Bronchitis is caused due to inflammation of the mucous membranes of the lungs. These membranes line the bronchial passage. When they are irritated, they grow thicker. This restricts the narrow airways in the lungs, causing coughing. The coughing may be accompanied by phlegm and/or breathlessness.
Bronchitis has two varieties: acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis lasts for anywhere between one to three weeks, after which most symptoms disappear. Chronic bronchitis, on the other hand, lasts for at least three months and keeps occurring for a minimum of two years. The latter condition is serious for it tends to impede routine functioning in severe cases.
With both acute and chronic bronchitis, the symptoms are very similar. There are some typical signs and symptoms of this condition. If these appear, consult a physician immediately.
1. Coughing Spells
The most defining symptom of bronchitis is continual coughing spells. The coughs are usually short and weak, but they regularly occur. They are caused by the constriction of the bronchial passage. This constriction is caused by the irritation and swelling of mucous membranes. In many cases, those with bronchitis do not seek medical help initially. In most cases, bronchitis goes away naturally, and doctors prescribe rest, fluids and mild cough medicines. However, if it is more serious, it’s better if a doctor finds it earlier. This reduces the possibility of contracting chronic bronchitis.