Bronchitis is a common respiratory disease caused by the inflammation of mucous membranes in the lungs’ bronchial passageways. It can be either acute or chronic. The disease occurs as a result of exposure to bacteria, a virus, pollution, or contaminated air. In response to this exposure, the mucous membrane swells up. The lungs’ tiny airways, known as bronchioles, become restricted, causing much discomfort. Smokers are at very high risk of developing both types of bronchitis. We treat acute bronchitis with antibiotics and cough medicine. If left untreated, individuals recover in about two weeks. However chronic bronchitis, which lasts at least three months each year, requires more serious medical intervention.
A cough is the most characteristic symptom of bronchitis, with almost every patient exhibiting persistent cough. With acute bronchitis, the cough may initially produce phlegm and begin to get drier as the condition lengthens. A hacking cough can, in extreme cases, become so severe that it prevents the suffering individual from sleeping. With chronic bronchitis, the cough is usually productive, producing a large amount of mucous. In rare cases, a patient may cough up blood, which requires prompt medical attention.