Worried about Corona virus spreading in India? Buy Health Insurance and get coverage now. View Plans
Take informed decisions with IIFL Insurance:

Bronchitis and Pneumonia – Various Differences Explained


Bronchitis and pneumonia have very similar symptoms and, therefore, can be easily confused. People may not be able to tell the difference between these two without a proper medical diagnosis.

Rahul suffered from a severe throat sore, with fever and cough. He experienced fatigue and difficulties in breathing. On a medical diagnosis, it was revealed that he showed symptoms of Bronchitis and was recommended medication.

Karan, a resident of the same building who frequented Rahul’s house, began showing similar symptoms. It was assumed that he had bronchitis due to the disease being highly transmissible. But on a medical diagnosis, it was revealed that Karan had Pneumonia and not Bronchitis.

Bronchitis Vs Pneumonia


Bronchitis is the inflammation of the bronchial tubes that carries air from the windpipe to the lungs. 

The two major types of Bronchitis are-

  • Acute Bronchitis: This is a more common type of Bronchitis that affects most people with the disease and is only rarely fatal. Acute bronchitis has different forms depending upon the causes. 
  • Chronic Bronchitis: Ongoing inflammation of the trachea is known as chronic bronchitis. It is a type of COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).


Causes of Bronchitis:

These are the major causes of Bronchitis-

  • Viral bronchitis is caused by the invasion of viruses such as the flu or common cold that causes cough and breathing problems in an individual.
  • Bacterial bronchitis is caused by bacterial infections following a different illness that causes difficulties in breathing.
  • Fungal infections that cause bronchitis
  • Exposure to lung irritants such as smoke, dust, vapours, fumes, tobacco, and other air pollutants, can also cause bronchitis.


Symptoms of Bronchitis:

Here are some bronchitis symptoms

  • Mucus produced by cold or cough
  • The colour of the mucus is observed to be yellow or green, or even clear
  • Feeling feverish or having chills
  • Being unable to breathe, especially when lying down
  • A severely sore throat
  • A tightened or full feeling chest
  • Nasal congestion
  • Fatigue and body ache


Treatment of Bronchitis:

Bronchitis is usually viral and hence, does not respond to antibiotics. Remedies for relieving the severity of bronchitis are-

  • Rest can boost the immune system and help in recovering from the infection
  • Drinking a lot of fluids and keeping yourself hydrated can prevent dehydration-associated illnesses such as dizziness and headache. 
  • Pain relief medication such as Asprin can help relieve body aches and pains.
  • Medication for cough 
  • Making use of a humidifier to ease cough can help in thinning out mucus and draining it away.

In case of bacterial bronchitis, medication recommended includes antibiotics. Chronic bronchitis is not curable. However, doctors might recommend pulmonary rehabilitation therapy, oxygen, or inhalers to reduce the inflammation in the air ducts.

Quitting smoking can prevent the risk of bronchitis and also further damages to the airways.


Viruses that cause bronchitis are highly transmissible through surfaces touched by an affected person and then by a non0affected person within a short period.

Here are ways to reduce the spread-

  • Washing hands and using sanitisers
  • Covering the mouth or nose while coughing or sneezing
  • Not exposing unclean hands to the nose, mouth, or eyes
  • Avoiding the contact of people who have been affected by bronchitis recently



Pneumonia affects the air sacs of the lungs and causes inflammation. It may be viral, fungal, or bacterial.

Causes of Pneumonia:

  • Viral infections
  • Bronchitis


Symptoms of Pneumonia:

Here are some signs of pneumonia

  • Severe cold
  • Yellow, green, or bloody mucus
  • Fever and fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • A state of confusion may be caused in older people
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting


Treatment of Pneumonia:

Here’s how to learn about pneumonia treatment:

Pneumonia caused by a fungus can be treated through antifungals while bacterial pneumonia, through antibiotics. The viral form of pneumonia has no treatments as such.

Remedies to help pneumonia:

  • Pain relief medication
  • Resting up 
  • Intake of lots of fluids
  • Using humidifiers
  • Cough medication



Early identification of symptoms and prompt medical care can help recover from both Bronchitis as well as Pneumonia.

Buy Insurance - 18002101330