What is bronchitis? Bronchitis is inflammation of the mucous membranes of the bronchi, the airways that carry air flow from the trachea to the lungs. This means, that it is the inflammation of the mucus producing layers on he bronchi. These layers are responsible for the protection of the bronchi. Bronchitis can be divided into two categories namely acute and chronic bronchitis. Acute and Chronic Bronchitis Acute and chronic bronchitis are the two types of bronchitis that exist both common in a sense that it has to do with the respiratory system.
These two types of bronchitis do not however have the same causes, symptoms and way of treatment. In acute bronchitis more mucus is excreted and in chronic bronchitis mucus is made by the respiratory tract. Characteristics and causes of bronchitis Acute bronchitis is characterized by the development of a cough, with or without the production of mucus. Acute bronchitis occurs during the course of an acute() viral illness, this includes the common cold or influenza( better known as flu).
Acute bronchitis is caused by a virus on the epithelium of the bronchi which may also cause inflammation to the body. Acute bronchitis develops during the cause of a respiratory infection such as the common cold or influenza (flu). 90% of flu is caused by viruses and 10% is caused by bacteria. Chronic bronchitis is a type of obstructive pulmonary disease, is characterized by the presence of an active cough that lasts for 3 months per year or more. Chronic bronchitis is caused due to continues injury to the airways for example the smoking of cigarettes, air pollution, etc.
Chronic bronchitis is caused by inflammation and swelling to the bronchial epithellium. This causes increased production of mucus which sometimes have a different colour due to the infected bronchi. The main trigger of chronic bronchitis is caused bey cigarette smoking. Other triggers include the inhalation of irritating fumes, dust and air pollution. Symptoms and treatment The first recognisable and common symptom of acute bronchitis is a developing cough. The cough normally start to get rid of excess mucus from the lungs.
Other symptoms include a sore throat, runny nose, nasal congestion and fever. Treatment for acute bronchitis is the use of anti-inflammatory drugs. A way to prevent bronchitis is to stay clear surroundings that may be irritaing to the resperatory system. For chronic bronchitis, the main symptom is a persistent cough, other symptoms include wheezing and shortness of breath. This happens especially when exhaling. Chronic bronchitis is treated according to the symptom at hand. There is no general treatment, each symptom should be treated in its own way.