Respiratory illnesses have significant effects on the lives of millions of people. When there is a respiratory illness where in the bronchial tubes of the lungs are irritated and swollen accompanied with pain it can be identified as bronchitis. It can be acute, when it is a short term illness and easily treatable. On the other hand, chronic bronchitis is difficult to treat and may cause damage to the respiratory tract.
There are common symptoms of acute bronchitis that you need to be aware of:
1) Cough – may be dry or may produce phlegm. Significant phlegm production suggests that the lower respiratory tract and the lung itself may be infected, and you may have pneumonia.
2) Chills – this condition may be accompanied with quivering and paleness and in some cases it can arise with a sudden increase of temperature.
3) Runny nose – considered as one of the more common irritations of people with acute bronchitis.
4) Back and muscle pain – soreness of bones in the back and muscle.
5) Wheezing – a sound that can be heard when a person with acute bronchitis is breathing. It may occur because of the inflammation of the airways. This may leave you short of breath.
6) Sore throat – throat pain and itch.
7) Repeated headache – a condition where the pain is commonly felt in the head, neck and back.
8) Slight fever – in acute bronchitis there is an abnormal elevation of bodily temperature.
9) Malaise – feeling of discomfort when there is acute bronchitis.
10) Back and muscle pain – soreness of bones in the back and muscle.
Chronic bronchitis is another type of bronchitis, where the airways in lungs have too much phlegm causing violent coughing. Chronic bronchitis is not necessarily caused by infection and is generally part of a syndrome called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; it is defined clinically as a persistent cough that produces sputum (phlegm) and mucus, for at least three months in two consecutive years.
The symptoms of acute bronchitis can also be experienced in chronic bronchitis. However they may be more severe. Chronic bronchitis may show distinct symptoms to be able to differentiate it from acute bronchitis.
1) Clubbed fingers – fingers deformity common with chronic respiratory illnesses.
2) Heart Failure – a complication of chronic bronchitis where in the heart is not able to properly pump blood to the body.
3) Cyanosis – a bluish color of the skin due to deoxygenated hemoglobin in the blood.
4) Edema – swelling on the feet and hands due to excessive fluid in the lymph.
5) Dyspnea – difficulty in breathing.
6) Shortness of breath with excessive movement.
7) Too much mucus secretion.
8) Lung or respiratory tract infection.
Symptoms of bronchitis may resemble symptoms of other respiratory problems which is why it is important to consult your doctor to differentiate it from other conditions and to determine if the bronchitis is acute or chronic. The doctor will assess and conduct physical examinations to evaluate the condition. Furthermore, the doctors may recommend laboratory tests to be able to distinguish the condition.
An ordinary cold and cough should not be taken for granted; treating it the right way to prevent it from developing into a more serious condition like bronchitis is important.