Difference Between Pneumonia and Asthma

Respiratory illnesses are characterized by symptoms that are extremely similar to one another, such as coughing, fever, and so on.

A deeper examination reveals that the two illnesses of asthma, as well as pneumonia, are distinguished by several symptoms.

Asthma and pneumonia are both breathing diseases. They have those similar-looking symptoms, but their origins and therapies are distinct.

Pneumonia will be much more difficult to diagnose in asthmatic patients. However, there are a couple of differences between the two diseases which are discussed in this article.

Pneumonia vs Asthma

The main difference between pneumonia and asthma is that pneumonia is a lung inflammatory disease whereas asthma is a chronic as well as a non-contagious and sometimes hereditary disease. The symptoms of both the diseases might overlap as both the diseases involve breathing troubles and respiratory discomforts.

Pneumonia vs Asthma

Pneumonia is an illness that causes the irritation in air sacs called alveoli in one or both lungs to become inflamed.

The air sacs could become clogged with mucus or pus (purulent matter), resulting in a cough containing phlegm or pus, high temperature, shivers, and trouble breathing.

Pneumonia can be caused by many species, including bacteria, infections, and fungus.

The severity of pneumonia can vary from mild to highly risky. It is especially dangerous for newborns and young children, persons over the age of 65, and those who have health issues or compromised immune systems.

Asthma is a disorder wherein the airways constrict and inflate, causing excess mucus to be produced. This can damage lung tissue, resulting in choking, a whirring sound (wheezing) as you exhale, and breathlessness.

Asthma is a mild annoyance for some individuals. For someone else, it can be a severe issue that disrupts daily things and may result in a life-threatening asthma exacerbation.

Comparison Table Between Pneumonia and Asthma

Parameters of ComparisonPneumoniaAsthma
DescriptionPneumonia is an illness that causes the irritation in air sacs called alveoli in one or both lungs to become inflamed. Asthma is a disorder wherein the airways constrict and inflate, causing excess mucus to be produced.
SymptomsCoughing, fever, muscular pains, weariness, chills, and breathlessness are all common symptoms.Shortness of breath, wheezing, and chest tightness are all symptoms of asthma.
IntensityVery high risk if not handled in stage zero or one.High intensity but effects can be reduced.
ChronicNon-chronic and curable.Chronic and can persist throughout lifetime but the effects can be minimized using proper medication.
MedicinesCipro, oracea, Antibiotic relenza, etc.Relaxium, mint nebulizers, Lung detox inhalkers, etc.

What is Pneumonia?

Pneumonia is a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection of one or even both lungs. The infection that causes irritation in the air sacs, known as alveoli.

The alveoli swell with mucus or pus, causing inflammation of the airways.

Pneumonia, both bacterial and viral, is infectious. This implies that they can be passed from individual to individual by inhalation of exposure particles from a sneeze or cough.

These kinds of pneumonia can also be contracted by getting into touch with environments or items infected with pneumonia-causing pathogens.

A radiograph, CT scan, and hematocrit will indicate infection if you have pneumonia. If pneumonia is managed aggressively early on, the prognosis is favorable; otherwise, it can quickly become deadly.

Pneumonia is often characterized by high-grade fever, shaking, and chilliness. There is severe cough with yellowish sputum; occasionally, blood is coughed up.

There may be concomitant chest discomfort, shortness of breath, and severe bodily agony. Loss of appetite and nausea are also reported on occasion.

A cracking sound when breathing might also be caused by pneumonia. When pneumonia is caused by a virus, the first symptoms are usually muscular soreness and a dry cough.

As the infection progresses, the cough worsens and the individual may create mucus.

When germs induce pneumonia, a patient may get a high temperature. This level of fever has its own set of adverse effects, notably delirium and disorientation.

As a consequence of the lack of oxygen, the cheeks or natural nails may appear blue in severe instances of pneumonia.

What is Asthma?

Coughing, breathlessness, and wheezing are all symptoms of asthma flare-ups. As it advances, it has the potential to increase respiration and pulse rates.

Breathing might be difficult if your lung quality deteriorates. When you inhale, you may hear a high-pitched buzzing noise.

The severity of the symptoms varies. Asthma attacks might last anywhere from a few seconds to several hours.

During asthma attacks, there may be minimal indications (also called exacerbations). Although asthma cannot be cured, its treatments are available.

Since asthma frequently changes all the time, you must collaborate with the physician to monitor your clinical symptoms and adapt your therapy as required.

Asthma episodes that are severe can be fatal. Work with your doctor to determine what to do if your signs and symptoms increase or if you require emergency care.

Difficulty breathing or wheezing that worsens quickly, even after taking a quick-relief inhaler, and breathlessness after conducting modest physical activity are all signs of an asthma emergency.

Main Differences Between Pneumonia and Asthma

  1. Pneumonia is a lung infection and contagious whereas asthma is chronic.
  2. Pneumonia is completely curable but asthma is not completely curable and usually occurs from birth itself.
  3. Pneumonia cannot cause asthma but asthma late treatments and improper medications can lead to pneumonia.
  4. Pneumonia can cause dizziness and nausea with high temperatures whereas asthma causes tightness in the chest and difficulty in breathing.
  5. Pneumonia affects the lungs whereas asthma specifically affects the alveoli present inside the bronchioles inside the lungs.
Difference Between Pneumonia and Asthma


Although asthma somehow doesn’t directly cause pneumonia, if you already have severe lung problems such as asthma, they are more prone to developing pneumonia owing to earlier lung injury or deterioration of lung tissues.

Moreover, if you have asthma and catch the flu, your condition may increase in comparison to someone that doesn’t have asthma.

However, studies have shown that these medications might raise your chances of having respiratory infections and pneumonia.


  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/asthma/symptoms-causes/syc-20369653
  2. https://www.webmd.com/lung/understanding-pneumonia-basics
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