Does Bronchitis turn into Pneumonia? Best way to know in 2021

Does Bronchitis turn into Pneumonia

Bronchitis is inflammation that leads to pneumonia in lungs if you left it untreated. You have to treat the disease at early stage. Bronchitis can be acute disease or may be chronic disease. Pneumonia infection happens basically inside the lungs.

 During the early stages of this disease your symptoms may like sneezing, chest pain, coughing up sputum, breathing problem can be noticed. Now the question is does bronchitis turn into pneumonia? Yes, if you left it untreated the bronchitis infection travels to lungs and later it turns into pneumonia.

Does Bronchitis turn into Pneumonia

Reason of Bronchitis and Pneumonia

Generally we can find four type of pneumonia.

  • Some bacterial pneumonia may happen due to the bacteria streptococcus, legionella and chlamydophila.
  • Respiratory virus causes viral pneumonia
  • In mycoplasma pneumonia is caused by bacterial and viral both are included
  • Fungal pneumonia may be caused by fungi bird soil. If you inhale a lot of fungi then you may be exposed to pneumonia.

Generally bronchitis causes due to viruses. General the virus which causes common cold later it leads to bronchitis. The viral infection or bacterial bronchitis which later cause’s bacterial pneumonia if you left it untreated.

Prevention of Pneumonia

The best and advised way to treat pneumonia is to treat it early stage of the condition. Try to recognize the symptoms of bronchitis as early as possible to treat are early. General symptoms are like cold or flu.

They may include below types:

  • You may have sore throat
  • You have wheezing
  • Feels tried
  • High Fever
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Aches inn your muscle and back

If you have any type of above symptoms it may be lead to dry cough which becomes productive after some days.  This productive cough generates mucus which is yellow or green in color.

In general case bacterial bronchitis infection causes of pneumonia than viral bronchitis. It happens due to bacteria increases and spreads immediately.

Some cases found that if you are consuming antibiotics then you may be able to contract pneumonia. Because antibiotics are specially made for those bacteria’s. But still you may be infected to pneumonia if you are taking antibiotics.

It is advised to check as early as possible with your physician to take antibiotics for bacterial bronchitis. Any other types of virus or viral bronchitis cannot be treated by antibiotics.

Who’s at high risk for Pneumonia?

Pneumonia can be developed in any group of people after bronchitis but some groups are in high risk category. Those people who are weakened immune system are more prone to pneumonia after bronchitis. If you have below symptoms then you are also in the high risk category.

  • If you had a stroke
  • In case of difficulty in swallowing
  • Below 2 years and above 65 years
  • If you have medical conditions like heart failure, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, or any type of chronic disease
  • Taking excess alcohol
  • Taking any kind of illicit drug
  • Having limited mobility
  • Taking medicine after for poor immune system

Symptoms of Bronchitis vs. Pneumonia

As per doctors advice it is very important to know the difference between symptoms of bronchitis and pneumonia. Because pneumonia is a serious disease and if you left untreated it may cause fatal.

Bronchitis is the first step of infection which develops after cold and later it worsens your condition. Below are some symptoms mentioned:

  • Having fever and chills
  • If you  feel  lethargic
  • Pain in your chest
  • Yellow or green cough

To summarize it if you have chronic bronchitis then it may lasts for longer time. If you have acute bronchitis then it may not last for long but your symptoms are worse.

You cannot know the time when bronchitis developed to pneumonia as they have same kind of symptoms. But remember one thing in case of pneumonia your symptoms are severe.

If you feel the symptoms of bronchitis, you should immediately consult your doctor. They will diagnose you and x-ray your chest to examine the exact cause of infection.

Some symptoms are very severe in pneumonia than bronchitis. We have mentioned some symptom which needs urgent medical attention:

  • If you coughing with lot of blood
  • Sever difficulty in breathing
  • Feeling like your chest is crushed
  • Your finger and lips turns into blue
Does Bronchitis turn into Pneumonia

When to seek help of medical

If you know that you are feeling any symptoms of pneumonia, then you should seek medical help. Like other diseases if you treat it in early stages it may cure easily.

If you left it untreated it may quickly spread to your lungs. If you think symptoms are not high but you still need to check with your doctor. Sometimes bronchitis needs antibiotics to fight against the bacterial infection.

First you need to find out the cause of pneumonia if you want the treatment. For different type of pneumonia you need different type of medicine like antibiotic, antifungal drugs or may be antiviral. Your physician will guide you better on this disease.

In general lots of pneumonia cases treated in home after oral medicines. In case your symptoms are very severe your doctor may suggest you to get hospitalized. In hospital you may get treatment like respiratory therapy, oxygen therapy or antibiotics vials.


In the end if you identified the bronchitis in early stage but left it untreated then it may lead to pneumonia. But maximum people get treated in early stage of pneumonia and recovered also.

In some cases people have already other medical issues so they get majorly affected due to pneumonia. Sometimes pneumonia can be fatal. So consult your doctor at early stage to relive it as early as possible.

Thank you for reading this article. This article has written to the best of our knowledge and for your information only. Please consult your physician immediately if you have any kind of symptom of cold and cough. We would love to hear from you. Please suggest your feedback below.


  1. Can Bronchitis causes due to normal infection?

    Yes, Bronchitis is the first stage of pneumonia. If you left it untreated it may lead to severe pneumonia.

  2. Do I need antibiotics for bronchitis?

    Yes, Sometime you need antibiotics for bronchitis. But first your doctor should know the reason of flu or cold.

  3. Can a person have bronchitis and pneumonia at the same time?

    Yes, It may happen because bronchitis is the first step of viral infection. If you left it untreated, later it leads to pneumonia.

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