What’s the Difference Between Acute and Chronic Bronchitis?

Your bronchial tubes are airways that take air that enters your nose or mouth to your lungs. In some instances, these tubes become irritated and inflamed, which can make them tighter and less efficient at guiding air to and fro your lungs — it’s what doctors are calling bronchitis.

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If you like to learn some of the most important things about bronchitis such as the two different kinds of it and their respective causes, read on. Don’t forget to share this article afterwards so that your family and friends may get to know more about bronchitis, too.

There are two types of bronchitis — acute and chronic. Based on the name alone, it’s apparent that acute bronchitis is something that appears quite suddenly and may also go away in no time. On the other hand, chronic bronchitis is the kind that develops over time. Doctors say that it’s irreversible, too.

Acute bronchitis is actually more common than you think. Anyone who can suffer from the cold or flu may end up with acute bronchitis — the virus responsible for the common cold or influenza is also the one that can cause acute bronchitis. There are instances, too, in which the problem is bacterial.

Chronic bronchitis, in contrast, is due to damage to the bronchial tubes. One of the most common causes of chronic bronchitis is cigarette smoking. By the way, chronic bronchitis is a form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD. Emphysema is another form of it.

It’s not just cigarette smoking that can cause chronic bronchitis, but also repeated exposure to irritants that can cause the bronchial tubes to get inflamed. Experts say that constantly breathing in polluted indoor and outdoor can cause chronic bronchitis, and so is exposure to fumes and chemicals in the workplace.

Usually, acute bronchitis lasts for about a week only and does not cause any other problem. Some of the things you may experience if you have acute bronchitis include chest pain, dry cough, and increased production of mucus. It’s possible for you to have or not have low-grade fever.

Acute bronchitis is something that can be remedied at home through some all-natural approaches, like drinking plenty of water, consuming vitamin C-rich foods and taking lots of rest. It’s a good idea to also seek the help of a doctor to ensure that no complication will arise.

On the other hand, chronic bronchitis is something that requires treatment because it tends to progress. Unfortunately, it is irreversible — the damage to the airways is permanent. It’s important to work with a specialist in order to help slow down the progression of chronic bronchitis.

The intake oral steroids is commonly administered to reduce inflammation of the airways. There are also bronchodilators around to help widen the airways. If there is bacterial infection, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics. Supplemental oxygen may be warranted in order to maintain normal levels of oxygen in the blood.

Just because what you have acute bronchitis only doesn’t mean that you are out of the woods. According to experts, repeated bouts of acute bronchitis may actually lead to chronic bronchitis. This is especially true if you are a smoker, or you remain exposed to irritants.

Keeping the immune system up and running is one of the best ways to keep acute bronchitis from striking. It’s definitely also a good idea for you to limit your exposure to pollution and fumes and chemicals that can cause irritation and inflammation of the bronchial tubes

If you are a smoker, it’s a smart move for you to ditch the habit if you want to keep acute bronchitis at bay. It’s also the best thing to do to prevent chronic bronchitis from striking. No matter if what you have is acute or chronic bronchitis, quitting smoking is one of the best things that you can do.

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