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Bronchiectasis vs. Bronchitis : The Key Differences

Bronchiectasis vs. Bronchitis : The Key Differences
Akanksha Nigam

Bronchiectasis and bronchitis are conditions relating to the lungs. Both are characterized by inflammation and mucus. How do they differ? Read on to learn more!

Bronchiectasis vs. Bronchitis

The main difference is that bronchiectasis is inflammation of the windpipe and includes the bronchi and bronchioles. Whereas bronchitis is the inflammation of the walls of the bronchi or the windpipe only. Bronchiectasis causes permanent widening of the airways, while bronchitis is a temporary infection. Bronchiolitis mostly affects babies and young children, whereas bronchitis can affect people of all ages.

Bronchiectasis vs. Bronchitis – Causes

Bronchiectasis Causes:

Inflammation and infection cause a widening of the airways. Eventually, excessive mucus begins to collect in the enlarged areas. The lining in the airways is designed to clear mucus and debris. Damage to the lining may cause mucus to accumulate, making it a breeding ground for bacteria and lung infections. Damage to this lining can occur due to a congenital lung issue or a respiratory illness. Some of the common causes of bronchiectasis are -

  1. Cystic Fibrosis: A genetic disorder where the lungs and other organs become clogged over time due to excess production of mucus in the lungs and the digestive tract.
  2. Respiratory Infections: Recurring or severe pneumonia or influenza during childhood can permanently damage the lungs. Measles and tuberculosis are also associated with bronchiectasis.
  3. Inflammatory Conditions: Allergies, asthma, and autoimmune diseases may also cause swelling of the airway.

Bronchitis Causes

The underlying cause of bronchitis is a cold or flu. However, any irritant of the airways could be responsible. Some  commoncauses are:

  • Influenza
  • Bacteria
  • Pollution 
  • Rhinovirus
  • Adenovirus
  • Coronavirus
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus
  • Smoking cigarettes or marijuana

Bronchiectasis vs. Bronchitis – Treatment


Treatment for bronchiectasis focuses on preventing infections, draining any excessive secretions in the lungs, and preventing further complications. Treatment options include:

  1. Oxygen therapy
  2. Quitting smoking
  3. Surgical lung resection
  4. Respiratory medicines
  5. Getting an annual flu shot
  6. Therapies aimed at reducing mucus build-up in the chest
  7. Avoiding respiratory irritants like smoke, dust, pollen, and toxins


Because bronchitis is a temporary illness, heavy doses of medication are usually unnecessary, and many times, lower doses are more effective. Treatment options include:

  1. Using a humidifier
  2. COPD and asthma treatment 
  3. Bronchodilators to help open the airways.
  4. Anti-inflammation medicines to reduce inflammation.
  5. Antibiotics are prescribed in cases of bacterial infection.
  6. Antiviral medications (in case bronchitis is caused by the flu).
  7. OTC or prescription cough suppressants to get relief from the nagging cough.

There are many products available to relieve nasal congestion and thin mucus, provide additional oxygen, and create a humid environment to eliminate dryness.

Top Seller Products at HPFY That Can Help!

1. Sunmark Sinus Relief Strength Nasal Spray

FSA Eligible Items FSA Approved

Breathe freely with just a couple of sprays in the nostrils. Effectively opens the nasal passages caused by a cold, allergy, or chronic sinus issues.

Features of Sunmark Sinus Relief Strength Nasal Spray

  • FSA Approved
  • Shrinks swollen nasal membranes
  • Clears nasal passages for up to 12 hours
  • Immediate relief from congestion due to colds and allergies
Sunmark Sinus Relief Strength Nasal Spray



2. Core Tri-Core Cervical Support Pillow

FSA Eligible Items FSA Approved Made in USA Made In USA

Alleviate neck pain and align your spine with complete neck support. This pillow offers great orthopedic benefits for back sleeping and has side lobes that support the head in a natural position while sleeping.

Features of Core Tri-Core Cervical Support Pillow

  • Latex-free 
  • FSA Approved
  • Corrects nerve malfunction
  • Promotes healing of injuries
  • Unique trapezoid design helps align the spine
Core Tri-Core Cervical Support Pillow



3. Medline Soft-Touch Nasal Oxygen Cannula

FSA Eligible Items FSA Approved

Ideal for patients who constantly need oxygen. The nasal prongs fit comfortably in the nostrils without irritation. Made of durable plastic, and is ideal for long-term use.

Features of Medline Soft-Touch Nasal Oxygen Cannula

  • • Disposable
  • • FSA Approved
  • • Crush-resistant tubing
  • Curved, non-flared nasal prongs
Medline Soft Touch Nasal Oxygen Cannula



4. Hudson RCI Medium Concentration Oxygen Mask

FSA Eligible Items FSA Approved

Made of clear, soft vinyl for enhanced patient comfort and proper visibility. This medium-concentration mask has adjustable nose clips, which ensure that there is no interruption during oxygen therapy.

Features of Hudson RCI Medium Concentration Oxygen Mask

  • Latex-free 
  • 7 feet tube
  • FSA-approved
  • Adjustable elastic band
  • Under-the-chin design for a better fit
Hudson RCI Medium Concentration Oxygen Mask



5. Honeywell Soothing Comfort Warm Mis Humidifier

FSA Eligible Items FSA Approved

Ideal for less humid to dry environments, this humidifier reduces discomfort caused by dry skin, allergies, and asthma. It heats the water before releasing it into the air, thereby killing germs and bacteria. It includes a cup to fill with essential oils or an inhalant.

Features of Honeywell Soothing Comfort Warm Mis Humidifier

  • Wide tank opening
  • Fan-free operation
  • Ideal for medium-sized rooms
  • 2 settings adjust moisture output
Honeywell Soothing Comfort Warm Mist Humidifier



While both conditions, bronchiectasis and bronchitis, affect the lungs directly, their treatments may vary depending on the intensity of the impact on the lungs and the severity of the situation. Learn about breathing exercises that help regulate the airflow, avoid dusty environments, and if you feel short of breath, stop the activity that led to it. Consult your doctor if the condition worsens. 


Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics, and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our reviewed content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.

HPFY Akanksha Nigam

Akanksha Nigam

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Akanksha Nigam has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2021. With a Masters Degree in Finance, she began her Marketing career in the banking industry. However, her interest in human ...

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