Difference Between Bronchial Asthma and Asthma

The human respiratory system and its ability to utilize oxygen maximally and transfer it to blood are the reasons why the human society has advanced so much. If it is not for the live giving and preserving oxygen, the human development would be at a standstill. To absorb oxygen maximally, the respiratory system has been subdivided into small branches, ending with alveoli. Thus, the respiratory tubing are a point where the proper oxygen transference is affected to produce hypoxia. Difficulty in respiration can be due to varied reasons from infectious to immunological to neoplastic. Here, we will discuss regarding the terms asthma and bronchial asthma.


Among medical professionals, asthma invariably means bronchial asthma, but among the lay individuals, asthma is used in terms of cardiac asthma and skin asthma to name a few. Asthma occurs due to an immunological response leading to restriction of the airways. Thus, asthma is based on the outcome or the clinical features of the condition. Cardiac asthma occurs due to heart failure, and skin asthma is due to atopic conditions leading to allergic reactions with erythematous rashes on the skin and itching. It may be something induced by food or skin contact.

Bronchial Asthma

Bronchial asthma (BA), is a specific disease entity, where there is a chronic inflammatory process leading to reversible narrowing of the airways due to hyper responsiveness of the said airways. It may be due to immunological causes or due to gastro oesophageal reflux, and can be properly managed. The wheezing sound occurs due to swelling of the mucosal surfaces, which lines the airways, and can lead to respiratory failure and death, if not properly managed.

What is the difference between Asthma and Bronchial Asthma?

• Asthma and BA are basically the same, but they have different perceptions, as seen through professional and lay glasses.

• Asthma includes all that was said about BA and goes on for further presentations like cardiac asthma and skin asthma.

• Thus, bronchial asthma talks about the specific disease, its pathology and management principles, but asthma, per se, is about the different pathophysiology, where the patient presents with difficulty in breathing, nocturnal cough, wheezy chest, recurrent attacks, even collapse.

• These are the only similarities of the two. The management, investigations, and pathophysiology are different. For example, the management of cardiac asthma as per bronchial asthma can be lethal for the patient.

• Thus, it is important to know of the specific naming conventions of these conditions.