Diagram by Roberto Biasini
Don’t you believe it. You may very well be on your way to chronic bronchitis. You may even already have it. Chronic bronchitis causes permanent damage and scarring to the lungs and progresses to emphysema and Chronic Pulmonary Obstructive Disease (COPD). If not treated it becomes increasingly debilitating, and eventually leads to death.
The word bronchitis means inflammation and swelling of the bronchial tubes. Bronchitis also includes an overproduction of mucus. Both acute and chronic bronchitis meet this description, but it’s important to note that there’s a big difference between them. Usually acute bronchitis is a result of an infection, often viral, like a cold or flu, which develops into a bacterial infection. Usually this is successfully treated with antibiotics.
Chronic bronchitis is a much more serious condition and while it can be a progression from acute bronchitis it can develop on its own from being exposed to lung irritants in the environment. The number one and number two irritant is cigarette smoke, first and second hand respectively.
The most effective treatment for chronic bronchitis is to stop toxic exposure. If you smoke and notice that you have a daily productive cough be aware that you may already have or are on your way to developing chronic bronchitis. Don’t ignore this symptom. It’s serious. Seek medical attention and help in quitting smoking.
But what if you have a daily productive cough and you don’t smoke nor are you regularly exposed to cigarette smoke? You could still have chronic bronchitis. There are numerous chemical toxins that may cause chronic bronchitis. People who are routinely exposed to dust and fumes in the workplace are also at risk. If your doctor diagnoses chronic bronchitis then do whatever you can to eliminate your exposure to these pollutants.
Find Out More
Here are two excellent sites with a lot of information about chronic bronchitis and COPD.
Disclaimer: This blog is not intended to be a substitute for personal, professional, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.