symptoms like coughing, a fever, and shortness of breath. But some who catch the new coronavirus get severe pneumonia in both lungs. COVID-19 pneumonia is a serious illness that can be deadly.

How Bronchitis And Pneumonia Are Diagnosed

How to Tell the Difference Between Bronchitis &  Pneumonia ...

Your doctor can use the exact same strategies to diagnose both bronchitis and pneumonia.

To begin, theyll inquire about your signs, consisting of when they began and how severe they are.

Next, theyll likely use a stethoscope to listen to your lungs as you breathe. Crackling, bubbling, whistling, or rattling sounds could be signs that you have either bronchitis or pneumonia.

Depending on your symptoms, they might do some additional screening, such as:

  • Sputum culture. This involves taking a sample of the phlegm you cough up and examining it for specific germs.
  • Chest X-rays. These can assist your doctor see where the infection remains in your lungs, which can help them compare bronchitis and pneumonia.
  • Pulse oximetry. For this test, your doctor attaches a clip to your finger to measure the amount of oxygen in your blood.
  • Pulmonary function tests. In this test, your doctor has you blow into a gadget called a spirometer, which measures just how much air your lungs can hold and how forcefully you can blow that air out.

Also Check: Is There A Test For Pneumonia

Difference Between Bronchitis And Pneumonia Causes

The most common cause of bronchitis is a viral infection. But in less than 10% of the cases, it can also be bacterial. In both cases, germs enter your bronchial tubes in your lungs. And they cause irritation or infection there.

You can get chronic bronchitis if youre frequently in contact with irritants. Cigarette smoke, dust, pollen, and polluted air are common causes of chronic bronchitis.

Alternatively, pneumonia is more complex. The cause can be viral, bacterial, and even fungal. When you inhale these irritants, they enter your alveoli .

Depending on the underlying cause, there are four different types of pneumonia you can catch:

  • Viral pneumonia: caused by a virus, such as the influenza virus.
  • Bacterial pneumonia: the most common culprit of this type of pneumonia is a bacteria called Streptococcus pneumonia.
  • Mycoplasma pneumonia: mycoplasma is an organism thats similar to both viruses and bacteria.
  • Fungal pneumonia: the fungi called Pneumocystis jiroveci can also cause pneumonia.

Bronchitis Vs Pneumonia: Whats The Difference

These two conditions are often confused with each other, and some people may mistakenly use the terms interchangeably. Though there is a large number of shared symptoms between the two illnesses, they are very different in terms of what causes them and how they affect the body. To help clear up the confusion, lets begin with a quick overview of how upper respiratory infections work and what parts of the body are involved.

Upper respiratory infections result when an irritant from your environment like bacteria, a virus, dust, mold, or other pollutants enter through your nose or mouth. Once these pollutants get into your airways, they can become lodged and cause inflammation in your nose, sinuses, throat, bronchial tubes that lead to your lungs, or even the tissues of your lungs themselves.

What diagnosis a doctor might give you depends on which tissues are most affected. If the irritant, be it bacterial or otherwise, has caused inflammation in your bronchial tubes, you will likely be diagnosed with acute bronchitis. If the infection has traveled deeper into your lungs and is causing inflammation in the alveoli that line your lungs, then you may have pneumonia.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Bronchitis And Pneumonia

Since these two diseases affect your respiratory tract, their effects are going to be broadly similar. This is also why distinguishing between the common cold and something more serious can be difficult at first. Without a clear confirmation from your doctor through blood tests or a chest X-ray to confirm the extent of an infection, it would be difficult to make a clear diagnosis on symptoms alone. Several forms of respiratory infection, including pneumonia and bronchitis, share the following list of symptoms:

  • shortness of breath
  • stuffy head
  • wheezing

The symptoms of pneumonia are broadly similar to those of bronchitis, though they are usually much more severe. Fevers tend to be higher and the pains and chills you feel are often worse. Some of the symptoms that may indicate you have pneumonia include the following:

  • high fever
  • confusion, particularly among the elderly
  • blue color in the lips from lack of oxygen.

How Do Bronchitis And Pneumonia Differ In Treatment

How to spot the differences between bronchitis, pneumonia

Treatment for both bronchitis and pneumonia depend on the underlying cause, whether bacterial or viral.

  • Viral bronchitis typically goes away on its own and will not be helped with antibiotics. In rare cases, an antiviral drug may be prescribed.
  • For chronic bronchitis, your doctor may prescribe an inhaler or nebulizer, through which medications are delivered to your respiratory tract. The inhaler may contain steroid drugs that work to lower the inflammation and clear mucus from your lungs.
  • Bacterial pneumonia and acute bronchitis are treated with antibiotics.
  • For more severe cases of bronchitis or pneumonia, your doctor may recommend oxygen support to help you breathe.
  • Pneumonia is typically a more serious condition than acute bronchitis and the chances of hospitalization are higher. You may recover from pneumonia within a few days to 1-2 weeks of treatment but feel fatigued for over a month.

Whether you have bronchitis or pneumonia, recovery can be helped with the following tips:

  • Get plenty of rest

Read Also: Things To Do When You Have Pneumonia

Talk To A Doctor About Bronchitis And Pneumonia

Its hard to tell the difference between bronchitis and pneumonia. Theyre a lot different, and you need different treatments to get better. Thats why its best to avoid guessing and letting a doctor determine which illness you have.

Best of all, you dont even need to drag yourself to the doctor. Instead, you can get the treatment you deserve right from the comfort of your home with Carefree MD.

Carefree MD gives you complete access to a state-licensed and board-certified physician. All you need is an internet connection and a mobile or desktop device. And once you sign up, youll get unlimited appointments where you can discuss your concerns with a doctor.

Need to talk to a doctor about your bronchitis or pneumonia symptoms? Sign up for Carefree MD to discuss your symptoms, get treatment, and find relief with telemedicine today!

The Carefree MD blog is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The text and pictures within the content are intended for information purposes only. Readers should consult with a licensed doctor or healthcare professional before seeking treatment.

The Carefree MD Card is not insurance and Carefree MD is not an insurance provider.

Main Differences Between Bronchitis And Pneumonia

  • Bronchitis is an inflammatory, infectious malady formed in the bronchitis part of the lungs, Whereas Pneumonia is an inflammation of alveoli that occurs in the small sacs of the lungs as a fluid or pus.
  • Bronchitis is derived from the Late Latin Greek work Bronchus as a windpipe. On the other hand, Pneumonia is extracted from the modern Latin Greek work Pneumon as inflammation of the lungs.
  • Bronchitis can be categorized as chronic and acute, where chronic Bronchitis has symptoms of cough, fever, chest discomfort, fatigue, lack of breathing. Besides, Acute Bronchitis is reflected by extreme body pains or headaches etc. Albeit, Pneumonia shows the symptoms of drowsiness, exhaustion, severe cold & chills, diarrhea, vomiting and chest pain.
  • Bronchitis is a treatable disease where acute just ephemeral, and Chronic Bronchitis takes time by taking frequent rehabilitation programs. Meanwhile, Pneumonia is quite curable just by taking medicines prescribed by the doctors.
  • Bronchitis is caused by the consumption of noxious substances or any other contentious infection like flu. Notwithstanding, Pneumonia is caused by smoking, diabetes, asthma, pulmonary diseases etc.
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    What Can I Do To Stop Bronchitis From Turning Into Pneumonia

    Most cases of respiratory infections like a cold or the flu, and related bronchitis, do not lead to pneumonia. And in healthy people, pneumonia can usually be treated effectively. But for those who are at an increased risk for developing pneumonia after bronchitis , pneumonia can be very dangerous, even deadly.

    The best way to prevent a secondary infection is to reduce your risk of getting a viral or bacterial infection in the first place. Wash your hands regularly, avoid touching your face, and if a family member is sick, dont share utensils and clean common areas regularly .

    Doctors also stress the importance of getting a flu vaccine and pneumococcal vaccine to prevent a viral infection that can lead to pneumonia.

    You can also try to prevent getting a secondary infection by taking care of yourself and treating your bronchitis symptoms, which includes these actions:

    • Getting sleep and staying rested
    • Not smoking and minimizing your exposure to secondhand smoke.
    • Avoiding using housecleaning products until you recover
    • Avoiding strenuous exercise for a few days
    • Avoiding cold air, which, like certain chemicals, can be irritating to your airway passages
    • Using a humidifier

    How Bronchitis And Pneumonia Are Treated

    Pneumonia as related to Bronchitis

    Treatments for both bronchitis and pneumonia depend on the underlying cause, such as whether its bacterial or viral.

    Bacterial pneumonia and acute bronchitis are both treated with antibiotics. For viral cases, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral drug. However, theyll likely suggest you get a few days of rest and drink plenty of fluids while you recover.

    If you have chronic bronchitis, your doctor may prescribe a breathing treatment or steroid drug that you inhale into your lungs. The medicine helps to reduce inflammation and clear mucus from your lungs.

    For more severe cases, your doctor might also prescribe supplemental oxygen to help you breathe. Its also important to avoid smoking or exposure to the substance that caused your bronchitis.

    Regardless of the cause, follow these tips to speed up your healing time:

    • Get plenty of rest.
    • Drink plenty of fluids to loosen up the mucus in your lungs. Water, clear juices, or broths are the best choices. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can be dehydrating.
    • Take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory to reduce a fever and soothe body aches.
    • Turn on a humidifier to loosen up the mucus in your lungs.
    • Ask your doctor about using an over-the-counter cough remedy if your cough is keeping you up at night or making it hard to sleep.

    Also Check: How Do I Tell If I Have Pneumonia

    Differences Between Bronchitis And Pneumonia

    The common symptoms of these two diseases cough, fever, fatigue and an aching chest are very similar. Bronchitis can even progress to pneumonia in some cases.

    But these are two very different diseases affecting different parts of the lungs, says Dr. Tolle. Pneumonia symptoms also are usually much more serious and, in some cases, potentially life-threatening.

    The bottom line? If you have symptoms that match either bronchitis and pneumonia and they dont improve within a week, or if the symptoms keep worsening, contact your healthcare provider.

    Is Treatment For Bronchitis And Pneumonia The Same

    Treatment for bronchitis and pneumonia is not the same, though they can be similar depending on the type of bronchitis or pneumonia someone has. Acute bronchitis and bacterial pneumonia, for example, will be treated with antibiotics. A doctor will prescribe a unique treatment plan for every individual based on their symptoms and medical history.

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    It’s Easy To Get The Care You Need

    See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.

    Your cough wont go away, and you feel miserable. Do you have bronchitis? Is it pneumonia? How can you tell?

    Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tree, which is a tree-looking series of tubes that carry air into your lungs. These tubes swell and fill with mucus when they are infected, which makes it hard to breathe.

    Bronchitis is usually caused by a virus, but it can also be caused by bacteria.

    If you have bronchitis, your symptoms could include a cough that brings up mucus, wheezing, chest pain, shortness of breath, and a low fever.

    Pneumonia is an infection that can settle in one or both of your lungs. Though pneumonia can be caused by bacteria, viruses, and fungi, bacteria is the most common cause.

    Pneumonia causes the air sacs in your lungs to fill with fluid. Symptoms that go along with the sickness include cough, fever, chills and trouble breathing.

    Bacterial pneumonia can make you very sick very fast, so its important to get medical help quickly and be treated with antibiotics. However, about one-third of the cases of pneumonia in the U.S. each year are caused by viruses, says the American Lung Association. Viral pneumonia cannot be treated with antibiotics.

    Theres typically not distinct symptoms that can tell pneumonia and bronchitis apart, because they typically overlap with cough, fever, sometimes difficulty breathing, as well, says physician assistant Breanna Veal, PA-C.

    Bronchitis & Pneumonia Explained

    Acute bronchitis or pneumonia?

    Cold and flu season is here, and dodging these illnesses at school or the office can be a challenge when they are going around. While most people recover from colds and the flu quickly, either of these can lead to bronchitis or pneumonia.

    Bronchitis and pneumonia share many of the same symptoms of cold and flu. By determining the difference between bronchitis and pneumonia, you can seek the proper treatment and be back on the road to recovery much more quickly.

    Both bronchitis and pneumonia affect the airways, resulting in coughing and discomfort. Their biggest difference is how! In short, bronchitis is an inflammation of the airways while pneumonia is an infection of the lungs.

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    When To Go To An Emergency Room

    When bronchitis or pneumonia gets out of hand, its important to seek out an ER near you capable of handling the situation and administering immediate treatment. For a 24-hour emergency care in the Temple area, consider visiting Express ER. This 24-hour emergency room is located in zip code 76504 and is capable of administering proper and reliable treatment for both illnesses.

    Signs And Symptoms That Mean You Have Bronchitis

    But a cough that wont go away even after your sore throat, fever, and other symptoms have gotten better, and thats accompanied by wheezing or shortness of breath, may indicate that youre dealing with something more serious, like bronchitis or pneumonia.

    Given how many symptoms the two respiratory conditions share, its not surprising that bronchitis is often mistaken for pneumonia and vice versa. Bronchitis thats thought to have turned into pneumonia may actually have been pneumonia all along. Its also common for people to think that bronchitis can often turn into pneumonia, but in reality this is not the case for most people, explains Ralph Gonzales, MD, the associate dean for clinical innovation and chief innovation officer for the University of San Francisco Health and an internal medicine specialist. What we call bronchitis may sometimes be pneumonia, he says.

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