Bronchitis is a very common ailment specially in children and can be very problematic respiratory ailment as well if you do not treat it quickly.
Bronchitis is related to the lungs. Another common ailment which is related to the lungs is pneumonia and people often confuse both.
Pneumonia is much more dangerous than bronchitis. Since both of these elements are related to the lungs, people often ask a question can bronchitis turn into pneumonia?
The problem is that if you look into the symptoms of both of these you would realize that they are very similar and therefore it becomes very difficult to distinguish between bronchitis and pneumonia and if you are suffering from bronchitis then you would not be able to easily distinguish it from pneumonia.
Can bronchitis turn into pneumonia?
Yes, bronchitis can indeed turn into pneumonia if not treated properly. That is why, if bronchitis turns into pneumonia, it would be very difficult to detect the symptoms unless and until you go for a specific test recommended by your doctor. In such a situation, you need to always be in proper consultation with your doctor because only your doctor would be able to distinguish between the symptoms of bronchitis and pneumonia.
While it is true that not each and every case of bronchitis may turn into pneumonia but there are significant number of chances that bronchitis can turn into pneumonia. Bronchitis is caused by a bacteria and when the bacteria is not eliminated and the bacteria multiplies and it causes pneumonia.
In most of the adults, the immunization system is strong enough to suppress the growth of the bacteria and therefore it does not easily turn into pneumonia. In certain cases, when the immunization system of the body is weak like in children or in adults whose immunization system is weak, the growth of the bacteria which causes bronchitis cannot be limited by the body and in these cases, if the treatment is delayed for bronchitis, then this gives the time for the bacteria to keep on multiplying and eventually cause pneumonia.
In most of the cases, when antibiotics are given in time to the patients of bronchitis, it eliminates the bacteria quite easily as long as the treatment is done properly.
In most of the cases, when you notice that bronchitis is turning into pneumonia, you would notice that the victim is either a child or a senior citizen and that is because in both of these cases the immunization system is not strong enough.
Bronchitis is always characterized by problem in breathing as well as coughing and congestion of the chest and therefore if you’re suffering from the symptoms then it might be a wise idea to start the treatment of bronchitis as soon as possible so that you eliminate the bacteria and thereby eliminating the chances of suffering from pneumonia.
Some of the other symptoms of bronchitis are high fever, phelgm in the chest and fatigue.
The same symptoms are seen in pneumonia as well but they are much more severe and pneumonia is caused by the bacteria which is residing in the body and which has been untreated. That is why, bronchitis can easily lead to pneumonia.
The severity of pneumonia would always be dependent on the bacteria which is causing it. In majority of the cases, pneumonia is not fatal but in some of the cases depending on the bacteria which is causing the pneumonia, it can prove to be fatal as well.
Specially, if the immune system of the victim is weak then pneumonia can prove to be fatal. That is why, if you’re seeing the symptoms of bronchitis or pneumonia in children or in senior citizens, then it is important to start the diagnosis and the treatment as soon as possible and you should be contacting your doctor as soon as possible to detect the nature of the problem and the solution of the problem and to start the antibiotics course to eliminate the bacteria from the body of the victim.
Differences between bronchitis and pneumonia:
Even though there are similar symptoms of bronchitis and pneumonia there are at least some differences which would help you in understanding whether you are suffering from bronchitis or whether you are suffering from pneumonia. This would also help you in recognizing when bronchitis has advanced to pneumonia.
-The fever which you suffer from in pneumonia is much higher as compared to bronchitis. The fever in bronchitis is mild or is entirely absent but in pneumonia it is often chronic and very high.
-In pneumonia, the heart rate is much faster than normal whereas it is almost near-normal when you’re suffering from bronchitis.
-Since the heart rate is faster in pneumonia, the breathing rate is also more in pneumonia. This problem is not present in bronchitis.
-Shaking of the teeth is pretty common when you suffer from pneumonia and it is not present in bronchitis.
-When you go for x-ray and if you’re suffering from pneumonia, the x-ray would never be proper. There is no such problem in bronchitis. The difference can only be understood by a medical professional and not a by a normal person and that is why, it is best you let the doctor evaluate your x-ray.
So, yes bronchitis can turn into pneumonia and while the symptoms are same but there are some differential points between bronchitis and pneumonia which will surely help you in detecting whether you are suffering from bronchitis or whether the bronchitis which you are suffering from earlier has now turned into pneumonia.
The treatment is different for bronchitis and pneumonia depending on the severity of the disease which you are suffering from and that is why it becomes important that you consult a doctor who would be able to detect quite clearly whether you are suffering from pneumonia or whether you’re suffering from bronchitis and instead of just assuming that you’re suffering from bronchitis, you need to look into the differential points which we have highlighted above and then decide whether you are suffering from bronchitis or pneumonia.