Understanding the differences between bronchitis and pneumonia causes is essential for receiving the right treatment. However, this is easier said than done because the two lung infections share many symptoms. When the bronchial tubes in the lungs become inflamed, a condition known as bronchitis results. Infected air sacs in one or both lungs characterize pneumonia. Let's compare and contrast both these lung infections to learn more about their distinctions.
Bronchitis Vs. Pneumonia Causes
Depending on the severity, bronchitis can be either acute or chronic. Common causes of acute bronchitis include viruses like the common cold and influenza, although bacteria can also play a role. Chronic bronchitis is often a result of tobacco use, exposure to secondhand smoke, air pollution, dust, or poisonous gases. Pneumonia is typically a result of bacteria, although it can also be caused by viruses and fungi.
Bronchitis Vs. Pneumonia Prevalence
Bronchitis is a pretty common health problem. About 5% of adults will report having acute bronchitis in a given year, and acute bronchitis is the fifth most common reason adults go to their primary care doctor. Researchers think that between 85% and 95% of all cases of acute bronchitis each year are caused by viruses. Adults with acute bronchitis will go to the doctor 90% of the time.
Acute bronchitis is not as bad as chronic bronchitis. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a group of lung diseases that make breathing hard. It includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, a condition in which the air sacs in the lungs get damaged (COPD). The American Lung Association says that more than 16.4 million Americans have been told they have COPD, but it's likely that many more don't know they have it.
Every year, about 1 million adults in the U.S. go to the hospital because of bronchitis and pneumonia. Pneumonia is the leading cause of death in children younger than five worldwide. Pneumonia is also the main reason why kids in the U.S. end up in the hospital, and viral pneumonia is the main reason why babies end up in the hospital. The good news is that if you treat pneumonia well, you can often get better completely.
Bronchitis Vs. Pneumonia Symptoms
Bronchitis is mainly marked by coughing, with or without mucus production, wheezing, shortness of breath, low fever, chest tightness, and mild fatigue. Acute and chronic bronchitis have almost the same symptoms, but chronic bronchitis lasts longer than acute bronchitis.
Most people with pneumonia have a cough with or without phlegm, high fevers, chills, extreme tiredness, trouble breathing, and a general feeling of weakness. When someone has pneumonia, they may also have other flu-like symptoms, like a runny or stuffy nose, body aches, or a runny or stuffy nose.
Bronchitis Vs. Pneumonia Diagnosis
To determine if someone has bronchitis, a doctor will need to do a physical exam, ask about the person's medical history, and look for common bronchitis symptoms. During the physical exam, the provider will use a stethoscope to listen to the lungs for any strange sounds that could be signs of blocked airways. Doctors sometimes order chest X-rays and blood or sputum tests to find out how bad bronchitis is and what's causing it.
To determine if someone has pneumonia, doctors will look for symptoms, ask about the person's health history, and do a physical exam. They will use a stethoscope to listen to the patient's lungs to check for unusual sounds. They may also order a chest X-ray to look for signs of pneumonia. Doctors will sometimes order blood tests to find out if pneumonia is caused by bacteria, a virus, or a fungus. If a bacterial cause is possible, they may also ask for a sample of the patient's sputum to be sent for culture.
Bronchitis Vs. Pneumonia Treatment
There are numerous bronchitis treatment options available, but keep in mind that what works for one person may not work for another. Treatment is also determined by whether the bronchitis is acute or chronic. Talking with your doctor is the best way to guarantee you get the right bronchitis treatment. The most common drug application is to treat pneumonia, albeit the type of treatment used depends on the underlying cause. Before quitting or beginning any new medication, always consult with your healthcare practitioner. Over-the-counter medications such as fever reducers and pain medicines such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, as well as cough suppressants, are among the therapies.
Bronchitis Vs. Pneumonia Prevention
Researchers and medical professionals have devised tried-and-true methods for halting the progression of bronchitis and limiting its spread. These include not smoking, avoiding irritants such as secondhand smoke as much as possible, and staying up to date on vaccines. Another vital step is to wash one's hands frequently with soap and water.
The same preventative strategies that are helpful against bronchitis can be used to avoid pneumonia. Getting your vaccines on time, not smoking, avoiding being near individuals who smoke, and avoiding other irritants are all critical. It is also critical to wash your hands frequently with soap and water. There are two different pneumococcal immunizations, as well as several other vaccines, that can protect against various bacterial and viral infections that can lead to pneumonia.
There are ways to treat both pneumonia and bronchitis. Do not worry if you have any signs that could mean you have bronchitis or pneumonia. If they are not too bad, try to fix them at home first. If you feel like your symptoms are not going away, you should see a good doctor and think about all of your bronchitis vs. pneumonia treatment options.