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An in depth look at the inflammation of the bronchi bronchitis

But the striking increase in mortality from chronic bronchitis and emphysema that occurred after World War II in all Western countries indicated that… Under ordinary circumstances, the sensitive mucous membranes lining the inner surfaces of the bronchi are well protected from inhaled irritants, particles, and infectious organisms by the filtering function of the nose and throat and by the cough reflex.

Inflammation can be caused by a sudden and rapid attack by infectious, physical, or chemical agents, resulting usually in a relatively brief disease called acute bronchitis, or it can take the form of a long-standing, repetitive condition, called chronic bronchitis, that results in protracted and often permanent damage to the bronchial mucosa.

Acute bronchitis is an episode of recurrent coughing and mucus production lasting several days to several weeks.

Symptoms and treatment of bronchitis

It is most frequently caused by viruses responsible for upper respiratory infections. Therefore, it is often part of the common cold and is a common sequel to influenzawhooping coughand measles. Acute bronchitis can also be caused by bacteria such as Streptococcusparticularly in people who have underlying chronic lung disease. In addition, it is sometimes precipitated by chemical irritants such as toxic gases or the fumes of strong acids, ammonia, or organic solvents.

  • Chronic bronchitis refers to long-standing inflammation of the bronchial tree accompanied by deep cough and sputum production;
  • They may also examine mucus or test the oxygen levels in the blood and may recommend a chest X-ray, pulmonary lung function test, or blood tests.

Treatment of acute bronchitis is largely symptomatic and of limited benefit. Steam inhalation, bronchodilators, and expectorants will usually relieve the symptoms. Bacterial acute bronchitis responds to treatment with an appropriate antibiotic.

  1. It can also be caused by bacterial infection and exposure to substances that irritate the lungs, such as tobacco smoke , dust, fumes, vapors, and air pollution. Breathing can become increasingly difficult.
  2. When this happens, a smoker's lungs become even more vulnerable to infection. Repeated bouts of bronchitis, however, may mean that you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD.
  3. Bronchitis may be acute or chronic.
  4. If bronchitis is recurring Outlook Acute bronchitis is a common condition.
  5. Causes of chronic bronchitis Chronic bronchitis is caused by repeated irritation and damage to the lung and airway tissue. To reduce your risk of catching a viral infection, wash your hands frequently and get in the habit of using alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

Chronic bronchitis refers to long-standing inflammation of the bronchial tree accompanied by deep cough and sputum production. Prolonged or recurrent injury to the lining causes irreversible damage to the bronchial walls. Thickening of the walls narrows the passages, increasing obstruction to airflow, and hypertrophied mucous glands secrete excessive amounts of viscous fluid.

  • Causes of chronic bronchitis Chronic bronchitis is caused by repeated irritation and damage to the lung and airway tissue;
  • Eventually, the airway lining stops clearing smoking-related debris, irritants, and excess mucus from the lungs altogether.

Such damage to the bronchial defense mechanisms in turn promotes bacterial invasion, bringing about recurrent or continuous infection. Tobacco smoking is the most important cause of chronic bronchitis, accounting for more than 90 percent of cases.

  1. A person with chronic bronchitis often takes longer than usual to recover from colds and other common respiratory illnesses. If chronic bronchitis occurs with emphysema , it may become chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD.
  2. Along with the toxic particles and chemicals in smoke, this causes a smoker to have a chronic cough.
  3. It is most frequently caused by viruses responsible for upper respiratory infections.

Smoking-related chronic bronchitis often occurs in association with emphysema ; the coexistence of these two conditions is known as chronic destructive pulmonary disease. In some countries chronic bronchitis is caused by daily inhalation of wood smoke from improperly ventilated cooking stoves. For current smokers the most important treatment of chronic bronchitis is the cessation of smoking.

Bronchitis

The mucus-producing cough will subside within weeks or months and may resolve altogether. Unfortunately, narrowing of the bronchi and obstruction of airflow may continue to progress even after smoking ceases, though the rate of progression generally slows.

  • Tobacco smoking is the most important cause of chronic bronchitis, accounting for more than 90 percent of cases;
  • Wheezing, shortness of breath, and cough may become a part of daily life;
  • Although it can be uncomfortable, in most cases, it will resolve on its own;
  • If you have bronchitis and don't smoke, try to avoid exposure to secondhand smoke.

Because the damage to the bronchial tree is largely irreversible, treatment is mainly symptomatic, consisting of expectorants and bronchodilators. Occasionally, drugs to suppress paroxysmal coughing may be necessary, but they must be used sparingly because they can be addictive and because expectoration is necessary. Of primary importance is the prevention of superimposed infections, either by careful watching for early signs or by using prophylactic antibiotics.

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