Is it Bronchitis? How Can You Tell?

Bronchitis is often brushed off as a minor condition. However, bronchitis can sometimes be a serious and troublesome disease. It is in inflammation in the bronchial tubes. These tubes carry air to and from the lungs. It makes breathing difficult and many of the people who have it tend to cough up thick discolored mucus.

Many people deal with acute bronchitis. It’s less severe and not as big of a problem. However, many people develop chronic bronchitis. Chronic bronchitis is far more of an issue. Breathing is more difficult, and bouts with bronchitis last longer and happen more often. People with chronic bronchitis need to do everything possible in order to curb the issues involved. People who have chronic bronchitis may also be showing signs of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Causes of Bronchitis

The cause of bronchitis changes depending if it’s a case of acute or chronic bronchitis. Acute bronchitis is most commonly caused by a virus. The good news is that those are typically the same viruses which cause people to get a cold or flu. It’s not the most serious thing out there. The downside is this means that bronchitis is contagious and people should be very careful they take precautions. Standard precautions need to be taken. Washing hands and avoiding sneezing on people is a good start. 

Chronic bronchitis is caused by other things however. There are many risk factors which can lead to a person getting chronic bronchitis. The first is smoking. People who smoke increase their risk of chronic bronchitis. This is the most common cause. People who constantly have to deal with airborne irritants like chemicals or textile grains also find themselves at high risk of chronic bronchitis. It’s also possible for people with consistent and persistent acid reflux to be prone to bronchitis.

Symptoms of Bronchitis

The symptoms of bronchitis tend to be the same for both acute and chronic cases. The main difference is that in addition to the symptoms listed, it’s possible for people with acute bronchitis to also have some symptoms that might be associated with the common cold like headaches or general body aches. They’ll typically clear up reasonably quickly in around a week or so. The other symptoms of bronchitis that are common in acute and chronic are:

  • Consistent Cough - The cough can be both productive or unproductive.
  • Producing Sputum - This mucus can be clear or colored. In very rare cases, it may also have some blood within it.
  • Fatigue - Many people with bronchitis will suffer from fairly serious fatigue.
  • Shortness of Breath - People with bronchitis often struggle with breathing. They will feel a consistent shortness of breath.
  • Chest Pain - Many people will feel chest discomfort when dealing with bronchitis.

Treatment of Bronchitis

When it comes to treating bronchitis, most of the time, there will be no treatment. This is because there aren’t practical antibiotics to handle viruses and they will clear up in a couple of weeks. Sometimes a bacterial infection is responsible for bronchitis. In those cases, antibiotics can be used.

Typical treatment will be similar to that of someone with a cold. Resting and perhaps some medicine to assist with the cough. Cough suppressants are typically used if someone is struggling with sleeping due to coughing. It’s possible to have coughing fits that wake up the person repeatedly throughout the night.

Disclaimer: The articles on this website are not meant to encourage the self-management of any health or wellness issue. Nor are they meant to encourage any one type of medical treatment. Treatment or advice used by a reader may have varying results, as each individual is different. Any article reader with a health-related question, is encouraged to seek a proper consultation with a doctor or certified health provider. The articles on this website should not be used to disregard any medical or health-related advice, nor should they be the root cause for delay in seeing a doctor or a certified health provider.

The articles on this website should not be used to start the use of dietary supplements or vitamins, natural or herbal products, homeopathic medicine or other mentioned products prior to a proper consultation with a doctor or certified health provider.

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