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Chronic Bronchitis: Symptoms, Risk Factors, Causes, and Treatment

Chronic bronchitis is one of the forms of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder). COPD is a class of lung disorders that can cause breathing difficulties and worsen with time. Another kind of COPD is Emphysema. A majority of people who suffer from COPD suffer from both emphysema as well as chronic bronchitis. However, how severe each kind of COPD is likely to differ from person to person.

What is Chronic Bronchitis?

The bronchial tubes are the tissues of your bronchial tube that carry air from and to your lung. Patients suffering from bronchitis will cough up thick mucus that can turn discoloured. Bronchitis can be chronic or acute.

Most often, the cause is the common cold or other respiratory infections. Chronic bronchitis is common. Chronic bronchitis, a more severe form of the disease, can cause continuous inflammation or irritation of the linings of the bronchial tubes. It is often related to smoking.

If you suffer from frequent bronchitis, you could suffer from chronic bronchitis requiring medical care. Chronic bronchitis is among the symptoms that are common in chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD).

Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Bronchitis

Chest pain

For acute bronchitis as well as chronic bronchitis, symptoms, and signs could be:

  • Cough
  • Mucus production (sputum) can be transparent white, yellowish-grey, or green; it may also be spotted with blood.
  • Fatigue
  • Breathlessness
  • Chills and a mild fever
  • Chest discomfort

If you suffer from acute bronchitis, you could suffer cold-like symptoms, including a slight headache or body pains. While these symptoms generally improve within a week, you could experience an unrelenting cough that lasts for a long time.

Chronic bronchitis can be a powerful cough lasting at least three months. It is characterized by recurring coughs lasting for at least two years consecutively.

If you suffer from chronic bronchitis, you’ll probably be experiencing periods where your cough and other symptoms worsen. During those instances, there could be an acute infection on top of chronic bronchitis.

Consult your physician if your cough is:

  • It lasts for more than three weeks
  • It stops you from sleeping.
  • It is often accompanied by a temperature that is greater than 100.4 F (38 C)
  • Produces discoloured mucus
  • Produces blood

What Causes of Chronic Bronchitis?

The presence of a virus or bacteria does not cause chronic bronchitis. Most specialists agree the primary reason for chronic bronchitis is smoking cigarettes. Air pollution in your work environment could be a factor. It is mainly the case if you smoke.

Treatment, Management, and Prevention of Chronic Bronchitis

smoking cigarettes

To decrease your chance of getting the bronchitis virus, you should follow these guidelines:

  • Avoid cigarette smoke. Smoking cigarettes increases the chance of developing chronic bronchitis.
  • Be vaccinated. A lot of episodes of acute bronchitis stem from influenza, a virus. The annual flu vaccination will help you avoid being ill with the flu. Think about vaccinations that guard against the different kinds of pneumonia.
  • Hands must be cleaned. To lower the risk of contracting a virus, Wash your hands often using alcohol-based soaps.
  • Use an operating mask. If you suffer from COPD, you should consider wearing a mask to work when you’re exposed to dust or fumes and in situations where you’ll be with other people, like when you travel.

Since viral infections are the primary cause of cases of bronchitis, antibiotics could be more effective. However, if your physician suspects that you may have a bacterial infection and prescribes an antibiotic, in some instances, the doctor might recommend alternative medications, such as:

  • The cough medicine. If you suffer from a cough that keeps you awake, consider taking cough suppressants before bedtime.
  • Other medicines. Suppose you have asthma, allergies, or chronic obstructive respiratory disease (COPD). In that case, your doctor might recommend an inhaler or other medications to help reduce inflammation and to open up narrowed lung passageways.

A recommended medicine to treat the treatment of bronchitis

  • Fluticasone is a medication used to reduce inflammation in the nose, making breathing easier. It is part of a class of medicines known as nasal steroids. The medicine can be used for different purposes. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

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