Difference Between Bronchitis and Laryngitis

There are five major sense organs in the human body i.e., eyes, nose, mouth, ears, and skin. The pathway between the nose and the lungs is the larynx and, there are small units in the lungs called bronchioles. The disease in the bronchioles and larynx is called bronchitis and laryngitis.

Bronchitis vs Laryngitis

The main difference between bronchitis and laryngitis is that there is an inflammation of bronchioles in bronchitis, whereas there is an inflammation of the larynx in laryngitis. Bronchitis involves difficulty in breathing, wheezing, coughing, sneezing and tightness of the chest, whereas laryngitis is not that severe, and is noticed by a slight change in the voice of the affected individual, as the larynx is the voice box of the body.

Bronchitis vs Laryngitis

Bronchitis is the inflammation of the bronchioles in the lungs. The bronchial pipes including the trachea also swell up during bronchitis. Bronchitis generally lasts for 5 days to 21 days approximately. The infected individual suffers shortness of breath, tightness of the chest, heavy wheezing, sneezing, soreness of the throat, and coughing.

On the other hand, laryngitis is the inflammation of the larynx. The infected individual experiences a change in their voice and delivery of speech. It lasts for normally 3 weeks but it can last more than 3 weeks when serious. The infected individual may have an itchy throat with pain in swallowing food. Acute laryngitis is caused by a virus called Influenza virus or adenovirus.

Comparison Table Between Bronchitis and Laryngitis

Parameters of ComparisonBronchitisLaryngitis
Affected partBronchitis is the inflammation of the bronchioles. Laryngitis is the inflammation of the larynx.
CausesCoronavirus, RSV, parainfluenza virus, the influenza virus can cause the acute form of bronchitis.Smoking, vocal stress, GERD, excessive coughing can cause laryngitis.
DiagnosisBronchitis can be detected by physical tests and X-ray scanning.Laryngitis can be diagnosed by rigid laryngoscopy or laryngeal stroboscopy.
Treatment and careNonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, narcotic, and analgesic medicines can treat bronchitis. It can be treated with self-care and home remedies. In serious conditions antacid, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and proton-pump inhibitors can be used for medication.
PreventionIt can be prevented by keeping cleanliness, wearing masks, and getting vaccinated against it. It can be prevented by drinking plenty of water, quitting smoking, applying less stress to the voice box.

What is Bronchitis?

Bronchitis is an infection that involves the inflammation of the bronchial tube linings. The bronchial tube lines help in carrying air or oxygen to and from the lungs. Bronchitis can be of two types depending on the severity i.e., acute and chronic.

The most common type of bronchitis is acute bronchitis and it occurs usually because of a cold. Chronic bronchitis is much serious and is caused usually due to excessive smoking. Acute bronchitis cures within 10 days of diagnosis, whereas chronic bronchitis comes in about and is categorized under Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

The most common symptoms for acute and chronic bronchitis are shortness of breath, feeling fatigued, discomfort in the chest, cough, feeling feverish and mucus production which is usually greyish-yellow but, can have blood on severity. The symptoms of acute bronchitis are mild i.e., slight headache and body pain, especially in the joints. These get cured within 7 to 10 days. The symptoms of chronic bronchitis are persistent cough lasting for nearly 3 months and it never cures permanently. After persistent coughing for 3 months, it can again occur after one or two years.

The most common cause of bronchitis is smoking, a toxic environment, and dust. There are some steps through which one can prevent having bronchitis. One must quit smoking, get vaccinated against the bronchitis virus, wash and keep hands clean frequently, using surgical masks in case of COPD. One must consult a doctor immediately in case of discolored mucus, shortness of breath, high fever ranging above 100.4˚ F, insomnia, producing blood, and continuous wheezing.

What is Laryngitis?

Laryngitis is the inflammation of the larynx, also known as the voice box of the human body. The inflammationis caused in acute form by a virus called Influenza virus or adenovirus. The infected individual may have an itchy throat with pain in swallowing food. The infected individual experiences a slight change in their voice. It lasts for normally 3 weeks but it can last more than 3 weeks when serious.

The most common symptoms of laryngitis are loss of voice or a weakened voice, dry cough and dry throat, sore throat, hoarseness, itchy sensation in the throat. These symptoms last even less than a week in case of acute laryngitis. Chronic laryngitis is very rare and can last for a long time.

Acute laryngitis can be cured by proper care at home but, one must seek medical attention in case of blood cough, high fever, pain in the throat, breathing problem and lasting for more than a week. Acute laryngitis is caused due to viral and bacterial infection, vocal stress, etc. Chronic laryngitis is caused by smoking, overuse of alcohol, overuse of the voice, gastroesophageal reflux disease or acid reflux, allergens, chemical fumes or smoke, etc.

One can prevent severe laryngitis by limiting the consumption of caffeine and alcohol, consuming less amount of spicy food in the diet, washing and keeping hands clean, avoiding direct contact with people with upper respiratory tract infection, quitting smoking, and must avoid secondhand smoke, must maintain a healthy diet and drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water daily to keep the skin and throat clean and hydrated.

Main Differences Between Bronchitis and Laryngitis

  1. Bronchitis is the inflammation of the bronchioles, whereas laryngitis is the inflammation of the larynx.
  2. Bronchitis has symptoms of coughing, chest pain, wheezing and tightness of the chest, whereas laryngitis has symptoms of strained voice, itchy and sore throat, etc.
  3. Bronchitis can be diagnosed by physical examination and X-ray, whereas laryngitis can be diagnosed by laryngoscope and physical examination.
  4. Coronavirus, RSV, parainfluenza, and influenza can cause an acute form of bronchitis, whereas laryngitis is caused by excessive coughing, vocal stress, and smoking.
  5. Bronchitis can be cured by medication, whereas laryngitis can be cured by putting less stress on the vocal cords, using steam and gargling.

Conclusion

Bronchitis and laryngitis both are respiratory tract infections. Bronchitis and laryngitis are in acute and chronic forms. Bronchitis is slightly severe than laryngitis as bronchitis can be fatal when chronic, whereas laryngitis is not fatal. Bronchitis cannot be treated without medical aid, whereas laryngitis is usually treated by home remedies.

Bronchitis and laryngitis can be diagnosed by one common physical examination method. Smoking is the main common cause of bronchitis and laryngitis. The best preventive measure is to wear surgical masks and keep washing hands frequently.

References

  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=lang_en&id=f55pvtNwD4YC&oi=fnd&pg=PR15&dq=bronchitis+and+laryngitis&ots=LVndWsCjbB&sig=5LBOwMlvwlMlVC2XazOjc6R5DXM
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/apa.13162
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