Understanding the 2 Types of Bronchitis

Published January 11, 2018



Bronchitis can have a great impact not only on the person’s health but to his entire life as well. Hence, if you are suffering from this condition, it is best to know more about it. Do you know that there are two types of bronchitis? They are (1) chronic and (2) acute. This article will discuss more about them to tell the difference between the two.

Acute Bronchitis

This happens suddenly and the most common instances are after one has contacted colds or has a viral infection like adenovirus, parainfluenza virus, rhinovirus, adenovirus, as well as influenza A and B virus. However, it can also be triggered by the presence of bacteria as well, like Streptococcus pneumonia, Mycoplasma pneumonia, Bordetella pertussis, Moraxella catarrhalis and Haemophilus influenza. The cause can also be environmental like long-term exposure to certain irritants like tobacco smoke, cigarette, fumes, dust, vapors or polluted air. Below are the symptoms of acute bronchitis to watch for:

  • 10 days of cough with colored or clear mucus.
  • Fever that can be low to high. This may signify the presence of a secondary infection like pneumonia.
  • A sore throat that results from persistent coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath that can be accompanied by chest pain or chest tightness.

Usually, viral infections are self-limiting. Meaning, they just heal on their own. As long as you boost your immune system by having adequate rest and proper diet, your body can manage the problem without you doing anything about it. For severe cases, medical procedures will be recommended for lung volume reduction surgery, attending pulmonary rehab programs, oxygen therapy administration and use of bronchodilators.

Anyone can have acute bronchitis but the most common victims are the children aging less than 5 years old. And as mentioned earlier, it can resolve on its own. Chronic Bronchitis This happens when there is an inflammation as well as infection on the bronchial tubes. But since chronic bronchitis is a long term illness, it can be distressing on the person’s health. The most common precipitating factor for this illness is cigarette smoking. Inhalation of cigarette smoke results to temporary paralysis of cilia. These are the fine hair that grows on the airway which is soaked with sticky mucus which traps germs and other foreign bodies that you inhale. Once severely impaired, it will interrupt with the lung’s proper function, causing damage to the organ. History of lung infection must also be noted since this can also aggravate the symptoms. Here are the lists of symptoms to watch out for chronic bronchitis:

  • Sinus congestion
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Bad breath
  • Chest discomfort
  • Fever
  • Wheezing

But unlike acute bronchitis, chronic bronchitis does not resolve on its own. Certain protocols need to be done to resolve the issue such as:

  • Oxygen therapy
  • Lung volume reduction therapy
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation program
  • Bronchodilators

Understanding what bronchitis is allows you to know how to manage it well. And giving heed to your doctor’s expert advice allows you to recuperate fast. Remember that if not intervened properly, bronchitis can be deadly. Hence, you must take its treatment seriously.

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