Conditions that affect the respiratory system are called respiratory ailments. These include both bronchitis and pneumonia, which commonly affect people during the winter months. The two tend to have similar symptoms, which can make it hard to diagnose which affects a specific individual. Since pneumonia seems more serious than bronchitis,many people wonder, “Can bronchitis turn into pneumonia?”
Can Bronchitis Turn into Pneumonia?
It is not a guarantee that bronchitis will turn into pneumonia. However, for some people, the condition that is caused by bacteria and results in inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes can turn into pneumonia, which occurs only when the bronchitis goes untreated and the bacteria multiplies.
Bronchitis, as mentioned above, is caused by bacteria. The bacteria cause the inflammation in the lining of the bronchial tubes, and then those tubes constrict. That results in difficulty breathing for the individual who is ill. The condition is highly contagious and can affect the sufferer for up to two weeks. Smokers can even suffer the condition for months, and they tend to deal with chronic bronchitis onset.
Pneumonia is considered a severe respiratory disorder and tends to affect young children and those over the age of 60. However, anyone with untreated conditions like bronchitis can develop pneumonia. The condition involves chest pain, a cough that typically brings up phlegm, a high fever, chills and trouble breathing.
Bronchitis can develop into pneumonia for those who leave the condition untreated. The young and old and those with a weakened immune system are particularly susceptible to the possibility. For individuals whose bronchitis turn into pneumonia, the bacteria multiply and the immune system is unable to fight it off without help. Therefore, the condition worsens within the individual, and medical intervention becomes necessary. Pneumonia can develop at a variety of levels of severity.
What Are the Differences Between Bronchitis and Pneumonia?
Although you have gotten a “yes” to the answer “Can bronchitis turn into pneumonia?” it can be still challenging to tell the difference between bronchitis and pneumonia. One of the most important things to remember is that bronchitis that lasts beyond one week needs to be addressed with medical help. That way, it has less chance of turning into pneumonia. If pneumonia does develop, a visit to the doctor can provide access to the appropriate medication to address it.
One difference between bronchitis and pneumonia is that bronchitis often makes yourcough up phlegm – typically clear or green or yellow. Pneumonia, by contrast, is an infection in one of both lungs. This means the cough tends to cause chest pain and the phlegm with pneumonia is typically thicker and harder to bring up with a cough.
Another difference to take note of between the two conditions is the level of issue when it comes to shortness of breath. Pneumonia makes it harder to take in adequate oxygen in a breath. The oxygenated blood is also impacted, as it is harder to circulate that blood throughout the body.
If a person finds him or herself coughing up bloody mucus, this is also a strong indication of pneumonia. This symptom rarely occurs with acute bronchitis. Meanwhile, a high fever also indicatespneumonia.
What to Do to Avoid Bronchitis Turning into Pneumonia
Since you have known the answer to “Can bronchitis turn into pneumonia?” you must want to know how to avoid its happening. Addressing the symptoms of bothbronchitis and pneumonia makes a big difference in avoiding the onset of pneumonia. With this in mind, keep track of symptoms and go to visit a doctor for bronchitis that is longer than one week. If necessary, the approaches below can help resolve issues.
If you are dealing with a prolonged case of bronchitis, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics. He or she may also recommend an inhaler or other medications if you suffer from asthma or severe allergies. Finally, the use of cough medicine to help minimize the coughing spells until your body has a chance to fight off the bacteria may be a wise idea.
For those who deal with chronic bronchitis, pulmonary rehabilitation may be a consideration. This therapy helps improve the use of the patient’s lung capacity, making breathe easier and exercise successfully.
3. Home Care
For those who deal with bronchitis regularly, these tips hereshould be part of your routine. Consider adding a humidifier to the home. Warm air that is moist rather than dry helps alleviate cough issues. Another thing to consider is the use of a face mask while outdoors or while exposed to lung irritants, like paint fumes, cleaner fumes or even smoke. Avoid smoking yourself, since that increases the odds of developing bronchitis.