Two very similar sounding illnesses - bronchitis and bronchiolitis - are not exactly the same. They both affect the airways that lead to the lungs, but bronchitis is more common in older children and adults while bronchiolitis primarily affects young children.
Acute bronchitis is an infection that attacks the bronchial tubes which lead to the lungs. It most commonly follows another upper respiratory infection such as a cold or the flu. Bronchitis typically affects adults and older children.
Bronchiolitis affects mainly young children and can have a variety of different causes - most of them viral. It is one of the most common causes of wheezing in children. Bronchiolitis may be more serious and cause more difficulty breathing in young children compared to how bronchitis affects adults.
These two illnesses have some similarities but aren't the same. Bronchitis mainly affects adults and the most common symptom is a cough that can last for weeks. Bronchiolitis affects young children and is often characterized by wheezing and difficulty breathing due to swelling in the airways leading to the lungs. Be sure you know the differences between bronchitis and bronchiolitis before they affect you or your loved ones. You can find more information about each of these illnesses - including how to treat them - at the links above.