Bronchitis and pneumonia at the same time: Bronchitis vs. Pneumonia: What Are the Differences?
Bronchitis vs. Pneumonia: What Are the Differences?
If you’ve experienced a lingering cough that seems to come from deep in your chest, you may have wondered: Could I have bronchitis or pneumonia?
Coughs are a common symptom of respiratory infections like a cold or the flu — your body’s way of naturally clearing irritants out of your air passages to help prevent infection. (1)
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Signs and Symptoms That Mean You Have Bronchitis
But a cough that won’t go away even after your sore throat, fever, and other symptoms have gotten better, and that’s accompanied by wheezing or shortness of breath, may indicate that you’re dealing with something more serious, like bronchitis or pneumonia. (1,2)
Given how many symptoms the two respiratory conditions share, it’s not surprising that bronchitis is often mistaken for pneumonia and vice versa. Bronchitis that’s thought to have turned into pneumonia may actually have been pneumonia all along. It’s 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.
Bronchitis vs. Pneumonia: What Are the Differences and Similarities?
Acute bronchitis is a condition in which the lining of your bronchial tubes (the passages that carry air to and from your lungs) becomes inflamed. This condition usually develops as a result of a viral infection like a cold or the flu, and it typically gets better in about one to two weeks. (This is different from chronic bronchitis, which is a condition that does not go away and is marked by a recurring cough and other symptoms that can be managed but not cured.) (3,4)
Pneumonia is an infection in one or both of the lungs that can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. When you have pneumonia, the air sacs of the lungs (alveoli) fill up with fluid or pus. While anyone can get pneumonia, some people — such as children, the elderly, people with asthma, and individuals with chronic disease — are at an increased risk of developing this lung condition. (1,5,6)
RELATED: Everything You Need to Know About Pneumonia in Kids
Both bronchitis and pneumonia involve inflammation in the chest (though that inflammation occurs in different parts of the chest for each one). And both conditions share some common symptoms: (1,2,5,7,8)
- Cough (often accompanied by the production of mucus)
- Shortness of breath that can get worse when you’re active
- Fever and chills
Bronchitis can also, however, bring on chest discomfort and wheezing.
And pneumonia can bring on these symptoms not usually linked to bronchitis: (7,8,9)
- Excessive sweating and clammy skin
- Suddenly feeling worse after cold or flu symptoms go away
- Sharp pain in the chest, especially when breathing deeply or coughing
- Loss of appetite
- Lack of energy
- Nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting
While symptoms for either bronchitis or pneumonia can range from mild to serious enough to require hospitalization, symptoms such as fever, breathing problems, and chest pain tend to be more severe with pneumonia.
In people with pneumonia, the alveoli fill with pus and other fluids and prevent oxygen from reaching the bloodstream; when there’s too little oxygen in the blood, the body cannot function properly, increasing the risk of death. (1,10)
Can Bronchitis Turn Into Pneumonia?
While bronchitis and pneumonia both have to do with chest inflammation, they are separate and different conditions that happen independent of each other — meaning one doesn’t necessarily cause the other, explains Fernando Holguin, MD, a professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the director of the asthma clinical research program at the Center for Lungs and Breathing at the University of Colorado Hospital, both in Aurora. “And you can have both bronchitis and pneumonia at the same time,” Dr. Holguin says.
That said, in some cases bronchitis does turn into (thereby causing) pneumonia. This occurs when either the infection spreads from the bronchial tubes to the lungs or a secondary infection occurs. While either scenario is rare, it tends to happen more often in people who have a weakened immune system or another condition that makes them more susceptible to infection.
Some people are at risk of bronchitis turning into pneumonia: (11,12)
- Those with a weakened immune system
- Individuals who have a chronic health condition, such as heart, kidney, or liver disease
- People with an underlying lung disease
- Older adults
- Young children
- Pregnant women
While doctors aren’t sure exactly how having a viral infection may make someone more prone to developing pneumonia or another secondary infection, studies have pointed to some theories.
“Animal models have shown that when you have an infection, it weakens your body’s ability to protect against bacterial infection,” Dr. Gonzales explains. (13) Doctors also think that the epithelial tissue of the airway, which serves as a barrier against viruses and bacteria, can become compromised following a viral infection, making it easier for bacteria to invade, Gonzales adds. (14)
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 (such as the elderly, people with chronic health conditions, and pregnant women), pneumonia can be very dangerous, even deadly. (10)
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, don’t share utensils and clean common areas regularly (the flu virus can live on a surface for up to 48 hours, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). (14,15)
Doctors also stress the importance of getting a flu vaccine and pneumococcal vaccine to prevent a viral infection that can lead to pneumonia. (10)
You can also try to prevent getting a secondary infection by taking care of yourself and treating your bronchitis symptoms, which includes these actions: (2,16)
- 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 Doctors May Treat Bronchitis That Turns Into Pneumonia
Treatment of pneumonia that has developed after bronchitis can vary depending on factors like age, severity of symptoms, and medical history. “If your symptoms are severe, your doctor may recommend hospitalization,” says Holguin.
If you’re not experiencing breathing difficulties or other serious symptoms and your pneumonia is determined to be bacterial, you may be prescribed an oral antibiotic. (17)
Your doctor may also test you for other infections, such as the flu, and depending on your symptoms and test results, recommend an antiviral medication, says Holguin. (17,18,19)
If your doctor determines that your pneumonia can be treated at home, they may suggest the following: (17)
- Drinking plenty of fluids, which can help loosen phlegm and clear it out of your body
- Getting lots of rest (not going to work and enlisting someone to help with household chores)
- Taking ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) for fever or chest pain
If hospitalized for pneumonia, you may be given these treatments: (17,18,19)
- Oxygen therapy and other breathing treatments
- Fluids (possibly intravenously as well as by mouth)
- Antimicrobial agents (either antibiotics or antiviral medications)
Editorial Sources and Fact-Checking
- Cough Culprits. NIH News in Health. May 2017.
- Acute Bronchitis. MedlinePlus. January 17, 2022.
- Chronic Bronchitis. American Lung Association.
- Bronchitis. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. March 24, 2022.
- What Is Pneumonia? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. March 24, 2022.
- Pneumonia Symptoms and Diagnosis. American Lung Association. October 5, 2022.
- Bronchitis: Symptoms and Causes. Mayo Clinic. April 11, 2017.
- Bronchitis Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment. American Lung Association. March 12, 2020.
- Pneumonia: Symptoms and Causes. Mayo Clinic. June 13, 2020.
- What Is the Connection Between Influenza and Pneumonia? American Lung Association. October 5, 2022.
- Bronchitis. NHS. August 7, 2019.
- Acute Bronchitis: Overview. InformedHealth.org. December 2, 2020.
- Metzger D, Sun K. Immune Dysfunction and Bacterial Coinfections Following Influenza. The Journal of Immunology. September 1, 2013.
- Hendaus MA, Jomha FA, Alhammadi AH. Virus-Induced Secondary Bacterial Infection: A Concise Review. Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management. August 24, 2015.
- Nonpharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. April 27, 2020.
- Bronchitis: Diagnosis and Treatment. Mayo Clinic. April 11, 2017.
- Pneumonia Treatment and Recovery. American Lung Association. October 5, 2022.
- Freeman A, Leigh TR Jr. Viral Pneumonia. StatPearls. July 4, 2022.
- Sattar SBA, Sharma S. Bacterial Pneumonia. StatPearls. December 28, 2021.
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Bronchitis vs. pneumonia causes | Prevalence | Symptoms | Diagnosis | Treatments | Risk factors | Prevention | When to see a doctor | FAQs | Resources
It can be challenging to know the difference between bronchitis and pneumonia because they both cause similar symptoms, but understanding how these respiratory infections are different is key to getting proper treatment. Bronchitis is a condition where the airways in the lungs (bronchial tubes) become inflamed and produce mucus. Pneumonia is an infection of the air sacs in one or both of the lungs. Let’s take a more in-depth look at bronchitis and pneumonia to better understand their differences.
Bronchitis has two different forms: acute bronchitis and chronic bronchitis. A viral infection like the common cold or flu usually causes acute bronchitis, but bacteria can also be a culprit. Smoking tobacco, exposure to secondhand smoke, air pollution, dust, or toxic gases typically causes chronic bronchitis.
Bacterial infections most commonly cause pneumonia, but it’s also possible to get pneumonia from a virus or fungus.
Bronchitis is a fairly common condition. About 5% of adults will self-report an episode of acute bronchitis over the course of a year, and acute bronchitis is the fifth most common reason that adults go to see a primary care physician. Researchers estimate that viruses cause between 85% to 95% of acute bronchitis cases every year. Ninety percent of adults who contract acute bronchitis will seek medical help.
Chronic bronchitis is more serious than acute bronchitis. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema, a condition in which the air sacs become damaged, are together referred to as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). More than 16.4 million Americans have been diagnosed with COPD, but there are likely many more people who don’t know they have it, according to the American Lung Association.
About 1 million adults in the U.S. seek hospital care for pneumonia every year, and pneumonia is the world’s leading cause of death for children younger than 5 years of age. Pneumonia is also the number one reason for children in the U.S. to be hospitalized, and viral pneumonia is the leading cause of infant hospitalizations. The good news is that successful pneumonia treatment often leads to full recovery.
Bronchitis is mainly characterized by coughing with or without mucus production, wheezing, shortness of breath, low fever, chest tightness, and mild fatigue. The symptoms of acute and chronic bronchitis are essentially the same, but chronic bronchitis lasts much longer than acute bronchitis.
Symptoms of pneumonia typically include a cough with or without phlegm production, high fevers, chills, severe fatigue, trouble breathing, and overall weakness. Some people may develop other flu-like symptoms when they have pneumonia, like a runny nose, stuffy nose, or body aches.
To diagnose bronchitis, a healthcare provider will need to do a physical exam, ask the patient about their medical history, and look for common symptoms of bronchitis. During the physical exam, the provider will listen to the lungs with a stethoscope to check for any abnormal sounds that may indicate clogged airways. Sometimes doctors will order chest X-rays and blood or sputum tests to determine the severity of bronchitis and what’s causing it.
To diagnose pneumonia, healthcare providers will look for telltale symptoms of pneumonia, ask about the patient’s medical history, and do a physical exam. They’ll listen to the patient’s lungs with a stethoscope to check for abnormal sounds, and they may order a chest X-ray to look for signs of pneumonia. Sometimes physicians will order blood tests to determine if bacteria, a virus, or fungus is the cause of pneumonia. They may also request a sample of the patient’s sputum to be sent for culture if a bacterial cause is thought to be a possible cause.
There are several treatment options for bronchitis, but it’s important to remember that what works for one person might not work for another. Treatment is also dependent upon a diagnosis of acute versus chronic bronchitis. The best way to make sure you’re getting the right treatment for bronchitis is to talk with your doctor. Here are some of the most common bronchitis treatments:
- Over-the-counter medications, including cough suppressants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and bronchodilators (inhalers)
- Staying hydrated
- Quitting smoking
- Avoiding secondhand smoke
- Oxygen therapy (chronic bronchitis)
- Pulmonary rehabilitation (chronic bronchitis)
- In rare cases, some people with chronic bronchitis may need lung volume reduction surgery to remove damaged lung tissue.
Pneumonia is most commonly treated with medications, though the type of medication will vary based on the underlying cause. As always, it’s best to talk with your healthcare provider before stopping or starting any new medication. Here are some of the most common pneumonia treatments you could speak with your doctor about:
- Over-the-counter medications, including fever reducers and pain relievers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen as well as cough suppressants
- Getting adequate rest
- Drinking plenty of fluids
- Supplemental oxygen
- People with more severe cases of pneumonia may require hospitalized care where they can receive intravenous fluids and antibiotics.
- In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to remove infected or damaged parts of the lungs.
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Some people have a higher risk of getting bronchitis than others. Risk factors for bronchitis include:
- Long-term exposure to secondhand smoke
- Exposure to lung irritants like gases or chemicals
- People older than 65 years of age
- Family history of lung disease or respiratory disease
- Having gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Having an alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency
Here are the top risk factors for pneumonia:
- Having a health condition that affects the lungs or heart
- Long-term exposure to secondhand smoke, toxic gases, or chemicals
- Being pregnant
- People with compromised immune systems
- People older than 65 years of age
- Infants younger than 2 years old
- Premature babies
Doctors and researchers have come up with proven ways to prevent and lessen the spread of bronchitis. These include washing hands frequently with soap and water, not smoking, avoiding irritants like secondhand smoke whenever possible, and staying up to date with vaccinations.
The same precautions that prevent bronchitis can help prevent pneumonia too. Washing your hands frequently with soap and water, not smoking, avoiding secondhand smoke and other irritants, and staying up to date on vaccinations are all very important. There are two types of pneumococcal vaccines and several other vaccines that can prevent bacterial and viral infections that might lead to pneumonia.
When to see a doctor
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends seeing a doctor for bronchitis if:
- You have a fever that’s higher than 100.4 F
- You’re coughing up bloody mucus
- Breathing becomes difficult or painful
- You have sharp chest pain
- Your symptoms last longer than three weeks
If you have pneumonia and start to have trouble breathing, chest pain, bluish fingers or lips, or a high fever that won’t go away, it’s best to see a doctor or visit an urgent care center as soon as possible. People with weakened immune systems, underlying health conditions, older adults, and young children should see a doctor if they have pneumonia because pneumonia can quickly become a life-threatening condition.
Frequently asked questions about bronchitis and pneumonia
Is bronchitis contagious?
Bronchitis itself isn’t contagious, but if it’s caused by a cold or flu virus, then it’s possible to catch the virus and come down with bronchitis because of the virus.
Is pneumonia contagious?
Some bacteria and viruses that cause pneumonia, like the cold and flu viruses, can be contagious. If caught, they could potentially lead to pneumonia.
RELATED: Is pneumonia contagious?
How long does bronchitis last?
Symptoms of acute bronchitis can last anywhere from one to two weeks, though some people may still have symptoms for up to three weeks. Chronic bronchitis lasts for at least three months and can persist for several years on and off. For some people, chronic bronchitis will never completely go away.
How long does pneumonia last?
Mild cases of pneumonia typically last a week or two, but more severe cases can result in symptoms that last six weeks or more.
How do you know if you have bronchitis or pneumonia?
Pneumonia symptoms are usually more severe than bronchitis symptoms. If you have a cough that’s accompanied by a high fever, sharp chest pain, and chills, it’s more likely that you have pneumonia vs. bronchitis.
How does bronchitis turn into pneumonia?
Bronchitis can turn into pneumonia if it’s left untreated. Because bronchitis is an infection of the airways that lead to the lungs, if someone’s sick with bronchitis due to a bacteria or virus and doesn’t seek treatment, the infection can reach the lungs and cause pneumonia.
Can you have bronchitis
Although it’s rare, it’s possible to have bronchitis and pneumonia at the same time. More often than not, this happens when an infectious cause for bronchitis turns into pneumonia, but that’s not always the case.
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.
- Pneumonia symptoms and diagnosis
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Can bronchitis turn into pneumonia? – LIFEKOREA.ru
Bronchitis and pneumonia – two lung infections with similar symptoms
In some cases, bronchitis can turn into pneumonia. It occurs when the infection spreads from the airways to the air sacs in the lungs.
It is also possible for a person with bronchitis to develop isolated pneumonia. It can be difficult to tell the difference between bronchitis and pneumonia because the two infections have similar symptoms.
Children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems or health conditions are most at risk. Quality treatment of bronchitis can help prevent its progression to pneumonia.
Can bronchitis turn into pneumonia?
Bronchitis is a lung infection that causes irritation and swelling of the airways. These effects encourage the lungs to secrete more mucus than normal, causing a cough as the body tries to clear the excess mucus.
The most common form of bronchitis is acute bronchitis or the common cold. Symptoms may include:
- sore throat
- shortness of breath
Everyone usually recovers from acute bronchitis within 3 weeks.
A person with comorbidities may find it harder to overcome bronchitis, which may put them at a higher risk of developing into pneumonia. It is important to treat bronchitis quickly to prevent the infection from spreading to the lungs.
Pneumonia causes symptoms similar to bronchitis, plus:
- high fever
- rapid heartbeat
- loss of appetite
In some cases, instead of spreading the infection, a person gets concurrent pneumonia with bronchitis.
Both infections have very similar symptoms and this can make an accurate diagnosis difficult for doctors. The lung infection they initially diagnosed as bronchitis could have been pneumonia all along.
A less common form of bronchitis is chronic bronchitis. The symptoms are the same, but they can last for months. Chronic bronchitis is a recurrent infection that appears for at least 2 years in a row.
Chronic bronchitis is a lung condition that occurs when a person breathes in irritants for a long period of time. These irritants damage the lungs and cause long-term swelling of the airways. The most common causes are smoking, air pollution and chemicals in the workplace.
In a person with chronic bronchitis, the lungs function less efficiently than usual. This disruption can make it harder for the body to fight infection and increase the risk of developing pneumonia.
Bronchitis and pneumonia: causes
In most cases, a virus causes bronchitis and bacteria causes pneumonia.
The same virus often causes colds, flu and bronchitis. Viruses are spread when people cough or sneeze, and they can also live on surfaces. They are highly contagious.
The bacterium that most commonly causes pneumonia is Streptococcus pneumoniae. It can be spread through a cough, but is much less contagious than a cold or bronchitis. The immune system of most people immediately kills these bacteria.
A person can get pneumonia if their immune system is not working properly. This dysfunction may be due to recent or concomitant disease. Those who have bronchitis may have a higher risk of developing pneumonia.
Other causes of pneumonia are other, less common bacteria, viruses, or fungi. If a less common bacterium causes pneumonia, doctors call the condition SARS. This term refers to the fact that the symptoms of such pneumonia look a little different than the symptoms of typical pneumonia.
Bacteria are less likely to cause bronchitis. When this happens, there may be a higher risk of bronchitis turning into pneumonia because the bacteria can multiply and spread quickly. The infection can spread from the respiratory tract to the air sacs in the lungs.
If a patient has comorbidities or is not treated for bronchitis, they are at higher risk of developing pneumonia.
People at high risk of developing pneumonia:
- elderly people
- infants and young children
- people with weakened immune systems
- people with comorbidities such as asthma
Certain forms of pneumonia are associated with hospital stays. Patients who are in intensive care or who use breathing apparatus have a higher risk of infection.
Prompt treatment of bronchitis can help prevent pneumonia. Once the immune system has returned to normal, the risk of developing a new infection drops.
People can also reduce their risk by stopping smoking to improve their lung health and by wearing a respirator if they use chemicals in the workplace. Regular exercise, which raises your heart rate, can help strengthen your lungs.
Ways to prevent the spread of pneumonia include washing hands, covering coughs or sneezes, and throwing away headscarves and masks immediately after use.
Older people may consider getting the pneumonia vaccine to protect themselves from the disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the vaccine for children under 2 years of age and adults 65 years of age and older.
Diagnosis can be difficult because bronchitis and pneumonia have very similar symptoms. Sometimes it’s impossible to say:
- whether the person has chronic bronchitis
- does the person have bronchitis that has turned into pneumonia
- whether the person had pneumonia from the start
The doctor usually asks about the medical history and does a physical examination. He listens to his lungs for a crackling or bubbly sound.
If bronchitis progresses to pneumonia, symptoms usually get worse. There is a cough with mucus and fever. If a doctor cannot diagnose pneumonia based on symptoms, they may do a chest x-ray or blood test.
Most patients can treat cases of acute bronchitis at home. They should rest, drink plenty of fluids, and take pain medication if needed. A humidifier can make breathing easier by loosening the secretion of mucus in the lungs. Honey or lozenges can also relieve symptoms in adults.
Doctors rarely prescribe antibiotics to treat bronchitis. These drugs treat bacterial infections, and bronchitis is almost always a viral infection.
Mild pneumonia can usually be treated at home, but it is advisable to see a doctor. The doctor usually prescribes antibiotics. Patients should always take a full course of antibiotics, even if their symptoms have disappeared.
In more serious cases, you may need to go to the hospital. The medical staff will check to see if the treatment is working, prescribe the right medications, and provide oxygen if necessary. If the patient is too unwell to take pills or drink liquids, they may need an IV.
When to see a doctor
Severe or persistent symptoms may indicate a more serious case. It is important to see a doctor if:
- cough lasts longer than 2 weeks
- has a high temperature for 2 days in a row
- mucus contains blood
- dyspnea worsens
The patient should consult a doctor if he has become ill with bronchitis with concomitant diseases. Timely treatment will help reduce the risk of developing pneumonia.
Pneumonia is the most common complication of bronchitis. It is more common in people with a weakened immune system. Therefore, those who are not feeling well, have recently had an illness, or have serious health problems are at higher risk. This condition is also more likely to affect children and the elderly.
Most people can recover from bronchitis and mild pneumonia at home. The main thing for them is bed rest.
Pneumonia can be severe, so the patient should see a doctor if they have symptoms of this disease.
symptoms of pneumonia and bronchitis
Bronchitis and pneumonia have similar features, so many people confuse them (and in vain!). We will tell you what symptoms should alert you.
What do these symptoms mean?
Pneumonia is fairly easy to confuse with acute bronchitis due to similar symptoms. One of them is a lingering cough that torments a person for weeks. However, there are key differences between these diseases that we need to be aware of. Understanding what is happening with our body will allow us to consult a doctor in time if the condition begins to worsen.
Contents of article
Do not self-medicate! In our articles, we collect the latest scientific data and the opinions of authoritative health experts. But remember: only a doctor can diagnose and prescribe treatment.
What is bronchitis?
Acute bronchitis is inflammation of the airways leading to the lungs. It can develop as a complication of a viral infection, such as a cold or the flu.
Sometimes bronchitis occurs on its own, for non-pathogenic causes. The body often reacts to stimuli in this way, but, of course, a viral infection remains the main cause. This, by the way, means the almost complete uselessness of antibiotics for the treatment of bronchitis.
Symptoms of bronchitis:
- Persistent cough (with or without phlegm).
- Sore throat.
- Chest pain (aggravated by coughing).
- Shortness of breath.
- Short, uneven breathing.
- Body aches.
Acute bronchitis may resolve on its own within a week. But cough, as a residual phenomenon, sometimes drags on for weeks or even months.
If you are diagnosed with bronchitis and your symptoms worsen, stay the same, or change significantly without improvement, you may have developed another infection. They are usually called secondary.
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In this case, it is dangerous to self-medicate, you should definitely consult a doctor (especially if you have not done this before).
How is bronchitis treated?
Acute bronchitis is most often caused by a virus, so antibiotics are rarely prescribed. They are completely ineffective against viruses, and thoughtless use of them only contributes to the cultivation of drug-resistant bacterial cultures.
Sometimes – quite rarely – bronchitis is caused by bacteria, in which case doctors may prescribe antibiotics.
This recommendation is usually made after receiving the results of tests in which a throat swab is sent for bacterial culture. The scheme may seem complicated, but antibiotics without indications are a very bad idea, leading to superbugs.
More often than not, the treatment of acute bronchitis is to relieve the symptoms until the body manages itself.
Have you ever had bronchitis?
What is pneumonia?
For those of us who are older, pneumonia is better known as pneumonia. This condition is much more difficult than bronchitis, and when we get sick, we feel much worse.
Both bronchitis and pneumonia cause a painful cough, but the inflammation is characterized by other important symptoms not characteristic of bronchitis.
Symptoms of pneumonia:
- Chest pain.
- Cough with sputum and mucus.
- Painful and frequent cough.
- Shortness of breath.
There are many types of pneumonia, some of which are very serious. In adults, bacterial pneumonia is most common. Among respiratory diseases, it is the most severe, and in the most extreme cases can lead to a poor outcome.
Do not confuse bacterial pneumonia with complications of a coronavirus infection! They develop and proceed in different ways, and the methods of treatment are also different.
How is pneumonia treated?
Unless it is COVID-19, the treatment for pneumonia will depend on its cause. Bacterial inflammation almost always needs antibiotic therapy. Other medications, most often over-the-counter medications, help with symptoms, but their use also requires a doctor’s recommendation.
Under no circumstances should you try to carry pneumonia on your feet!
This is a serious condition that takes time to heal. It is the inability to lie down (and, of course, the lack of adequate medical care for any reason) that makes pneumonia deadly.
Facts about pneumonia
Thousands of adults are hospitalized every year with pneumococcal pneumonia – the most common type of pneumonia that slowly resolves and torments the sick person for a long time.
There are also less severe forms of pneumonia, among them the so-called “walking” or latent.
It presents with milder symptoms and does not always require antibiotic treatment. A general practitioner – who is a must-see if you suspect pneumonia – will determine the type of pneumonia you have based on your symptoms, physical examination, and tests.
In any case, a patient with pneumonia is supposed to rest, bed rest, drink plenty of water and eat nutritious food. For bronchitis, the recommendations are similar. Acute bronchitis is annoying, but not as severe as pneumonia.
The main thing is not to start the disease, whatever it may be. You should not carry on your feet what needs to be treated at home.
What is chronic bronchitis?
Chronic bronchitis is another problem that many of us face. In general, an exacerbation of chronic bronchitis is simply an acute worsening of all its symptoms.
These are usually wheezing, shortness of breath, sputum production or coughing – nothing particularly critical, but the quality of life certainly suffers.
This condition is usually divided into two directions with similar symptoms:
- Common chronic bronchitis. It is characterized by a more frequent cough with increased sputum production.
- Emphysema. With it, shortness of breath occurs more often.
However, symptoms may overlap and appear in both cases.
An exacerbation of chronic bronchitis can be caused by both infection (virus, bacteria or other pathogens) and non-infectious causes.
Vaping, smoking, exposure to the environment, even strong odors can all cause a cough to return in a person who hasn’t coughed in months.