Chronic Bronchitis – Symptoms, Causes & Treatments
What Is Chronic Bronchitis?
Simply put, chronic bronchitis is a severe inflammation in the lungs. This can lead to a variety of symptomatic signs, but the most notorious symptom of bronchitis is the harsh cough. It can stem from a common cold or, in more serious cases, can be caused from years of smoking tobacco products. Many people aren’t aware, but there are two types of bronchitis: acute and chronic.
Acute Bronchitis Symptoms
Acute bronchitis, a short-term inflammation, is common, and in most cases, clears within 10 days. symptoms of bronchitis Symptoms include a cough that produces yellow or green mucus (also known as phlegm), burning chest sensations, wheezing, fever, fatigue and sore throat.
Chronic Bronchitis Symptoms
Chronic bronchitis, is long term, and in most cases will continue to worsen should it go untreated. Common symptoms of bronchitis include a mucus-producing chronic cough, exhaustion, wheezing or shortness of breath. More critical symptoms like blue-tinged lips or ankle, feet and leg swelling occur when the right side of the heart is working overtime. Blood vessels constrict in an attempt to divert blood to less damaged areas of the lungs where more oxygen is available. This constriction can lead to high blood pressure in the lungs, which medically is referred to as, pulmonary hypertension. Eventually, the right side of the heart can’t keep up and right heart failure may occur due to the continuous back up of blood.
If ignored and more damage is done to the bronchi (airways), the bacteria-fighting cells within the lungs weaken tremendously. The combination of increased mucus and damage to the bronchi over a significant period of time allows someone with chronic bronchitis to be more susceptible to lung infections, chest pains and phlegm containing pus or blood. If you are experiencing these advanced symptoms please consult your physician immediately.
Chronic Bronchitis is primarily caused by cigarette smoke and air pollution. chronic bronchitis symptoms Exacerbation of chronic bronchitis is often brought on by allergies and infection. Being exposed to environmental pollutants, such as large amounts of dust or irritants may also increase your chances of development. Smoking tobacco products also greatly increases your risk for chronic bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Children of heavy smokers also have an increased risk, as do nonsmoking adults who are repeatedly exposed to cigarette smoke.
Treatment for Acute Bronchitis
Fortunately, this form of bronchitis clears up in a less than two weeks. You can take a cough medicine; either a suppressant for a dry cough or an expectorant, for a wet cough which helps clear out mucus from the lungs. You can also use a humidifier, drink lots of fluids and get plenty of rest. Should it be a bacterial infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics.
Treatment for Chronic Bronchitis
Unfortunately, there is no known cure for chronic bronchitis. However, there are ways to slow down its progression and relieve symptoms with a few lifestyle changes and medicinal tools. The bronchodilators, increase airflow by opening airways that help make it easier to breathe. Corticosteroids reduce inflammation, and are either inhaled with an inhaler or taken by mouth. They are used to treat moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Even without the medicine, just quitting smoking would significantly decrease symptoms, regardless of how long you smoked. Early detection and treatment of acute bronchitis or the avoidance of inhaled irritants are also huge factors in chronic prevention. Of course, regular exercise, nutritious diet and weight loss of fat can also reduce its severity. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle balance never hurts us, it only makes our bodies stronger. Keep that in mind when trying to tackle any cold, infection or sickness.
Description: Ever wonder about that severe cough or daily morning phlegm? Symptoms of bronchitis in adults You’ve heard the term ‘chronic bronchitis’, but don’t really know what it’s all about. Did you know that there are two types of bronchitis? Learn more about chronic bronchitis; the symptoms, the causes and key treatments to help you start feeling better today!
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