Do You Have Bronchitis or COPD?

The Difference Between Bronchitis & COPD

When dealing with a hacking cough and shortness of breath, it’s common to misdiagnose what illness you’re dealing with, which can affect or delay your treatment.

This is often the case with Bronchitis and COPD. This article will discuss the two conditions so you’ll have an easier time communicating with your doctor and getting the right treatment.

What is the main difference between Bronchitis and COPD?

In reality, they are linked together. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an umbrella term that covers several long-term diseases that make it difficult to breathe. Bronchitis is one of those diseases.

In fact, chronic bronchitis and emphysema are the two main forms of COPD, with the former being the most common.

Here some important details about Bronchitis and COPD:

  • WebMD defines bronchitis as “an inflammation in the lungs that some people call a chest cold.”
  • Bronchitis can be a miserable, but minor, illness that follows a viral illness like the common cold – or may follow a more serious condition like a chronic smoker’s hack.
  • With COPD, the airways in your lungs become inflamed and thicken, and the tissue where oxygen is exchanged is destroyed.
  • According to the American Lung Association, chronic bronchitis may be present even though a person does not have the airway obstruction characteristic of COPD.
  • Some doctors think that chronic bronchitis may be present even though a person does not have the airway obstruction characteristic of COPD.

Acute Bronchitis isn’t COPD

Acute bronchitis, often known as a chest cold, is short-term inflammation of the bronchi (large and medium-sized airways) of the lungs. The most common symptom is a cough. Other symptoms include coughing up mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, fever, and chest discomfort.

The infection typically lasts no more than ten days, though your cough may continue for longer, according to the American Lung Association.

Bronchitis that lasts for more than 10 days, and recurs over a two-year span, is considered chronic bronchitis and a form of COPD.

Questions you need to ask yourself

  • Do you have a nagging cough that doesn’t seem to go away?
  • When you climb steps or exercise, do you get shortness of breath?
  • Are you feeling worn out, fatigued, and sometimes with chest tightness?
  • Have you been getting frequent chest colds that worsens the above conditions?

If you have any of the above concerns, please see your doctor right away.

In Conclusion

It’s important to know when you have bronchitis and COPD. How severe your symptoms are depends on the extent of damaged to your lungs. Smoking is the most common cause of COPD, according to Center for Disease Control statistics, though other environmental causes exist as well.


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