Bronchitis is a respiratory disease that occurs when the lining of the lungs is inflamed leading to coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.
The respiratory disorder may last a few days or it may occur for months at a time. There are two types of Bronchiti – Acute or Chronic. Recurring acute bronchitis sometimes lead to chronic bronchitis infection.
Are you suffering from symptoms of bronchitis? Don’t take a chance and wait for it to go away, visit SignatureCare Emergency Center’s 24-hour ER today. Our trained ER staff will diagnose your respiratory illness and provide treatment in our clean, fast, state-of-the-art facilities.
Common Causes of Acute Bronchitis:
Acute bronchitis occurs when bronchial tubes in the lungs are inflamed for a short period of time, usually between 1 to 3 weeks. Symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing and fever.
There are three main causes.
Viral infections – Viral infections such as colds, RSV, and other upper respiratory infections may cause bronchitis. If the disease is viral in nature, it cannot be treated with antibiotics.
Bacterial infections – A bacterial infection may lead to the disease. If a bacterial infection is the cause of the inflammation, the phlegm will be dark yellow or green, and the disease can be treated with antibiotics.
Industrial pollution – Dust, smoke and other particles can irritate the bronchial tubes and cause them to swell.
Common Causes of Chronic bronchitis
Chronic bronchitis occurs when the inflammation in the lungs lasts for 3 months or more. Since it can lead to coughing fits and difficulty breathing, it may be accompanied by insomnia and fatigue. It is caused mainly by the following –
Smoking – Smoking is the primary cause because of the smoke damages and irritates the bronchial tubes. If a person has the illness and emphysema, then he will be diagnosed with COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Overexposure to fumes, vapors or other irritants – People who work in coal mines, grain mills, and metal molding factories are exposed to irritants that can cause chronic form of the respiratory disorder.
Frequent episodes of acute bronchitis – If a person has had the disease multiple times, his lung tissue may be damaged, which can lead to chronic form of the illness. In some cases, a patient may have the chronic disease that is temporarily made worse by a case of acute bronchitis.
Cure and Treatment of Chronic Bronchitis
There is no cure for chronic bronchitis, but over-the-counter pain relievers, cough suppressants, humidifiers, and steroids may help alleviate symptoms.
When to Seek Medical Care
If you have had the disorder for several weeks or if you have difficulty breathing, then you should seek medical care. During the exam, your doctor will listen to your heart and lungs, and he may schedule an x-ray or scans to determine whether you have the disease. Schedule an appointment or visit one of our emergency rooms if you experience the following symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- Coughing up blood
- Flu-like symptoms
- High fever
If you are suffering from severe symptoms associated with the disease, please visit one of our emergency center locations immediately. We are available 24/7 to help you breathe easier.
Additional information on this respiratory illness is available here.