Bronchitis Definition

Bronchitis is a respiratory disease wherein the bronchial tubes become inflamed. The bronchial tubes are the airways that convey air to the lungs. Bronchitis often causes people to cough to expel out mucus. The lining of the bronchial tubes is actually where mucus is produced. Besides cough, this condition can also result in shortness of breath, low fever, chest discomfort or pain and wheezing of a person. Wheezing is the squeaky or whistling sound when you respire.

There are two types of bronchitis, one is acute or short term bronchitis and the other is chronic or ongoing bronchitis.

Acute Bronchitis

Acute bronchitis is caused by lung irritant or by infections. Acute bronchitis usually is caused by the virus that also causes the flu and colds. When a person with bronchitis coughs, the virus is scattered to the air potentially infecting other people. The virus can also be transmitted via physical contact (by hand touch, kiss, etc.).

Besides virus, bacteria can also be the reason for acute bronchitis. Typically acute bronchitis can endure for one to three days to up to 10 days. The coughing, however, may persist for many weeks even after treatment of the infection.

If you feel you may have acute bronchitis, you can visit your doctor who can determine if you indeed have this disease or some other underlying condition that may need immediate medical care.

Chronic Bronchitis

This type of bronchitis is a serious and ongoing health problem. Chronic bronchitis is due to the linings of your bronchial tubes continuously inflamed and irritated causing seemingly unending cough combined with mucus. One of the major causes of this problem is smoking.

When the bronchial tubes are irritated, they can be easily be infected by bacteria or viruses leading to their worsening condition. Consequently, those who suffer from chronic bronchitis have moments when their symptoms become even worse than usual.

Without early diagnosis and treatment, chronic bronchitis can become a serious and really long term problem. The person suffering from this type of bronchitis needs to stop smoking (if he’s a smoker) and veer away from places that force him to experience second hand smoking in order to improve his condition. Unfortunately, people with this disease often have a poor chance for complete recovery.

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