You might assume there is only one type of bronchitis; however there are two distinct types of bronchitis. One is viral bronchitis and the other is bacterial bronchitis, understanding the difference between viral vs bacterial bronchitis is extremely important. This is because the treatment options are very different when you look at viral vs bacterial bronchitis.
From the different names you can already tell how these different strains of bronchitis are caused. A bronchitis viral infection, as the name suggests, is caused by a virus. A bacterial bronchitis infection on the other hand is caused by bacteria.
How It Starts
Both viruses and bacteria can cause illnesses but the two organisms are very different. For example viruses are too fragile to survive outside the human body’s cells. Bacteria can live and multiply outside the human body. When it comes to viral vs bacterial bronchitis the most important distinction is that an attack of viral bronchitis cannot be treated with antibiotics.
Bacterial bronchitis on the other hand needs to be treated with antibiotics. It can be hard to make the distinction on your own if you are suffering from bacterial bronchitis and need a dose of antibiotics. When in doubt over this part of the viral vs bacterial bronchitis debate you should consult with your doctor.
It is important that you do not go on antibiotics when suffering from viral bronchitis as the illness will not respond to antibiotics. However if you have been suffering from bronchitis for more than two weeks your doctor may decide that you have developed bacterial bronchitis. In this case the viral vs bacterial bronchitis information states that you should definitely take antibiotics to recover.
Antibiotics should be used cautiously as more bacteria are becoming antibiotic resistant. When this occurs you will find that prescribed antibiotics do not help to fight off bacteria and instead your illness may become more serious. If your doctor decides that you should not be on antibiotics then it is best to listen to your doctor rather than demand a course of antibiotics.
Following your doctor’s instructions when it comes to antibiotics is extremely important. You must finish a course of antibiotics even you start to feel better. Take all the necessary doses and do not skip doses or try to double up if you have skipped a dose. Only take antibiotics that have been prescribed to you by your doctor. Taking the wrong antibiotic can make things worse.