Bronchitis is a very common respiratory disease. It can accompany flu or cold and it occurs in people of all ages. Smokers and people with weak immune system are very exposed to developing chronic bronchitis and in some cases asthmatic bronchitis. Smoking is considered to be a serious factor of risk in the development of bronchitis and it can lead to complications such as pneumonia.
Bronchitis is mostly caused by viruses, in which case the illness clears on itself within days, without medical treatment. However, if the illness is caused by bacteria, medical treatment with antibiotics is required for overcoming bronchitis completely. Bronchitis can be either acute or chronic. The acute form of the illness generates intense symptoms, but if it caused by viruses, it usually clears up quickly. Acute bronchitis is very common in people of all ages and rarely requires medical treatment. Chronic bronchitis generates milder symptoms, which can aggravate in time. This form of illness is persistent and has a recidivating character. Chronic bronchitis needs continuous treatment until the illness is completely overcome, otherwise the symptoms will quickly reoccur. This form of bronchitis involves bacterial infection and needs specific, long-term medical treatment with antibiotics. Chronic bronchitis has a very high incidence in smokers and people with weak immune system.
Bronchitis generates symptoms such as cough, excess production of mucus, shortness of breath, chest pain, soreness and discomfort, wheezing, headache and fever. The presence of fever can point to bacterial infections and possible complications. Bronchitis is difficult to diagnose, considering the fact that its symptoms are also common to many other respiratory conditions (asthma, sinusitis). However, careful physical examinations and laboratory analyses can reveal the presence of bronchitis in most patients. Bronchitis is one of the most common respiratory illnesses among chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD). Despite its high incidence in people with respiratory conditions, bronchitis is often misdiagnosed. A clinical examination of patients with bronchitis is sometimes insufficient in revealing the actual cause of illness. Bronchitis is often misdiagnosed and confused with asthma, sinusitis or allergies.
If bronchitis isn’t caused by bacterial infections, the aim of medical treatments is to unblock the obstructed airways of the respiratory tract. Bronchitis causes inflammation of the mucous membrane, bronchial tubes and other organs and tissues involved in the process of breathing. When these fragile respiratory organs become inflamed and irritated, they produce excess mucus, in an attempt to protect themselves from external agents (dust particles, irritants). This excess of mucus clogs the airways and obstructs the access of air to the lungs, causing difficulty breathing, wheezing and cough. Medical treatments often include inhaled medicines which help unblock the airways of the respiratory tract. Such medicines are called bronchodilators and are mostly used in chronic bronchitis and asthmatic bronchitis.
Bronchitis needs appropriate treatment in order to be fully overcome. If you experience difficulty breathing or persistent cough, it is advised to seek medical help. Left untreated, bronchitis can aggravate and lead to serious complications.