Bronchitis is an infection in the main respiratory from the lung or bronchus that causes inflammation in the bronchial tubes. Anyone with this disease has a reduced ability to breathe air and oxygen into their lungs. They also cannot clear heavy mucus or phlegm from their airways.
This disease is divided into two types, acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis is a short-term disease that often follows a cold or viral infection. Meanwhile, chronic bronchitis is a long-term disease and can be the result of environmental factors.
Bronchitis is caused by the inflammation of the bronchial tubes, viruses, bacteria, or other irritant particles. The acute type is mostly caused by viruses. Then, the irritation and inflammation cause the bronchus to produce more mucosa or mucus. To remove it is by a cough. Acute bronchitis can also be caused by a bacterial infection such as from tobacco smoke, dust, fumes, vapors, and air pollution.
Chronic bronchitis is caused by repeated irritation and damage to the lung and airway tissue. The most common cause of chronic type is smoking. The cigarette has the potential to damage the tiny hairs in the lungs called cilia hair. Its function is to dispel and wipe out dust, irritation, and mucosa or excessive mucus. Other causes are exposed to air pollution, dust and fumes from the environment, and repeated acute type.
One of the main symptoms of acute type is a cough that lasts for several weeks and sometimes can take several months to heal fully. It is common for the symptoms of chronic type to get worse two or more times every year. The following are the signs and symptoms of both acute and chronic bronchitis:
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- A persistent cough which may produce mucus
- A sore throat
- Chest tightening
- Blocked nose and sinuses
- Headaches and body aches
- Low fever and chills
Acute bronchitis usually disappears by itself in a few weeks. It is better to drink plenty of fluids and take a rest. In some cases, the symptoms can last longer. Chronic bronchitis symptoms are usually last for three months. There is no cure for chronic type, but there are some medicines to relieve and control the symptoms.
The doctors might prescribe the cough medicine, bronchodilators, mucolytic, anti-inflammatory medicines, glucocorticoid steroids, oxygen therapy, pulmonary rehabilitation program, and antibiotics. In addition, behavioral remedies include stop smoking, use a humidifier, exercise, and breathing exercise.