Invariably the symptoms of pneumonia and bronchitis are quite similar and that is why many times people with pneumonia do not seek help thinking that they are suffering from bronchitis. Both infections are characterized by cough, phlegm and wheezing. However, pneumonia can be life threatening if not treated in time. So, it is important to know the difference between pneumonia and bronchitis, so that you can seek medical help and get yourself treated before it is too late.
Pneumonia is infection of the lungs. In this, either one lung or both can be infected due to virus, bacterium or fungus. Usually pneumonia occurs when a person inhales the pathogen. The infection is characterized by a rattling sound emitting from the lungs when the person breaths. Seniors, infants, young kids and those with immunity issues are more prone to contracting pneumonia.
On the other hand, bronchitis is the infection of the air passages that connect the windpipe to the lungs. Usually it is caused due to a viral infection, but it can occur due to bacterial infections too. Also, secondhand smoke, smoking, pollution and allergies can result in bronchitis. There are 2 types of bronchitis. In the acute type, the infection lasts for a few days or weeks and can be treated with the help of medication. While the chronic type last for many months and tends to keep coming back.
Coming to the difference between pneumonia and bronchitis. Pneumonia is usually characterized by high grade fever, chills and chattering of teeth. Whereas, bronchitis is characterized by low grade fever. Also, a person suffering from pneumonia may cough out blood along with the phlegm. Pneumonia is a serious condition and requires hospitalization unlike bronchitis. The infection can spread through the body and affect other organs if not treated.
Also, pneumonia can result in several complications associated with the lungs. A person with pneumonia can get abscesses in the lungs or have fluid in the lungs. On the other hand, these complications are not seen in bronchitis.
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