What is Bronchitis anyway?
Bronchitis is something you are likely to have in your lifetime at least once. Since it usually follows a cold or other respiratory condition, most people will develop it in the course of their lifetime.
Your chest is throbbing in pain. You are coughing and it hurts to do so. These are the first symptoms of bronchitis. Although it is a common condition that many face, for some it is even worse. That's because for some people bronchitis is disabling and more frequent.
The good news is that you can do just that. Bronchitis does not have to be a condition that you can not shake.
Before you can actually deal with bronchitis, you need to know what it is and how it affects your body. Having an education in this information puts you at the forefront of spotting symptoms and taking action before you become ill further or even lessening the effect that bronchitis can have on your daily life.
Bronchitis occurs in your lungs. In fact, it is a condition that affects the inner walls in your air passage ways of your lungs. There, bronchitis causes the lining to become infected and inflamed, causing you the symptoms of fevers, chills, coughing and a pain in your chest.
These are the symptoms of acute bronchitis, something that many people will get after they have had a respiratory infection.
On the other hand, bronchitis that comes back time and time again is something to be concerned about. Bronchitis can lead to more serious conditions such as emphysema, asthma or even chronic bronchitis. These need medical attention as soon as possible.
If you are someone that smokers, your chances of getting chronic bronchitis are often much more different than those that are likely to get acute bronchitis.
Symptoms To Look For:
The main sign of this condition is that of a yellow / gray or even green colored mucus that comes up when you are coughing. This mucus is called sputum. The mucus should be a sign to you that something is wrong, especially with this type of coloring.
Some people do not have a large accumulation of the product in their throats and therefore do not cough it up. For this reason, you should realize that you can have bronchitis without having any mucus.
There are additional signs that you should pay attention to in order to tell if you have bronchitis.
o A pain in your chest that makes you feel constricted
o A burning sensation in your chest, soreness there
o A sore throat
o The feeling of not being able to catch your breath
o Wheezing, coughing
o Fever, which should not be too elevated. If so, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
When you experience any of these, especially a combination of them with mucus, you could be suffering from a bronchitis infection.
Causes Of Chronic Bronchitis
The causes of chronic bronchitis are often a bit more drastic. If you have this condition, the walls of your bronchial tubes have become thickened and they are inflamed to such a degree that it is considered nearly permanent. When this happens, chronic bronchitis is evident.
Most with this condition must cough at least some time during each day to clear their throat. This is especially true of those that have chronic bronchitis due to their smoking habits.
Those that suffer from chronic symptoms of bronchitis often develop asthma because of it. This is caused by the long term inflammation of your air passageways, it is essential that you get help from your doctor in dealing with your condition.
Are You At Risk, Then?
Since anyone can get acute bronchitis from a cold that they have, it is not difficult to imagine that basically everyone is at risk for developing this condition. Yet, there are some additional reasons why this condition can effect you more often or even just more than it will effect other people.
Those that are living in conditions where bronchitis is likely, such as a smoking home, will also have increased risks of developing pneumonia, colds, respiratory infections, asthma and ear infections.
In some cases, such as those that revolve around occupational bronchitis, just removing the irritants from your lifestyle will absolutely improve your quality of life and reduce the occurrences and health risks associated with bronchitis.
Do You Need A Doctor?
This question is one that you'll have to answer yourself, depending on the type and severity of the condition you are in. For most people, the need for a doctor is not there, because they are suffering from acute bronchitis, which will likely go away on its own within just a few days to a week.
In order to help this to happen, get as much rest as you can and get lots of fluids. Keep your home's air moist as well. Treat bronchitis in the same basic way you would treat a cold to see improvement.
Those that have a fever, which is to be expected in most cases, should contact their doctor if there temperature reaches higher than 101 degrees F. If you are coughing up blood, yellow mucus, green mucus or you can not catch your breath, call on a doctor as soon as possible because your condition may have progressed.
When bronchitis progresses, it ends up being that of pneumonia, a very serious condition that can be fatal if not treated properly. In addition to this, you should seek the help of your doctor if you find that your bronchitis has not gone away within six weeks. Those that face chronic bronchitis can develop additional conditions like asthma when their air passageways remain inflamed.
Certain people should seek the help of their doctor sooner. If you have chronic health problems such as chronic lung problems, congestive heart failure, emphysema, or asthma, then you need to see your doctor as soon as you feel an episode of bronchitis coming on.
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