Things you need to know
-Bronchitis is the inflammation or swelling of the bronchial tubes—the air passages between the mouth and the nose, and the lungs.
-Bronchitis affects a person's capacity to breathe air and oxygen into their lungs, as well as their ability to eliminate thick mucus or phlegm from their airways.
-Bronchitis can be acute or chronic and is usually caused by cold or other respiratory illnesses.
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tube lining, transporting air to and from the lungs. Patients affected with bronchitis cough up thicker and possibly coloured mucus. Bronchitis can either be acute or chronic.
Acute bronchitis is a common condition and chronic bronchitis is more of a serious condition that is causing a constant irritation or inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes, often due to smoking.
Acute bronchitis, also called the chest cold, improves within a week or ten days without having any lasting effects. However, the cough may linger for weeks, and if you cough on a regular basis, you may develop chronic bronchitis, which necessitates medical attention.
- Production of mucus which can be clear, white, yellowish, or green in colour
- Shortness of breath
- Slight fever and chills
- Chest discomfort
In the case of acute bronchitis, you may have cold symptoms like mild headache and body ache, and these symptoms start to improve within a week with a cough that lingers for weeks.
It takes around three months to recover from chronic bronchitis, with recurrent bouts lasting at least two years.
Acute bronchitis happens due to a viral or bacterial infection.
- Cold or flu symptoms
- Sore throat
- Nasal congestion
- Cough lasting three weeks or less
Chronic bronchitis happens due to environmental contaminants such as chemicals or tobacco smoke.
- Cough that lasts for almost 3 months
- Shortness of breath
- Home remedies: Avoid smoke and fumes, use humidifiers
- Prescriptions: Take antibiotics and steroids as per doctors prescription
- OTC medications: Take decongestant and pain relievers
- Maintain hygiene: Wash your hands from time to time to restrict bacteria and viruses from entering the body through your hands
- Healthy diet: Eat healthy fruits and vegetables that act as a natural anti-inflammatory and increase our defences and strengthen the intestine
If you have bronchitis that lasts for a short period of time then it’s called acute bronchitis, and if your bronchitis symptoms do not go away, then there is a high probability that you have chronic bronchitis.
In most cases of acute bronchitis, treatment can help, and it gets better within a couple of weeks, but chronic bronchitis is not curable, treatment and medication can help, but it cannot go away completely.
With the help of a physical exam, blood tests and enquiring about any symptoms and medical history, the doctors will be able to rule out pneumonia and give the diagnosis as per your tests.