7 Difference Between Bronchitis and Asthma with Table

What is the difference between bronchitis and asthma?

Both bronchitis and asthma are respiratory conditions that cause coughing, airway irritation, and inflammations. Knowing the difference between these respiratory conditions is important.

The main difference between asthma and bronchitis is that the former is a condition that causes tightening of airway muscles which result in narrowing and swellings while the latter is an inflammation of the lining of bronchial tubes as a result of infection.

You May Also Like: Difference Between Acute and Chronic Disease

Difference Between Bronchitis and Asthma

Basic Terms Bronchitis Asthma
Meaning It is an inflammation of the lining of bronchial tubes as a result of infection due to smoke, dust, and other pollutants It is a condition where the muscles of the airways are tightening to cause swellings and narrowing.
Signs and Symptoms Headache

Shortness of breath

Tightness in chest

Productive cough


General Malaise



Shortness of breath

Pain and discomfort when breathing


Feeling weak

Diagnose Oxygen level checks

Blood test

Chest X-rays

Spirometer test

Blood test


Chest X-ray

Peak expiratory flow

Causes Viral infection

Bacterial infection

Dust particles

Weather changes



Airborne substances

Dust particles

Pollen grains

Types Acute


No types
Treatment Acute bronchitis lasts for few days and heal of its own

Chronic bronchitis needs proper treatment for complete eradication



Medicine of allergies


Prevention Wear mask

Avoid smoking

Drink plenty of water

Get vaccination

Avoid drinking cough medicine

Wear mask

Avoid smoking

Avoid coming in direct contact with allergens

Take proper tests

Avoid coming into direct contact with people suffering from asthma

What Is Bronchitis?

It is a condition that results in the swelling of the lining of bronchitis tubes. It the characterized by fever, chest congestion, cough, and body aches.

Acute bronchitis takes few days to heal on its own and chronic bronchitis may require proper testing and treatment from a professional physician.

Bronchitis is treatable and the patient is put on Bronchodilators-inhaler machines to help in opening the airways.

An individual needs to wear a mask, wash hands, avoid smoking and coming into direct contact with contagious people.

You May Also Like: Difference between Signs and Symptoms

What is Asthma?

It is a medical condition that results in the tightening of airway muscles to inhibit inhalation and exhalation. The condition usually results in narrowing and swelling of the airways.

Asthma is more of an allergic reaction and the patient usually suffers from asthmatic attacks. The constriction of the airways makes breathing difficult due to the swellings and inflammation.

Some of the common symptoms of asthma are coughing problems and chest tightening. The exact causes of asthma are not clear and the condition usually attacks the respiratory tract.

The perceived causes of asthma are smoking, tobacco, pollen, weather changes, dust, chemicals, viral and bacterial infections.

The medical condition usually weakens other organs and can be life-threatening. Patients are advised to seek medical assistance from experts.

You May Also Like: Difference Between Inhalation and Exhalation

Main Difference between Bronchitis and Asthma

  1. Bronchitis is a condition affecting the air passage causing inflammation in the tubes whereas asthma is a condition that affects airways and causes swellings.
  2. Bronchitis is split into acute and chronic bronchitis while asthma has no type
  3. Bronchitis is curable and has permanent prevention measures whereas asthma is treatable and lack permanent prevention measures
  4. Bronchitis is characterized by chest congestion, fever, and shortness of breathing whereas asthma is marked by breathing problems, chest tightness, wheezing, and cough with phlegm.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Bronchitis Turn into Asthma?

Absolutely. But bronchitis usually goes away when the infection is cleared. Failure to clear infection might make acute bronchitis and viral infection turn into asthma.

Do Inhalers Help with Bronchitis?

Bronchitis is treatable and preventable. Many doctors usually treat the symptoms to help in management until an individual feel better. An inhaler is prescribed when you experience wheezing and coughing.

Is Asthma Cough Dry or Wet?

Asthma cough can be both dry and wet. The condition normally worsens at night or after engaging in physical activity.

Is Cold Air Good for Bronchitis?

Breathing cold air can worsen bronchitis. It is advisable to stay away from coldness since it can induce asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and pneumonia.

You May Also Like: Difference between Diarrhea and Dysentery

In Conclusion

Both asthma and bronchitis usually share some symptoms. These medical conditions result in inflammation of the respiratory tracts. The condition is more prevalent in active and passive smokers.

The core difference between asthma and bronchitis is that asthma is a severe condition and incurable while bronchitis is treatable and preventable.

More Sources and References

Leave a Comment