Both acute or chronic bronchitis can easily turn in pneumonia or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), according to Prevention Healthy Living Group. Bronchitis is better characterized as an inflammation of the lining at the bronchial tubes, which are responsible for transporting air to the lungs. Acute bronchitis affects individuals for a short period of time and is much more common than chronic bronchitis with 90 percent of causes due to viral infections while chronic bronchitis is often due to unhealthy habits, such as smoking, and can last for up to 3 months.
Bronchitis and pneumonia are quite similar, but have different symptoms. Individuals suffering from bronchitis will normally start off with a dry cough that does not bring up mucus for several days. After several days, coughing may bring up mucus from the lungs. The mucus is generally clear, yellow or green, and may also be tinged with blood. On the other hand, those suffering from pneumonia will always have mucus with their coughing. The mucus is either rusty, green or tinged with blood.
To prevent bronchitis from developing into pneumonia, consider the following:
- avoiding lung irritants, which include smoking cigarettes and being exposed to air pollutants, household cleaners and dust
- using humidifiers, as warm, moist air relieves coughing and can loosen mucus present in the airway
- being vigilant in hygienic routines, like washing one's hands, to prevent being exposed to virus and bacteria that has accumulated