A common respiratory disease, bronchitis is caused by the inflammation of mucous membranes in the lungs’ bronchial passageways. It can be either acute or chronic in nature, with the acute variety often caused by a virus or bacteria.
Bronchitis, despite being a common condition, can turn serious if it becomes chronic. When a particular virus or bacteria attacks the lungs the mucous membrane swells up. This results in the lungs’ tiny airways getting restricted, and often shut off, thereby causing much discomfort.
The causes of bronchitis – the acute variant in particular – are the transmission of a virus from an ailing individual, exposure to pollution or contaminated air, and in a few cases, frequent gastric reflux as well. Smokers are at very high risk of developing both acute and chronic bronchitis.
Acute bronchitis is treated with antibiotics and/or cough medicines, though even if left untreated, individuals recover in about two weeks. However, chronic bronchitis, which essentially means that the suffering individual experiences symptoms for at least three months each year, requires more serious medical intervention; regular medication may be required to alleviate discomfort and prevent further complications.
It is very important to be aware of these 10 bronchitis symptoms and to seek treatment as soon as they appear to avoid complications.
This is the most characteristic symptom of bronchitis, with almost every patient exhibiting presence persistent cough. With acute bronchitis, the cough may initially produce phlegm and begin to get drier as the condition lengthens. It often manifests as a hacking cough, which in extreme cases, can become so severe that it prevents the suffering individual from achieving undisturbed sleep. With chronic bronchitis, the cough is usually productive and produces a large amount of mucous. In rare cases, a patient may cough up blood, which requires prompt medical attention.