Bronchitis is a respiratory disorder where the mucus membrane found in the lung’s passage gets inflamed. Bronchitis is characterized by phlegm, breathless and coughing spells which occurs when the membrane of the throat swells and becomes thicker. This leads to the narrowing or the shutdown of the airways in the lungs. Bronchitis can be classified into two types, chronic bronchitis and acute bronchitis. Acute bronchitis can lead to hacking cough, the infection is viral and is caused by bacteria. Whereas, chronic bronchitis is a long term diseases and requires immediate medical treatment. Smoking contributes in triggering the symptoms of acute bronchitis. If you happen to be a regular smoker, it is extremely difficult for you to recover. The smoke of the cigarette destroys the tiny hairs in your lungs (cilla). These structures help to brush out excess mucus, irritants and debris. Continued damage to the cilla increases your chances of developing chronic bronchitis. Permanent damage to the cilla can be caused. This condition is called COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and makes it difficult for someone to breathe.
What causes bronchitis?
Acute bronchitis is usually caused due to some form of lung infection. 90% of the lung infections are viral. Prolonged and continuous attacks of bronchitis can irritate and weaken your bronchial airway resulting in chronic bronchitis. Industrial pollutants also contribute in developing bronchitis. People who work in coal mines, grain handling industries and meal molders are more prone in developing chronic bronchitis. This is due to the continuous exposure to fumes and dust. The major causes of bronchitis include cigarette smoking, exposure to high levels of sulfur di-oxide and exposure to other pollutants in the atmosphere.
Facts about bronchitis:
Bronchitis cannot be cured completely, but proper medications can relieve its symptoms to a great extent. Usually antibiotics and cough medicines are prescribed to clear the throat and to ease the discomfort caused by bronchitis. Severe bronchitis can be treated by using bronchodilators (opens the tubes and clears out mucus), mucolytics (loosens the mucus in the airways), anti inflammatory medicines and glucocorticoid steroids.