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How to distinguish bronchitis from asthma? Even pediatricians have trouble with this. Then, instead of having asthma, they treat the child for recurrent bronchitis. What are the symptoms of bronchitis and what are the symptoms of asthma?


  1. Asthma and bronchitis - what's the difference?
  2. Asthma is often inherited
  3. Asthma - symptoms of the disease
  4. Asthma - life with asthma
  5. Asthma - diagnosis
  6. Bronchitis - Causes
  7. Bronchitis - symptoms
  8. Bronchitis - treatment

Doasthmaandbronchitisactually have so much similarsymptoms ? Every child can catch a cold or catch the flu and cough. Everyone can gasp as they run across the yard or climb the stairs to the second floor. However, only one in twentieth hasasthma . It is a disease for life, but when diagnosed early and well treated by an allergist or pulmonologist, it allows both a child and an adult to function normally. Misdiagnosis and stuffing with antibiotics perpetuate unfavorable changes in the bronchi and postpone proper treatment.

Asthma and bronchitis - what's the difference?

The bronchi are tubular tubes that connect the trachea to the lungs. Their inflammation can be caused by both viruses and bacteria. Viruses do this more often, but a complication is often followed by bacterial superinfection.

With every infection, the lining of the bronchial tubes becomes inflamed, causing more mucus to be produced, which in turn causes you to cough. The patient has a temperature, but usually not too high. Coughs and may cough up purulent, yellow-green discharge for several days.

When the bronchioles are infected (the thin branches of the bronchi reaching the alveoli), the patient suffers from shortness of breath.

Unfortunately, there is no medicine that can preventbronchitis . The only solution is to increase overall immunity. During illness, you should rest at home, drink a lot, take syrups that thin the mucus and facilitate expectoration. Paracetamol can be taken if the temperature is high.

When a doctor suspects bacterial bronchitis or wants to prevent bacterial superinfection, he or she ordersantibiotic. The infection usually passes after a few or several days. If bronchitis is repeated 3-4 times a year, it should awaken the patient's alertness. It can herald asthma.


Asthma is distinguished from bronchitis mainly by the bronchial reaction to allergens. The physician should take this into account when the patient is ill frequently. The diagnosis is not easy. Bronchitis may be accompanied by moderate spasm. The patient may cough up sputum, cough or have shortness of breath.

With both diseases, the doctor notices whirring and wheezing during auscultation. An asthma attack is sometimes preceded by bronchitis with fever. Therefore, a medical history is important. It is better to administer cromoglycan to prevent asthma attacks than to multiply antibiotics.

Asthma is often inherited

Kasia developed asthma when she was 5 years old.

- I remember I couldn't catch my breath - a ten-year-old remembers today. - My mom stood over me scared and patted me on the back because she thought I was choking on something. And my chest tightened more and more. Today, when I feel the attack is looming, I know I must not panic. I have to take the inhaler and inhale the medicine through my mouth. After two or three such breaths, he stops hugging me. I rest a bit and I can go back to classes.

Doctors don't know exactly what causes asthma. Children from families where this disease has already appeared, so to some extent, the tendency to it is hereditary. It is known that attacks can be prevented or worsened by taking the prescribed medications regularly and following the advice of a he althcare professional.

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Asthma - symptoms of the disease

Asthma is also known as asthma. It literally means having difficulty breathing. Formerly it was thought that they were caused only by narrowing (obstruction) of the airways. The smooth muscles of the bronchi and bronchioles contract, reducing the flow of air. Today it is known that it is not the contraction itself, but the inflammatory airway disease that plays the most important role in the appearance of asthma symptoms.

It can therefore be said that asthma is a specific bronchitis accompanied by significant bronchospasm. This contraction, or asthma attack, most often occurs after contact with an allergen, such as pollen, dust mites, animal hair or certain foods, such as milk. Then we talk about allergic bronchial asthma.

In turnattack Non-specific asthma can be triggered by almost anything: intense smell, rapid temperature changes, taking aspirin, cigarette smoke, infection, exercise, emotions, even loud laughter.

Your asthma attack may be slightly different each time. Usually, the person has no fever (unless the temperature is associated with some existing infection), is stuffy, and feels as if the hoop is tightening around his chest. His exhalation becomes longer and his cough becomes dry, "barking."

The attack may last up to several hours. Towards the end, the patient coughs up the mucous secretion (except for small children who do not cough up at all). Symptoms resolve quickly when the correct medications are given. If a person is not properly treated and does not follow their doctor's instructions, they may have several asthma attacks each year.

Effortless breathlessness, difficulty speaking, bruising of the skin on the fingers and the skin around the mouth, abnormal heart rate, and rapid chest movements - these are signs of a severe asthma attack. This may result in life-threatening respiratory failure. You need to quickly give the sick person medication and call a doctor.

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Asthma - life with asthma

A person suffering from asthma should remove from home as much as possible everything that may sensitize, e.g. thick curtains and carpets - if they sensitize mites, flowering plants - if their pollen is allergens, milk - when the attacks are caused by dairy products. Sometimes you have to give your doggie or kitten back into good hands. It is also worth trying a desensitizing vaccine. The specialist may, however, order medications that:

  • relax the bronchi and stop the attack - beta-2-mimetics, theophylline and its derivatives, anticholinergics;
  • prevent asthma attacks - these are anti-inflammatory corticosteroids, cromoglycan and nedocromil, and leukotrienes modifying drugs.

They can be used for many years. Until recently, children were taking steroids in tablets. Now these are preparations for inhalation through an inhaler. Thanks to this, the doses are even several times smaller, and side effects (e.g. gaining weight) are minimized. So there is no need to be afraid of modern steroid drugs. Rinse your mouth with water after taking the medicine. This protects against oral mycosis.

Asthma - diagnosis

The doctor, after interviewing and examining the patient, who suspects asthma, often orders additional tests - these are:

  • blood gas - determination of oxygen concentration andcarbon dioxide in the blood. It makes it easier to decide on the treatment method.
  • spirometry - involves blowing air through the mouthpiece into a special device. It allows you to assess the advancement of asthma.
  • blood test for eosinophils, the so-called eosinophils - if there are more than 250-400 in a millimeter six. blood is one piece of evidence that supports asthma. The reduction in the number of these blood cells indicates the correct treatment of the child, mainly with steroids.
  • sputum test - with asthma, there are a lot of eosinophils in it and the so-called Charcot-Leyden crystals.
  • Chest X-ray - may show different changes depending on how severe the disease is.
  • identification of the allergen - it consists in skin tests (redness and swelling at the site of the allergen application are confirmed), RAST tests (specific IgE antibodies against specific allergens are determined in the serum of the collected blood) and allergen inhalation provocation tests (patient inhales other substances that may sensitize them, and the person conducting the test assesses what the bronchi react to the most.


Bronchitis - Causes

Bronchitis, while also affecting the respiratory tract, is very different from asthma. It is not a hereditary disease, but an infection caused by viruses and bacteria.

There are two types of bronchitis: acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis is not that dangerous. It can be a complication of a cold or a simple viral infection that, if properly treated, will pass in a few days.

Chronic bronchitis can have more serious consequences. It is caused by bacterial superinfection within the bronchi, which may last longer. The incidence of the disease is also increased. If it is not limited to seasonal infections, but occurs much more often, it should not be underestimated.

The consequence of chronic bronchitis is impaired bronchial patency, pulmonary distension, obstructed air flow through the respiratory tract and shortness of breath. Frequent occurrence of this type of infection in childhood may contribute to the development of asthma.

Bronchitis - symptoms

Bronchitis is manifested by a persistent cough, initially dry, which becomes wet as the disease progresses. However, bronchospasm is not as severe as in asthma. Coughing attacks do not last that long and are usually not related to contact with an allergen.

During bronchitis, malaise and headaches are also troublesome. In contrastThere is also a fever with bronchitis.

Bronchitis - treatment

Treatment of bronchitis is not complicated. In order to eliminate persistent cough, antitussive syrups are used. Depending on the type of cough, medications are used to help expectorate secretions or, in the case of dry cough, to reduce the cough reflex.

In the treatment of bronchitis, antibiotics are given only when there is a bacterial infection. Otherwise, treatment with antibiotics is ineffective as bronchitis is a viral infection.

If bronchitis is accompanied by a fever, the patient is given medications to lower the temperature. With bronchitis, it is also recommended to rest and not to go outside.


Bronchitis is an acute infectious disease caused by viruses or bacteria, characterized by coughing. Very often, bronchitis is also accompanied by fever.

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