One of the known complications of any viral infection of the respiratory tract is bronchitis. Just when you seem to be recovering from a cold your chest start to tighten and boring dry or productive cough occurs, which may be accompanied by fever and chills. Bronchitis is an inflammation of the respiratory tract, or bronchi. The bronchi are the tubes that lead from the throat to the very small airways and alveoli in the lungs. There are acute bronchitis and chronic bronchitis. Inflammation can be caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites, cigarette smoking and inhalation of contaminated particles in the air (chemical or inhaled irritants).
Acute bronchitis is a short-term inflammation of mucous membrane of the trachea and bronchi. It is often associated with viral infections of upper respiratory system. It occurs more commonly in winter months, and young children are most affected by the disease. The disease usually lasts short and it rarely leads to some complications. Acute bronchitis can be caused by non-viral pathogens, but in a much smaller percentage. Bacteria generally only secondarily infect the mucous membrane of the bronchi and cause deterioration. Initial symptoms of acute bronchitis are usually identical with the flu (sneeze, mild sore throat, burning sensation in the eyes, hoarseness, burning behind the sternum, etc.). The leading symptom of acute bronchitis is cough. It occurs early and progresses throughout the disease.
Chronic bronchitis is a disease characterized by regular cough for maximum number of days per month for at least three months during the period of last two years. It often manifests itself as a disease of smokers. It is basically a permanent irritation of respiratory tract. the respiratory system (primarily lungs) reacts to such a long-term irritation caused by tobacco smoke or other harmful (toxic) substances that are inhaled, by secreting mucus (phlegm) from sub mucosal glands, and by hypertrophy (magnification capacity) of mucus glands themselves. This secretion is a defense mechanism of the respiratory system.
Chronic Bronchitis Symptoms
The main symptoms of chronic bronchitis are cough, slightly raised body temperature, difficulty in breathing, decreased ability to work. Air supply into the lungs is reduced, because the width of airflow passage is decreased, and there is also a large amount of mucous secretions. All this leads to dyspnea. This makes the patients’ everyday activities more difficult to cope with, and the patient often feels tired and exhausted.
Chronic Bronchitis Treatment
When it comes to respiratory infections, it is advisable to avoid the great cold and heat, avoid moisture and fog as these are major causes of chronic bronchitis, and during the regular winter epidemics of the virus greater precaution is necessary. In a case of a less severe infection is advised to rest in bed, with home treatment, until you completely recover.
Patients with chronic bronchitis should avoid rooms that are too heated, and to maintain sufficient humidity in the premises in which they reside.
Is bronchitis contagious?
Bronchitis occurs most often after cold. The cough usually occurs in the very beginning of common cold. In essence, the common cold and sneezing are infectious diseases caused by special germs, tiny living creatures, which during cold or during the weakening of the immune system begin to proliferate more strongly and overcome the defense mechanism of the body and cause the disease. Since the disease is caused by living germs, they are usually transmitted from a sick man to a healthy one. Thus, bronchitis is as much contagious as the common cold.