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Bronchitis: types, symptoms and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The bronchitis is an inflammation of the conduits connecting the trachea to the lungs, known as bronchi and are responsible for transporting the air. When they become inflamed or infected, they have less ability to transport air, both into and out of the lungs, causing coughing, as well as other symptoms such as mucus or hissing. There are different types of bronchitis and each one has different symptoms, being able to differentiate between chronic bronchitis and acute bronchitis. It can be very annoying for those who suffer from it due to the respiratory problems that they can entail and at FastlyHealwe will know the types, symptoms and treatment of bronchitis .

Types of bronchitis and causes

We can differentiate two types of bronchitis and each one has different causes:

Acute bronchitis

The main cause of this type of bronchitis is an infection caused by a virus , which causes the bronchial tubes to become inflamed. It is usually the result of a cold or cold and for this same reason, the first symptoms that are usually experienced are a sore throat, sinusitis or mucus, spreading to the bronchi, making it difficult for air to pass. That is why a cough appears, due to shortness of breath, which leads to breathing problems and chest tightness. This obstruction of the bronchi can cause a sound similar to a hissing. Acute bronchitis may occasionally be caused by bacteria , although it is rare.

Chronic bronchitis

Chronic bronchitis is one that is suffered permanently , not as a cause of a virus or bacteria and that is usually caused by tobacco. The inner wall of the bronchi are inflamed and irritated causing cough and mucus. To call it chronic, you must have a cough with mucus production on most days, for at least three months out of the year for two consecutive years. This type of bronchitis is also known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

It is also possible that chronic bronchitis is produced by being a passive smoker , although this case does not usually occur very frequently. In addition, there are other factors such as pollution or exposure to harmful substances that can irritate the bronchial tubes, which can also trigger chronic bronchitis. It is accompanied by coughing up snot .

The risk of bronchitis increases if:

  • Do you smoke. Tobacco smoke (and secondhand smoke) irritates the bronchial tubes and lung tissue.
  • Have gastroesophageal reflux disease . The persistence of stomach acids into the esophagus in the airways can cause chronic coughing.
  • Have a lower resistance to infections. Young children, older people, and those with a weakened immune system due to various chronic diseases are more susceptible to respiratory infections.

Symptoms of bronchitis

The symptoms of bronchitis depend on the type of bronchitis suffered, although there are some that are found in both cases:

  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Wheezing
  • Cough with or without mucus.
  • Pressure in the chest.

In the case of acute bronchitis , the cough is not usually accompanied by mucus because it usually lasts for a short period. In chronic bronchitis , mucus is present along with the cough and can be very thick and difficult to pass. Mucus is a defense mechanism against irritation of the bronchial tubes, which can cause them to impede the passage of air and make it more difficult to breathe.

Treatment of bronchitis

The main objective when treating both acute and chronic bronchitis is to facilitate air circulation so that it is easier to breathe. Most people who suffer from acute bronchitis do not need antibiotics, since they do not act against viruses, although they do against bacteria. There are some elements that can help recovery when you have acute bronchitis:

  • Drink much liquid.
  • To rest.
  • Use a humidifier to facilitate breathing.
  • Take paracetamol in case of fever .

If the doctor considers it appropriate, other treatments can be performed.

  • Inhaled bronchodilators . They are used to make it easier for air to reach the lungs, opening the way through the bronchial tubes.
  • Oral branchodilators . These are pills that are taken in situations where bronchitis is more serious, opening the airways more effectively, although it can cause some side effects.
  • Inhaled corticosteroids . The use of the inhaler is required throughout the day to ensure that the airways are not obstructed and the person can breathe.

There are a number of recommendations that can help prevent bronchitis:

  • Of course, no smoking.
  • In case of not smoking, avoid exposing yourself to tobacco smoke.
  • Avoid sudden temperature changes.
  • Use air humidifiers.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Bronchitis: types, symptoms and treatment , we recommend that you enter our Lung and respiratory tract category .

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