Share This Story

Both bronchitis and pneumonia are two different respiratory conditions which usually begin as common cold. At first you may have cold and when it worsens may lead to symptoms like cough, fever, fatigue and so on. Severe cases of cold or infections may lead to the above two respiratory conditions i.e. bronchitis and pneumonia. If not treated properly these two can lead to some severe complications and can be life threatening also. Let us learn about these two conditions and their differences.

Causes of Bronchitis or Pneumonia


Both bronchitis and pneumonia as discussed earlier are two different respiratory conditions which share some common symptoms. Let us have a quick look about these two

  • Bronchitis– inflammation of bronchial tubes due to infection is termed as bronchitis. It mainly develops from the cold i.e. when the cold virus reaches your airways. Due to this infection your airways gets inflames and this inflammation narrows the airways and leads to excess formation mucus. Bronchitis can be both acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis is a condition which can result from infection due to virus or bacteria. Even though this gets cleared up within weeks, it is very contagious. Chronic bronchitis is a condition which lasts longer and is not contagious. People who smoke are more susceptible to it. People with bronchitis have symptoms like breathlessness, wheezing and most importantly persistent cough along with mucus.
  • Pneumonia– infection of the lungs due to virus or bacteria is termed as pneumonia. Due to infection, the little air sacs called alveoli in your lungs get inflamed and filled with pus. In few cases severe bronchitis can lead to pneumonia. It is a serious life threatening disorder and needs immediate treatment. Common pneumonia symptoms include productive cough, high fever, chills, breathlessness, confusion, dizziness and so on. Pneumonia can be caused due to organisms like virus, bacteria and fungus. Several factors like low immunity, asthma and other chronic conditions can worsen your condition and can trigger pneumonia.

Bronchitis or pneumonia problems

Difference between Bronchitis and Pneumonia?

Even though both these respiratory conditions share few common symptoms and affect individuals ability to breathe, but they have a huge difference. Bronchitis symptoms include dry cough which can produce mucus, sore throat and body ache, whereas people with pneumonia faces symptoms like productive cough along with high fever, chills, fatigue, sweating, fast heart beat and rapid breathing, gray or blue coloured nails and lips and confusion. Generally bronchitis is not life threatening, whereas pneumonia is a life threatening disorder which needs immediate treatment.

How to identify?

Identifying the difference between bronchitis and pneumonia is very crucial for early and accurate treatment. Though both bronchitis and pneumonia looks similar, people with pneumonia faces symptoms like high fever, chills, pain in chest while coughing or while breathing, whereas in bronchitis people may not have fever and chills as pneumonia. Consult your doctor immediately if you experience symptoms of both bronchitis and pneumonia. By examining your symptoms your doctor suggests few tests through which he can easily differentiate between these two and offer you accurate and quick treatment. Do not neglect your symptoms as they can sometimes be life threatening.