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Difference between Bronchitis and Acute Bronchitis

Difference between Bronchitis and Acute Bronchitis

If you suffer from breathing difficulties, it can be difficult to know the difference between bronchitis and acute bronchitis. Both of these medical conditions affect your lungs, but they aren’t one and the same. This blog post will explore the differences between the two so that anyone struggling with a respiratory illness can figure out which one they may have. From symptoms to treatments and more, we’ll break down everything in this convenient read!

What is Bronchitis?

Bronchitis is a common respiratory disorder, characterized by inflammation of the Bronchiole tubes within the lungs. Bronchial tubes transport air to and from the lungs, so when they become swollen or inflamed, breathing becomes far more difficult.

  • Bronchitis is most commonly caused by exposure to viruses and other airborne irritants such as smoke, dust, mold, and pollen; but in some cases, it can also be triggered by bacterial infections.
  • Signs of Bronchitis include a persistent cough with mucus production, shortness of breath, chest discomfort, and a feeling of tightness in the chest.
  • In severe cases, additional symptoms such as fever can arise. Bronchitis often resolves on its own if timely care is taken; however, if symptoms persist for more than two weeks seeking medical attention is necessary.

What is Acute Bronchitis?

Acute Bronchitis is a common respiratory infection that causes swelling and inflammation of the smaller air passages in the lungs. It typically begins with a cold or other respiratory ailment and can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks.

  • Acute Bronchitis is often caused by viruses, however, it can also be the result of bacteria, environmental pollutants, smoking, or inhaling certain chemicals.
  • A tell-tale symptom of Acute Bronchitis is a persistent cough that produces no phlegm or mucus, but may eventually lead to coughing up some yellow or green sputum.
  • Acute bronchitis usually resolves on its own without any treatment; however, antibiotics may be prescribed if it’s caused by bacteria and medication such as inhalers may be used to ease irritation and reduce inflammation in the lungs.

Difference between Bronchitis and Acute Bronchitis

  • Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchi – the airways that carry oxygen from the trachea to the lungs. Bronchitis can be either acute or chronic, depending on how long a person experiences symptoms.
  • Acute bronchitis usually only lasts a few weeks, while chronic bronchitis may last several months or even years. Bronchitis is usually caused by a virus but can also be triggered by bacterial infections, pollutants, fungus, and even some medications.
  • Symptoms may include coughing up yellow or green mucus, chest discomfort, fatigue, and shortness of breath. Bronchitis may be treated with rest, hydration, and over-the-counter medications for relief of symptoms. If someone suspects they have bronchitis, it’s best to consult with their doctor for a diagnosis and treatment plan.


There are two types of bronchitis: acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis is a short-term condition that usually develops after a cold or the flu. The symptoms last for several days, and they include coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing, and sore throat. Chronic bronchitis is a long-term condition that may be caused by smoking, exposure to secondhand smoke, or other irritants. If you have chronic bronchitis, you will likely experience periods when your symptoms get better (called remission) and periods when your symptoms worsen (called exacerbation).

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