The cough that’s been keeping you awake all night for more than 2 weeks now may be Bronchitis. If you are unaware about the symptoms of bronchitis, then you are not alone. Often people prolong their illness mistaking bronchitis to be flu.
Bronchitis is referred to as an acute inflammation of the air passages within the lungs. Due to infection, the windpipe and the large and small bronchi (airways) within the lungs become inflamed. This is when bronchitis occurs and the thin mucous lining of these airways becomes irritated and swollen. As a result of the inflammation, the cells of the mucous lining may leak fluids too into the lungs. This secretion from the lungs leads to reflex coughing so as to clear the secretions. Both adults and children are susceptible to bronchitis and exhibit the same symptoms when infected. In the case of infants, the symptoms of bronchitis are a lot similar to asthma and require immediate medical attention. Patients of asthma when contact the disease, get asthmatic bronchitis.
The main cause of bronchitis is flu. The flu is caused by several viruses including influenza A and B, which then develops in to bronchitis. There is usually a case of an upper respiratory infection that leads to bronchitis. The disease is also caused by a number of bacteria including Mycoplasma pneumoniae, which causes so-called “walking pneumonia.” Other causes of bronchitis include- infections post the inhalation of irritating fumes or dust, chemical solvents and smoke (including tobacco smoke). Bronchitis can become symptoms in the case of elderly patients or people with poor immunity or those who smoke or those who have repeated exposure to lung irritants.
Bronchitis is both contagious as well as non-contagious. Bronchitis that is viral or bacterial in nature is potentially contagious and patient needs to be isolated. However, if bronchitis is due to smoking, air pollution, or other inhaled irritants, then it is not contagious.
Now on to one of the most important things, which is- how to recognize the symptoms of bronchitis? The telling signs of bronchitis are fever with chills, muscle aches, nasal congestion, and sore throat. The constant dry cough is one of the most common symptoms of bronchitis. In case the cough produces phlegm in significant amount, then it is an indication of an infection in the lower respiratory tract and the lungs. These symptoms can be confused with the ones of pneumonia.
Patients suffering from acute bronchitis have continued forceful coughing that causes soreness in the chest and abdominal muscles. In the extreme cases, a patient can even injure his chest wall or lose consciousness after a coughing spasm. Wheezing is another common symptom that the patients of bronchitis exhibit. Asthmatic bronchitis symptoms include wheezing and shortness of breath, apart from the other signs of bronchitis.
If you are suffering from these acute symptoms, you must turn to your health care practitioner for medical assistance. If you are traveling or your regular doctor is unavailable, then you can try telemedicine sources on the internet to get bronchitis treatment. These sites have expert doctors, who can write a prescription for your online, and you can get relief from the medicines prescribed by them. Do not ignore the symptoms of this painful disease and get medical help at the earliest and at your convenience from online doctors.