Just like any other disease, untreated bronchitis can cause many complications in the body. This writing delves deep into what is bronchitis and the signs of bronchitis.
Bronchitis is the name given to a disease that affects the lungs. It is caused by an inflammation of the mucus membrane which is located in the lungs’ bronchial channels. This results in swelling up of the membrane. The mucus membrane becomes thicker and as a result, the channels in the lungs responsible for air passage become smaller and narrower which results in the breathing difficulty experienced by victims. This also causes uncontrollable phlegmy coughs, which is among the symptoms of bronchitis.
When there is excessive mucus in the lungs, the lungs become highly susceptible to viral and bacterial infections. When these micro bodies stay in the lungs for a long while, they may cause irreversible damages to the lung passages. This irrecoverable or permanent condition is termed as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Chronic bronchitis is one of the types of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Therefore, treatments for chronic bronchitis are similar to COPD treatments.
TYPES OF BRONCHITIS
Basically, Bronchitis has been categorized into two types: acute bronchitis and chronic bronchitis. Other categorizations may be used as well.
1. ACUTE BRONCHITIS
This typemay last for between 1-3weeks. It is usually caused by a viral infection in the upper respiratory system. Contrary to that, it may be caused by bacterial infection in some cases. This usually causes painful coughing – victims usually cough phlegm out. These usually do not require serious medical care. However, if the immune system is unable to get rid of the virus, it may graduate into a chronic bronchitis.
2. CHRONIC BRONCHITIS
As the name suggests, chronic bronchitis is likely to last for as long as 3months. They may seem to have vanished but may end up reappearing. If not treated, this hide and seek may go on for 2, 3 or even 4years. Unlike the acute bronchitis, it is a serious disorder and must be subjected to proper medical treatment.
3. ASTHMA INDUCED BRONCHITIS
The complications of asthma may potentially cause irritations to the linings of the bronchial tubes which may result in asthmatic bronchitis.
Some habits and circumstances that are likely to worsen bronchitis are:
a) Cigarette Smoking:
Cigarette smoking is by far the major cause of bronchitis among patients. There are tiny organs in the lungs called cilia. These serve as brooms or brushes and are responsible for getting rid of unwanted particles in the lungs, excess mucus or phlegm as well as irritation causing organisms. Cigarette destroys these cilia hence, leading to a worsening or contraction of bronchitis.
Industrial pollution and general air pollution are also guilty of causing bronchitis. The results from several conducted studies indicate that the rate of infected people among professionals who are involved in jobs that expose them to chemical and dust pollution tremendously exceeds the rate of infected people among the ordinary citizenry. Such professions used in these studies include miners, metal molders or blacksmiths as well as several grain handlers (rice, wheat, maize grains). Additionally, persistent exposure to highly concentrated toxins in the air, especially sulfur dioxide, is most likely to worsen bronchitis.
Most recently, a finding by some scientific researchers in South Korea listed snoring as a potential cause of bronchitis, specifically, chronic bronchitis. However, I cannot authenticate this since the reasons for their assertions are not yet known.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF BRONCHITIS
The symptoms of bronchitis may slightly differ, depending on the kind of bronchitis; otherwise, they are very similar and common among patients.If you begin to see these signs of bronchitis as you go about your day to day activities, you must take steps towards finding out what your status is – you may be infected.
1. SEVERE COUGHING:
This is among the various bronchitis symptoms. Persons may experience persistent coughing. They may often cough out phlegm. Depending on the type of bronchitis it is, coughing may last for weeks or months. Its lengthiness is also dependent on how quick the bronchioles will heal from the infection.
2. SORE THROAT:
Sore throat is also among symptoms of bronchitis. The viral infections may cause sore throat as well. If you experience persistent phlegmy coughing alongside the development of a sore throat, your probability of being infected is really high.
3. CHEST PAIN:
A bronchitis patient is likely to experience occasional pains in the chest. They may not necessarily last throughout the day but they may be persistent throughout the week.
4. ACHES IN THE BODY:
Symptoms of bronchitis may include body aches as well. Bronchitis can also lead to aches and pains in various parts of the body including the nose and throat pains.
5. HEADACHES AND FEVER AS SIGNS OF BRONCHITIS:
Infected victims are prone to suffer periodic headaches as well as high and mild fever or body chills.
Bronchitis affects the normal breathing ability of its victims. They are likely to feel breathless, even when they haven’t engaged in any physically demanding activity. They are also likely to face occasional inhalation struggle, causing them to breathe through the mouth.
7. CONGESTED NOSE AND SINUSES:
Another of common bronchitis symptoms is blocked and congested sinuses and noses. Patients are likely to be seen often, trying to push some nasal mucus out as though they had caught some cold or flu.
Wheezing, among bronchitis symptoms, is likely to be found in 2 out of 10 victims. When victims inhale or exhale air, you are likely to hear them wheeze. The whistling sound may be overwhelmingly loud in severe cases.
Most importantly, you should note that the body has natural mechanisms that aid in healing acute bronchitis and getting rid of the symptoms of bronchitis. You don’t necessarily need to get a doctor for its treatment. You may use various home remedies for getting rid of bronchitis symptoms. However, when you begin to see signs of bronchitis that is chronic in nature, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible.