Disease in the Respiratory System
What is Bronchitis?
Bronchitis is a disease in the respiratory system where the mucus membrane in the lungs gets irritated and inflamed.
Once this happens, the airways in the lungs become more narrowed and can even shut off and incessant coughing ensues. This ongoing coughing spell is also usually accompanied by mucus and breathlessness.
Acute Bronchitis – Lasts 1-3 weeks and results in a hacking cough with phlegm production and also can come with an infection in the respiratory system.
Chronic Bronchitis – Lasts at least 3 months a year for 2 years in a row. This requires regular treatment and visits to the doctor.
Smoking and Acute Bronchitis
Smokers who get acute bronchitis have a very difficult time recovering, because each additional cigarette smoked, causes damage to the interior hair-like follicles of the lungs (Celia), which are responsible for getting rid of debris, mucus, and irritants. Continuing to smoke only results in more harm to the Celia and can lead to chronic bronchitis.
When To See A Doctor
Acute bronchitis is very common and can usually be treated on your own, without a doctor. However, if you have a persistent high fever, or cough up blood, you should see a doctor immediately.
Bronchitis is usually caused by infections in the lungs, and they are 90% of the time, viral. Industrial pollutants are a huge culprit to the cause, including metal molders, coal miners, and grain handlers, or anything with continual exposure to fumes and dust. The chief cause is heavy smoking, which causes the lungs to produce excess mucus.
Treating bronchitis usually involves relieving symptoms so that it’s easier to breathe. This includes aspirin for a potential fever, drinking plenty of fluids, and getting lots of rest. Other medication maybe prescribed to help relieve your cough.
Antibiotics are not usually prescribed for acute bronchitis because the condition is viral, not an infection. The only reason you may be prescribed antibiotics is if the doctor thinks you have some kind of bacterial infection.
Humidifiers and inhaled medicine work great to help open up your airways, and inhaled medicine helps to go straight to the lungs.
In the case of chronic bronchitis, your doctor may prescribe oxygen therapy, to provide your body with extra oxygen it may need. And if you smoke, and suffer from bronchitis, it is very important quit!
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