Bronchitis refers to an inflammation of your bronchial tube lining. It works to carry air to and from the area of your lungs. People who experience bronchitis cough up mucus that is thick and can be discolored. The condition of bronchitis may occur as acute or chronic.
It develops due to a respiratory infection or cold. The most common condition of bronchitis is acute bronchitis. Chronic bronchitis is a serious condition that causes persistent inflammation or irritation of the bronchial tube lining. Usually, it is caused by smoking.
Acute bronchitis is termed as a chest cold recovers within seven to ten days. It does not have any lasting effect although people can have coughs for weeks.
You may have developed the condition of chronic bronchitis if you are experiencing repeated bronchitis bouts. The condition of chronic bronchitis is also included in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPS).
Symptoms of acute or chronic bronchitis are given below.
- Mucus production (sputum) which can be yellowish-gray, clear, green, or white in color or it can steak with blood rarely
- Breath shortness
- Chills and slight fever
- Discomfort in chest
You might have the symptoms of a cold if you have acute bronchitis such as body aches and mild headache. These symptoms improve within one week usually. You may experience a nagging cough with this condition that lingers for many weeks.
Chronic bronchitis refers to a condition in which you experience a cough that lasts for three months with persistent bouts occurring for two years consecutively. You are likely to get periods when the symptoms of chronic bronchitis or your cough become worse.
You may suffer an acute infection at that time. See your doctor if you are having a cough for more than three weeks and it is causing a disturbance in your sleep.
You need medical care if you are suffering from a fever higher than 100.4 F and you are getting blood in the cough. The symptoms of chronic bronchitis are associated with shortness of breath and wheezing.
Usually, the cause of acute bronchitis is a virus, the same virus that leads to flu (influenza) and colds. Antibiotics are not helpful in killing viruses so such medications are not used for bronchitis mostly.
Cigarette smoking is the common cause of chronic bronchitis. Dust, toxic gases, or air pollution in the environment or your workplace can contribute to the condition of bronchitis.
Following are the factors that enhance the risk of getting bronchitis.
- Cigarette Smoke: people who live with a smoker or smoke continuously are vulnerable to develop both chronic and acute bronchitis.
- Low Resistance: It can result from any other acute illness such as chronic conditions that affect your immune system or cold. Infants, older adults, and young children are vulnerable to develop the infection.
- Exposure To Certain Irritants: You may be exposed to some irritants during the job. If you work around specific irritants of the lungs such as textiles or grains or are exposed to chemical fumes then you are vulnerable to get bronchitis.
- Gastric Flux: Repeated heartburn bouts that are severe can make your throat irritated. It also makes you vulnerable to develop the symptoms of bronchitis.
A single bronchitis episode is not a concern here but it can cause pneumonia in some people. Repeated bronchitis bouts mean you are having chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD).
Follow the given steps to decrease your risk of developing bronchitis.
Avoid Smoking Cigarette
Cigarette smoking does not cause bronchitis only but it can also lead to some other serious conditions related to your health. It can cause you to suffer chronic bronchitis.
Influenza causes acute bronchitis in many people. Getting a vaccine for flu yearly helps you to be protected from flu. You should also discover the vaccine that makes you protected from getting some pneumonia types.
Wash Your Hands Properly
If you want to decrease the risks of catching certain viral infections then wash your hands properly. Try to wash hands on a frequent basis and make it a habit.
Wear Surgical Mask
It is important to wear a surgical mask if you have COPD. If you are exposed to fumes or dust then consider wearing such masks.
You should also wear the mask when you are in a crowd or traveling somewhere. Taking precautions keeps you safe from getting viruses and other infections.