The 3 Causes of Chronic Bronchitis that everyone should know. Also, there is confusion in differentiating bronchitis from asthma , as well as flu and cold , rhinitis and sinusitis . “They are different diseases, but they manifest in a very similar way”. Chronic Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchi, tubes that lead air to the lung alveoli, structures where gas exchange takes place, and can be classified as acute (short-lived, one to two weeks) or chronic (which remains for at least three months in two consecutive years).
Different Causes: “It can be caused by viruses, bacteria, smoke inhalation or chemical products”. However, smoking is considered the main responsible for aggravating and even triggering the problem, causing Chronic Bronchitis . “It doesn’t matter if you are an active or passive smoker. The patient with chronic bronchitis usually has a history of smoking.” Factors capable of triggering the problem, such as exposure to wood stove smoke or charcoal production, are less common causes.
How to Identify: With the disease, the bronchi become constricted and filled with secretion. Therefore, they cause symptoms such as productive cough (with mucus), which is an attempt by the body to expel the secretion that, in Chronic Bronchitis , is clear at first and can become yellow and thick with the evolution of the problem.
In acute bronchitis , the cough may also be dry. Other symptoms that may appear are: chest discomfort, tiredness, shortness of breath and low fever. The doctor can diagnose the disease only by clinical evaluation or order tests such as chest X-ray, sputum samples and Pulmonary Function Test (which measures the capacity of the lungs).
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Spontaneous Relief: Chronic Bronchitis is considered a self-limiting disease, that is, it tends to evolve spontaneously towards cure. Chronic Bronchitis tends to disappear in around 10 days and, in this period, it is only about the symptoms. Expectorant syrups, bronchodilators, medication to reduce fever and antibiotics in case of bacterial infections can be used, but only with medical advice. Drinking plenty of fluids and staying away from cigarette smoke are key measures. Chronic Bronchitis increases the risk of other respiratory infections . Therefore, carriers of the disease need to be vaccinated against influenza and pneumonia.