An inflammation of the airways entering your lungs is refer to as bronchitis. You cough when your airways (trachea and bronchi) enlarge and fill with mucus when they become inflamed. Your cough may last for a few days to a few weeks. It is the primary symptom of the disease according to National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Types of bronchitis
There are two primary types of bronchitis: acute and chronic
A viral infection is typically the cause of acute bronchitis, which resolve on its own in a few weeks. Most patients with acute bronchitis don’t require medical attention.
If you frequently cough up mucus for three months out of the year, you may have a chronic bronchitis. This went on for about a year.
A chronic condition increases your risk of developing COPD (COPD). Ask your doctor if a COPD test is necessary.
Causes of bronchitis
Viral causes of the disease include:
Viruses: The respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), adenovirus, rhinovirus (common cold), and coronavirus are among the viruses that can cause the disease.
Bacteria: Chlamydia pneumonia, Mycoplasma pneumonia, and Bordetella pertussis are some of the bacteria that cause the disease.
Pollution: Smoking marijuana or cigarettes cause pollution.
Who is impacted by bronchitis?
Anyone can contract the disease, however certain conditions put you at greater risk:
- Have COPD, asthma, or another respiratory disorder.
- Have GERD.
- Have an autoimmune condition or another inflammatory disease.
- Air contaminants in the area.
Common signs and symptoms of the disease
The most common sign of the disease is a chronic cough that last one to three weeks. With it, you may experience a dry cough instead of the typical mucus-fill cough. When you breathe, you might also hear a whistling or rattling sound (wheezing).
Additional signs include:
- Breathing difficulty
- A stuffy nose
How is bronchitis identified?
Based on your medical history and symptoms, your doctor can determine whether you have bronchitis (clinical diagnosis). They will check your breathing and listen to your lungs for indications of congestion. They might perform a COVID-19 or flu virus test on you.
How does bronchitis develop?
You develop it when the mucus in your airways congeals and swells. By having intimate contact (shaking hands, hugging, or touching the same surfaces) with someone who has the viruses and bacteria. You can acquire them yourself.
It’s not necessary for you to have it in order to infect someone else with the virus that cause the disease. The air you breathe contains additional irritants, such as smoke or pollution.
How is bronchitis treated?
Medication is typically not used to treat acute bronchitis. Your doctor may prescribe antivirals if you have the flu and your symptoms start within the last two days in order to speed up the recovery process. Antibiotics won’t help you get well because it is nearly never brought on by bacteria and may potentially make you feel worse.
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the airways leading to the lungs. People get over it in about two weeks, but it might take as long as three to six weeks. It cause inflammation and mucus in your trachea and bronchi that make you cough a lot. The best way to reduce your risk of it is to avoid getting sick from viruses and other causes of lung irritation.