Every year, more than 8 million Americans are diagnosed with bronchitis, making it a very common illness. Bronchitis causes inflammation in the lining of the bronchial tubes. The bronchial tubes are the air passageways that carry air to and from your lungs. Bronchitis can affect people of all ages and can prevent you from engaging in activities that you love. Let’s take a look at what bronchitis is and how you can detect if you have it.
– Coughing and Trouble Breathing – Patients with bronchitis experience persistent coughing and have difficulty breathing. The inflammation can block the normal flow of air to and from the lungs.
– Mucus – Clearing mucus from the airways can be equally difficult when you have bronchitis. Additionally, mucus can become discolored, ranging from yellow to green. In cases of chronic bronchitis or bronchitis that accompanies other serious conditions, streaks of blood may also be present in the mucus.
– Other Symptoms – Other symptoms include wheezing, changes in your voice, a stuffy nose, a sore throat, fatigue, fever and chills, body aches, and chest discomfort.
Acute vs. Chronic Bronchitis
Bronchitis can either be acute or chronic. Acute bronchitis is actually a secondary infection that develops from a viral or respiratory infection and goes away in 10 to 14 days. Chronic bronchitis is a more serious problem. Individuals who smoke are at a higher risk of developing this condition. Chronic bronchitis means the repetitive development of bronchitis, which causes the bronchial tubes to be constantly inflamed. A single bout of chronic bronchitis can last for months. In many cases, chronic bronchitis is caused by conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia, and asthma which create issues in the bronchial tube that encourage chronic bronchitis to form.
Because bronchitis is typically caused by other health conditions such as viral infections, antibiotics are not effective in treating the condition. Typically, medications to help control symptoms (coughing, inflammation, phlegm build-up, etc.) are prescribed. Chronic bronchitis can be treated through pulmonary rehabilitation (a breathing exercise program) and medications that control symptoms.
To reduce your risk of catching bronchitis, avoid sharing drinks, utensils, tissues, etc. with anyone who exhibits symptoms of the condition. Make sure to wash your hands regularly and disinfect your phone and hands regularly. If you have children, ensure their toys and hands are disinfected often. When you or your children exhibit symptoms of bronchitis, see a doctor immediately. Finally, to reduce your risk of chronic bronchitis, avoid smoking cigarettes.
Bronchitis Treatment in North Texas
The Lung and Sleep Specialists of North Texas treat a wide range of pulmonary conditions such as bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia, emphysema, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Since 1989, we have provided high quality pulmonary care to our patients. For your convenience, we are located in Weatherford and are easily accessible to patients in Parker County and Tarrant County. If you are suffering from bronchitis and other pulmonary conditions, contact the Lung and Sleep Specialists of North Texas at (817) 594-9993 or request an appointment now.