Yes, bronchitis can sometimes progress into pneumonia. Bronchitis and pneumonia are both respiratory infections that affect the lungs, but pneumonia is generally considered more severe.
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes, which are the air passages that carry air to the lungs. It is typically caused by a viral infection, but can also be caused by bacteria or irritants like smoke. The symptoms of bronchitis can include coughing, wheezing, chest discomfort, and shortness of breath.
Pneumonia is an infection that causes inflammation in the air sacs in the lungs, which can fill with fluid or pus. It can be caused by a variety of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. The symptoms of pneumonia can be similar to those of bronchitis, but may also include high fever, sweating, chills, and fatigue.
While not all cases of bronchitis progress to pneumonia, people with weakened immune systems, older adults, and young children are at a higher risk of developing pneumonia as a complication of bronchitis. If you have bronchitis and are experiencing symptoms that suggest pneumonia, such as chest pain or difficulty breathing, it is important to seek medical attention right away. Your doctor can diagnose whether you have pneumonia and recommend appropriate treatment.