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What Is The Difference Between Asthma And Bronchitis

How Is Each Condition Diagnosed

Asthma Symptoms & Treatments : Differences Between Asthma & Bronchiolitis in Children

Doctors can use a spirometry test to diagnose asthma.

Doctors can diagnose asthma by taking a health history and asking about a persons symptoms, such as when they become worse or better.

Doctors can then conduct breathing tests to see if someone is likely to have asthma.

Several different tests exist, but a common one is known as spirometry.

Spirometry involves a person blowing into a sensor that measures how fast and hard they are exhaling their breath.

How forcefully a person can exhale is usually reduced if they have asthma.

A doctor may consider asthma over bronchitis if someone has had a cough that goes away but keeps returning.

An exception is when a person has chronic bronchitis, often because they smoke. Asthma is also often unresponsive to cough medications.

A doctor will diagnose bronchitis by:

  • taking a medical history
  • listening to the lungs
  • considering symptoms

A doctor may also order a chest X-ray to ensure symptoms are not related to pneumonia. They may consider a further round of testing for asthma if the symptoms do not improve in 1 or 2 weeks.

Understanding Asthma And Bronchitis

What is bronchial asthma? Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease affecting the bronchus, or airway of the respiratory tract leading to the lungs. The presence of asthma is determined by a combination of genetic and environmental stimuli. However, the exact cause of asthma is not known with certainty.

Bronchitis is a condition in which the bronchioles are inflamed, usually from viral infection, environmental irritants, smoking, and occasionally bacterial infection. Bronchitis can be acute, or short-lived, or it can be chronic and last for years.

Diagnosing Asthma And Copd

With all the similarities between asthma and COPD symptoms, it can be challenging to diagnose each disease correctly without mistaking one for the other. Asthma is the most common alternative diagnosis for COPD. However, it is important to correctly identify which condition a patient is dealing with so they can receive the proper treatment.

When a patient has symptoms that pertain to both asthma and COPD, there are a few key factors that differentiate the two. To develop an accurate diagnosis, medical professionals will ask patients dealing with breathing issues specific questions about their symptoms, such as what time of day they feel the worst. They will also inquire about the patients medical, family and smoking histories and exposure to irritants, as well as gases or vapors.

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Main Difference Between Bronchitis And Asthma

  • Bronchitis is a condition affecting the air passage causing inflammation in the tubes whereas asthma is a condition that affects airways and causes swellings.
  • Bronchitis is split into acute and chronic bronchitis while asthma has no type
  • Bronchitis is curable and has permanent prevention measures whereas asthma is treatable and lack permanent prevention measures
  • Bronchitis is characterized by chest congestion, fever, and shortness of breathing whereas asthma is marked by breathing problems, chest tightness, wheezing, and cough with phlegm.
  • What Is The Outlook For Bronchiolitis Vs Bronchitis

    difference between asthma and bronchitisHD 1

    Bronchitis typically isnt a cause for concern. But it can lead to complications like pneumonia. Never ignore bronchitis, especially if you have recurrent cases. This could indicate that you have some form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , which requires prompt treatment.

    Many cases of bronchiolitis are minor and easily treatable. They can be no more severe than a common cold. But if severe bronchiolitis isnt untreated, it can cause recurrent wheezing and a reduced quality of life. These complications can last into the teenage years. The condition can also be fatal if severe cases arent treated.

    Most children recover at home within three to five days. If hospitalized, many children go home within five days, though some may stay for up to a week.

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    Which Is More Dangerous

    Both diseases are potentially dangerous especially if left untreated. Acute bronchitis, if not tended to, can progress to pneumonia and chronic bronchitis, especially in people with suppressed immune systems. Chronic bronchitis is associated with long-term constriction of airways, bacterial infection and other diseases like asthma, emphysema, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which can eventually lead to death.

    Tuberculosis, especially if it is active, can cause serious damages in some areas in the lungs, which may bleed and may become infected with bacteria. The patient will also experience difficulty breathing because of the blocked airways and a hole may form between the nearby airways in the lungs. It can also lead to death, if the patient didnt receive proper medical care.

    The body consists of several organs that work together to ensure that it is working properly. If one fails, it is possible for the other organs to slowly deteriorate.Without the lungs, oxygen will not flow to the blood. Without oxygen, the organs including the heart will lose function. Caring for the lungs will not just benefit itself but the entire body as well.

    Read on to learn the difference between bronchitis and tuberculosis, how to spot it, and more importantly, how to properly treat it.

    Does An Inhaler Break Up Mucus

    Techniques to remove mucus are often done after using an inhaled bronchodilator medication. The medication helps loosen the mucus and open the airways to make the techniques more effective. Common techniques used to help remove mucus include these, which can be ordered and demonstrated by your doctor.

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    How Long Does Asthmatic Bronchitis Last

  • How Long Does Asthmatic Bronchitis Last? Center
  • The duration of the disease usually depends on the patients overall health and age. In patients with acute bronchitis symptoms may last less than 10 days. In patients with severe asthmaticbronchitis, the symptoms are recurrent and usually last between 30 days to even 2 years with flares and remissions. The flares depend on the patients lung function and immune response. In extreme cases, it may affect the quality of life and may also cause death. The symptoms may include:

    Triggering factors may include:

    • Exposure to substances, such as pollen, dust, mold, animal fur, sand, and bacteria, which triggers allergic reactions. People who suffer from allergies, such as hay fever, neurodermatitis, or cradle cap, have an increased risk of bronchial asthma.
    • Viral infection like cold and flu or pneumonia
    • Air pollution, smoke, fumes from vehicles, etc.
    • Weather, especially extreme changes in temperature
    • Food additives
    • Smoke or pollution
    • Frequent respiratory tract infections also can lead to the development of bronchial asthma
    • Risk factors may also include low birth weight and excess weight in childhood

    It is recommended that a person sees a doctor immediately if they experience:

    • Symptoms that do not clear up in 3 weeks
    • Fever of 100.4° F or higher
    • Recurrent episodes
    • Bluish skin or nails

    Causes And Risk Factors

    Bronchitis vs. Pneumonia: How are they Different?

    As far as the etiology is concerned, exposure to different irritants can easily trigger an inflammation of the airways which will release the chemical known as Histamine, resulting in bronchoconstriction and vasodilatation.

    Commonest irritants

    • Certain foods and beverages
    • Gastro esophageal reflux disease

    Risk factors for Asthma include a positive family history, history of atopic dermatitis or allergic rhinitis, obesity, tobacco smoke, second-hand smoking, hair spray, fumes and toxic gasses.

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    Lean On Dispatchhealth For At

    Bronchitis symptoms are miserable to deal with, and that discomfort is only exacerbated if you have asthma. Leaving home to seek medical treatment may feel like an impossible scenario if youre already struggling to breathe or cant stop coughing. DispatchHealth is here for you. All you have to do is schedule a visit with us and our team will arrive within a few hours ready to help you get on the road to wellness. Whether we need to treat underlying asthma, provide COPD care, or simply help you with the worst of your bronchitis symptoms, well take care of you.

    Get in touch with DispatchHealth through our website, our easy-to-use mobile app, or the phone and a team will be on your doorstep shortly.

    For life-threatening and time-sensitive injuries and illnesses, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. DispatchHealth shouldnt be used in a life-threatening emergency and doesnt replace a primary care provider.

    The Difference Between Asthma And Bronchitis

    Amanda Kerry

    Although asthma and bronchitis are two very different conditions, they are often confused, because they have fairly similar symptoms and they both involve the respiratory tract, precisely the airways or bronchi, which become inflamed.

    However, it is important to distinguish the two because proper and timely diagnose and treatment can prevent rather serious complications.

    Different causes

    Bronchitis is often a consequence of an underlying infection of the respiratory tract. It can be acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis is treatable with medications while chronic bronchitis is a permanent condition.

    Asthma, on the other hand, is not so clear when it comes to its causes. Not all medical experts agree on what exactly is causing it, but most of them agree that environmental factors like pollution, exposure to harmful agents, smoking, whether firsthand or secondhand, as well as hereditary factors, all increase the risk of this condition. Unfortunately, asthma is not curable, but it is treatable. There are ways to alleviate its symptoms, but the condition itself is permanent.

    Different symptoms

    Symptoms of asthma and bronchitis may seem similar, but their cause is different. Bronchitis usually includes symptoms like cough, chest pain, mucus production and wheezing.

    Asthma patients may display some of the same symptoms, like coughing and wheezing, but they also suffer from chest tightness and pressure, problems sleeping and dyspnea, which means difficulty breathing.

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    Is It Asthma Or Chronic Bronchitis

    Chronic bronchitis is an ongoing condition characterized by a cough that occurs on most days of the month, at least three months out of the year, and lasts for at least two years. It is considered a diagnosis of exclusion meaning that your healthcare provider needs to make sure that your coughing symptoms are not being caused by another condition like asthma. Symptoms are caused by inflammation and irritation of the airways in the lung.

    Differences Between Asthma And Copd

    Difference Between Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema ...

    Does it seem like you run out of breath easily? Do you sometimes cough when you catch your breath or have coughing episodes? If you answered yes, you may have a respiratory illness. If you Google your symptoms, the most common results will be asthma and COPD.

    Running out of breath after minimal exertion and having coughing episodes are signs of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease . Both conditions have overlapping symptoms and are easily confused for one another, particularly for adult patients.

    A comprehensive evaluation of your symptoms that includes a physical exam and laboratory tests, along with a review of your medical history, are necessary to make a clinical diagnosis of your respiratory illness.

    Patients with either asthma or COPD need proper management of their symptoms in order to minimize the severity of their condition and live a normal life. Here are a few key differences between asthma and COPD.

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    Pulmonary Rehabilitation For Copd

    Pulmonary rehabilitation has clear benefits for patients with COPD. Exercise increases endurance, improves shortness of breath, increases maximal oxygen consumption, and improves quality of life. Numerous studies have documented improvement in symptoms, maximum oxygen consumption, and quality-of-life measures. A decrease in the number of hospitalizations has also been shown in patients who participate in pulmonary rehabilitation programs.

    Benefits do vary among individuals, however, and consistent participation in an exercise regimen is necessary to maintain improvements. In addition, it has not been shown that pulmonary rehabilitation produces any change in pulmonary function tests or overall oxygen requirements for individuals.

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    What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Bronchitis

    Acute bronchitis often starts with a dry, annoying cough triggered by the of the lining of the bronchial tubes.

    Other symptoms may include:

    For people with chronic bronchitis:

    • It can take longer than usual to recover from colds and other common respiratory illnesses.
    • Wheezing, feeling short of breath, and coughing can happen every day.
    • Breathing can get harder and harder.

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    Staging And Treatment Of Asthma

    The goals of long-term management of asthma should include the following: 1) achievement and maintenance of control of symptoms 2) prevention of asthma exacerbations 3) maintenance of pulmonary function as close to normal levels as possible 4) maintenance of normal activity levels, including exercise 5) avoidance of adverse effects from asthma medications 6) prevention of the development of irreversible airflow limitation and 7) prevention of asthma mortality.

    The recommended GINA treatment algorithm, together with the clinical features and staging of severity of asthma, are available on the GINA website . It is important to note that the forced expiratory volume in one second levels are before treatment, i.e. in the unmedicated state.

    Until the advent of anti-inflammatory drugs, asthma was treated on an as-needed basis and treated as an acute disease rather than a chronic disease. With the recognition that asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease, there has been a gradual move towards treating it more aggressively and earlier in the hope that this may change the natural history of asthma and prevent some of the remodelling that sometimes occurs.

    When Its Asthma And Acute Bronchitis

    Difference Between Asthma & COPD

    It’s particularly concerning when people who already have asthma develop acute bronchitis, explains Richard Castriotta, MD, professor of medicine and associate director of the division of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine at McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas in Houston. “It makes their asthma much worse.”

    In these cases, physicians may call the bronchitis asthmatic bronchitis, though thats not a clinical term, Shamiyeh adds and other physicians use asthmatic bronchitis when a case of acute bronchitis may cause asthma symptoms, like wheezing.

    People with asthma who get bronchitis are often treated with inhalers that dilate the bronchial tubes , and over-the-counter painkillers and cold medication for other upper respiratory cold symptoms, similar to treatment for acute bronchitis in people who are nonasthmatic, Shamiyeh says. Patients with asthma who get bronchitis may also be prescribed inhaled or oral steroids on a case by case basis.

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    Can You Have Both Asthma And Bronchitis

    Asthma can make you more susceptible to bronchitis. When asthma and acute bronchitis occur at the same time, this is whats known as chronic asthmatic bronchitis. And while asthma and bronchitis are two different conditions, it is possible that they can also occur in some people simultaneously. When this occurs, the condition might be termed asthmatic bronchitis.

    Know About Asthmatic Bronchitis

    Asthma and bronchitis are defined as two inflammatory airway diseases. While they have distinct differences, as outlined above, asthma and acute bronchitis can occur together. This is known as asthmatic bronchitis.

    A number of factors can contribute to asthmatic bronchitis. What triggers the symptoms in one person may be different than what causes a flare-up in another however, the following are the most common factors:

    • Pollution
    • Weather
    • Viral or bacterial infections
    • Emotions

    As you may have guessed, the symptoms of asthmatic bronchitis are a combination of asthma and bronchitis. They include shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, tightness in chest and the production of phlegm.

    Due to a virus or bacteria bronchitis can be contagious, however chronic asthmatic bronchitis is not contagious.

    Respiratory diseases affect people of all ages- children, teens, adults and seniors. Most of these diseases, such as asthma, bronchitis and COPD, are chronic and all have a significant impact on the individual with the disease, as well as on family, the community and the health care system. Its in everyones interest to gain a better understanding of respiratory ailments, not only so current patients can breathe easier, but so that we can prevent future generations from suffering.

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    What Are The Signs Of Asthma And Bronchitis

    In its early stages, the main sign is chronic coughing, or coughing that persists for longer than a month. The cough is usually ‘dry’ or harsh, and gagging is common after coughing. It can appear similar to coughing up a hairball.

    As the disease progresses, the cat may appear to have less energy and may have difficulty breathing. Breathing may become noisy, and the pet may wheeze when exhaling. In later stages, the gums may develop a bluish tinge as a result of lack of oxygen. Cats with asthma or chronic bronchitis rarely have a fever and usually their appetite remains normal.

    How Can I Treat Asthma Or Bronchitis Conditions

    Difference Between Bronchitis and Asthma

    For people who ask, How do I treat asthma? or How do I treat bronchitis?, fortunately, the answer is that there are many ways to address these conditions. Bronchitis and asthma treatments include:

    • Prescriptions
    • Respiratory therapy
    • Inhalants

    Asthma, asthmatic bronchitis, acute bronchitis and chronic bronchitis treatments can help people with these conditions breathe more freely and comfortably.

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    What Are The Causes Of Each

    Viruses, such as those that cause the common cold, can cause bronchitis as well.

    People coming in contact with viruses is how these germs are spread. This can happen when someone else coughs nearby or if they touch an infected persons hands.

    People who also have gastroesophageal reflux disease can get acute bronchitis if stomach acid refluxes up and into their airways.

    Doctors do not know exactly why people develop asthma. They do know that people with a family history of asthma or allergies are more likely to have the condition.

    Being exposed at an early age to viruses that cause respiratory infections may also contribute.

    People with bronchitis should drink plenty of fluids.

    There is no cure for bronchitis because a virus is the cause of the condition.

    A person should instead engage in actions and behaviors that will support their immune system and give it time to fight off the virus.

    Methods to treat bronchitis include:

    • drinking plenty of fluids
    • getting plenty of rest
    • taking over-the-counter cough medicines

    A doctor may sometimes prescribe an inhaler with a medication designed to help the airways open more if a person is experiencing significant wheezing related to their bronchitis.

    An example of this treatment is an albuterol inhaler. This is the same medication doctors also use to treat asthma.

    Avoiding asthma triggers, such as smoke, allergens, or other irritants, can also help.


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