Believe it or not, bronchitis is one of the top ten common illnesses among outpatients. Five percent of American adults have an episode of bronchitis each year.
If you’ve been there yourself, you know it’s unpleasant. You get the persistent cough followed by that not-so-kind feeling in your chest.
If you’re one of the 16.5 million Americans who deal with bronchitis each year, fear not. We’ll answer the question of what is bronchitis and offer treatment remedies.
What Is Bronchitis?
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes. They are responsible for carrying air to and from your lungs.
When your bronchial tubes become inflamed, they build up mucus that makes you cough. The mucus tends to be thick and discolored.
Symptoms associated with bronchitis are:
- Persistent cough
- Mucus that is thick and clear, white, yellowish-gray, or green
- Shortness of breath
- Fever or chills
- Discomfort in your chest
Two kinds of bronchitis are acute bronchitis and chronic bronchitis.
What Is Acute Bronchitis?
Acute bronchitis starts from upper respiratory infections. We refer to them as a chest cold. As the chest cold progresses, the bronchial tubes become inflamed, which causes bronchitis.
Acute bronchitis is a contagious viral infection. You may experience chest congestion with body aches, sore throat, and wheezing. You may also get a fever or chills. As is common with bronchitis, you’ll experience mucus build-up and a persistent cough.
With treatment, acute bronchitis only lasts a few days to a week. While you’ll feel better, your cough may last for several weeks.
What Is Chronic Bronchitis?
Chronic bronchitis is long-lasting and can reoccur. Continual bronchial irritation happens as a result of cigarette smoke or other irritants.
It is a form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A virus or bacteria doesn’t cause chronic bronchitis. Environmental irritants like cigarette smoke cause it.
If you are a smoker with chronic bronchitis, it is recommended you quit. Prolonged exposure can agitate further symptoms.
How Is Chronic Bronchitis Diagnosed?
Bronchitis is diagnosed by a medical professional. A doctor will conduct a physical where they listen to your lungs with a stethoscope.
If you have a fever, a doctor might order an X-ray to rule out pneumonia.
For chronic bronchitis, your doctor may order pulmonary function tests. They may test your lung function with a spirometer. A device you blow into to test your lung capacity.
There are several treatments for bronchitis. Your doctor may prescribe:
- Fluids like hot tea
- Over-the-counter medication
- Prescription medicine
- Use a humidifier
For people with chronic bronchitis, your doctor may prescribe:
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Mucus clearing device
- Pulmonary rehabilitation
- Oxygen therapy
Many people with chronic bronchitis experience tiredness, brain fog, and other symptoms. The supplement bromantane can help. You can read more about bromatane here.
Protect Against Bronchitis
What is bronchitis? Now you know. To protect yourself from adjacent bronchitis symptoms, use bromantane.
Want to protect yourself against bronchitis? Wash your hands. Wear a mask around irritants and get a flu shot.
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