How to distinguish bronchitis from pneumonia?
Do you know how to distinguish bronchitis from pneumonia? Indeed, in most cases these diseases are accompanied by cough, the duration of which may amount to several weeks. Therefore, it is very important to seek the help of a specialist to make the correct diagnosis, because these diseases have some differences in symptomatology.
The main characteristics of bronchitis
Acute bronchitis - an inflammatory process in the bronchial mucosa. The disease can occur after a viral disease, like SARS or influenza, but sometimes develops on their own.
The main symptoms of bronchitis include:
- prolonged cough (at first dry and painful, and then wet with sputum);
- discomfort and pain behind the breastbone;
- chills and slight fever;
- hard breathing, accompanied by wheezing;
- shortness of breath;
- weakness and aches throughout the body.
Highlights of pneumonia
Pneumonia refers to the acute infectious diseases that affect lung tissue. Thus in the inflammatory process involves not only the bronchi and bronchioles, and alveoli.
The symptoms of pneumonia are very similar to symptoms of acute bronchitis: first, the pronounced dry and then wet cough with some sputum, wheezing, and significant increase in body temperature.
The main symptoms of pneumonia include:
- pain during coughing and deep breathing;
- frequent shallow breathing;
- runny nose;
- shortness of breath;
- chills and fever;
- a shake of the voice;
The main differences between bronchitis and pneumonia
Despite the similarity of symptoms, there are some differences between these two diseases. Most often bronchitis are observed wheezing, and pneumonia they, on the contrary, dry or wet, but not whistling. The distinctive characteristics of pneumonia the doctors include loss of appetite, sleep disturbance and symptoms of General intoxication. It is also worth noting that often the pneumonia is actively developing on the background of SARS and the body temperature can reach 40°C.
With the aim of correct diagnosis, specialists prescribe x-ray examination. It is on the x-ray clearly shows the affectedlung tissue or not. If the inflammatory process has affected lung tissue, it is referred to as pneumonia. If not, then the doctor will diagnose bronchitis.
From the attending physician and an accurate diagnosis directly affects the treatment of this disease and prevent possible complications. Usually, pneumonia is the most common complication of bronchitis. But as a result of pneumonia can develop as formidable as pleurisy or emphysema.
Treatment: the main principles
Acute bronchitis can be easily overcome on their own, at home, in about a week, but the cough may persist for several weeks and even months. Moreover, if the symptoms worsened or changed significantly, it is necessary to consult your doctor to confirm or refute an earlier diagnosis.
In most cases, for the treatment of acute bronchitis modern doctors prescribe antiviral drugs because the disease is caused by a virus and antibiotics will have no effect. But sometimes, bronchitis can be caused by bacteria - then the doctor just has to prescribe the patient antibiotics. Most often, treatment is focused on symptoms of this disease. That is why it is necessary to increase the daily fluid intake and try to get plenty of rest.
Pneumonia is considered to be a more formidable disease than the pesky bronchitis. According to experts, there are several types of pneumonia. One of the most common forms of pneumonia in adult humans is bacterial pneumonia, which is fast enough may go into severe condition and even cause death.
Treatment of pneumonia depends on the underlying cause, but if the patient revealed pneumonia of bacterial etiology, then, of course, the mainstay of treatment are the antibiotics. As for the symptoms of this disease can be prescribed and other medications that the doctor will select individually. Do not forget that when pneumonia is very important to respect the day and rest. This serious disease requires enough time to fully heal and recover.
So, to sum up: if bronchitis is an inflammatory process occurs in the bronchi, as in pneumonia, the inflammation extends to the lung tissue. Bronchitis treatment possible at home when following bed rest, but any form of pneumonia is treated exclusively in the hospital. And most importantly, often the treatment of bronchitisoccurs without the use of any antibiotics, and pneumonia demands the immediate administration of appropriate antibiotic therapy.
If it is good to know the symptoms distinguish bronchitis from pneumonia quite easily.