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CHRONIC BRONCHITIS AND YOUR AIRWAYS

Bronchitis and chronic bronchitis

Without clean air and plenty of it going into your lungs, you are running the risk of infection in the lungs and complications in all parts of your body from the lack of clean oxygen.\

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Someone you love or yourself is living with bronchitis, you know how frustrating in can be to have this lung/breathing condition. So what exactly is it and what can you do if you have to live with it? Bronchitis is basically an acute inflammation of the airways in your lungs. When these airways (the trachea and the large and small bronchi) become inflamed, it is difficult or impossible to breathe.

Chronic bronchitis is a form of bronchitis that continues for a long period of time or keeps coming back.

See below for more information on chronic bronchitis and ways to identify a bronchitis symptom.

Bronchitis causes

Infection is a common cause of bronchitis or a trigger for it. Both children and adults can get bronchitis and it affects them the same. When you have bronchitis, the mucous lining of your airways will become irritated and swollen, making it hard for sufficient air to pass through. In addition, the cells that make up this lining might leak fluids into your lungs and in severe cases, when left untreated it can develop into other conditions such as pneumonia.

The main cause of chronic bronchitis is smoking. The more a person smokes, the more likely they’ll eventually get bronchitis and it will become chronic bronchitis.

Some people have a more severe risk of getting bronchitis such as people who smoke, people who have had it or pneumonia before, people with a weakened immune system and anyone with exposure to lung irritants. Secondhand smoke may also cause chronic bronchitis. Air pollution, infection, and allergies make chronic bronchitis worse.

Chronic bronchitis is one of several forms of COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma are among the leading lung diseases in the United States.

Identifying a bronchitis symptom

One of the most common symptoms associated with bronchitis is a severe cough. Often this is what leads people to seek medical treatment in the first place. Because bronchitis usually comes along with the common cold or an upper respiratory infection, you may have symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, sore throat, nasal congestion and more.

Coughing is a typical bronchitis symptom. Your cough from bronchitis may be dry or it may have phlegm if fluids are already developing there. Your cough may last two weeks or more. Severe coughing for long periods of time will make your chest sore and abdominal muscles sore and can lead to bruising. In some cases, bronchial cough has been severe enough to injure the chest wall or even cause a person to pass out.

Wheezing or shortness of breath is another common bronchitis symptom. So how does someone get bronchitis? Usually it is caused by a virus or infection such as influenza (A and B), common colds, or a lung infection. Certain bacteria can cause bronchitis as well as irritations from certain fumes or dust. Tobacco or cigarette smoke is a common cause for many people, especially children.

Bronchitis treatment

What kind of treatment is there for bronchitis? Most types of bronchitis are caused by viral infections which can not be treated with antibiotics. Usually doctors will help you treat the symptoms until it heals and goes away on its own. If it is determined that your bronchitis is caused by a bacterial infection, then antibiotics may be given.

One way to treat and prevent bronchitis is to avoid the causes and triggers of it in the first place. You can also self-treat discomfort at home with Tylenol (acetaminophen), drinking fluids, using a vaporizer, etc.

Never allow your bronchitis to go untreated, especially if you see the symptoms are getting worse since it may develop into a more serious condition such as pneumonia.

Death is a serious and real option if this condition is neglected.

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 24th August 2009

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