What is Acute Bronchitis?
Acute bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes, the major airways into the lungs.It may be caused by a variety of bacteria and viruses. These viruses can be spread in the air when a person coughs. They also can be spread through physical contact, such as through unwashed hands.
What Causes Acute Bronchitis?
Acute bronchitis may develop on its own, or as a result of an upper respiratory infection, pertussis (whooping cough) or other infection.
What are the Symptoms of Acute Bronchitis?
The symptoms of acute bronchitis may include:
- Cough, which may produce clear, yellow or green mucus
- Low fever
- Chest tightness or pain
- Shortness of breath (in severe cases)
What Causes COPD?
- Smoking is the major cause of COPD. The poisons in cigarette smoke can weaken the lungs’ defense against infections, narrow air passages, cause swelling in air tubes and destroy air sacs. About 80-90% of all COPD is caused by cigarette smoking.
- Pollution in the air and irritating fumes and dusts, especially on the job, can also cause COPD.
What Are the Symptoms of COPD?
Signs and symptoms of COPD include:
- Chronic cough
- Shortness of breath while doing everyday activities (dyspnea)
- Frequent respiratory infections
- Blueness of the lips or fingernail beds (cyanosis)
- Producing a lot of mucus (also called phlegm or sputum)
Many people don’t experience symptoms of COPD until later stages of the disease. If you experience any of these symptoms, or think you might be at risk for COPD, it is important to contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Understanding Chronic Bronchitis
What is Chronic Bronchitis?
bronchitis is the inflammation of the lining of the airways, or bronchial tubes. When your airways are inflamed and/or infected, less air is able to flow to and from the lungs and you cough up heavy mucus or phlegm. There are two types of bronchitis: acute and chronic. A cute bronchitis can accompany a cold and clears up after a week or two.
A person with chronic bronchitis has a mucus-producing cough most days of the month, three months of a year for two years in a row without other underlying disease to explain the cough. After a long period of irritation:
- Excess mucus is produced constantly
- The lining of the airways becomes thickened
- An irritating cough develops
- Air flow may be hampered
Protecting Your Lungs
The lungs are different from most of the other organs in your body because their delicate tissues are directly connected to the outside environment. Anything you breathe in can affect your lungs. Since the lungs of people who have COPD are already compromised, it is important that you try to reduce exposure to anything that could make your COPD worse or cause an exacerbation, or flare-up.
Avoid Possible Triggers
Smoke: Smoking causes lung cancer, COPD and many other illnesses. To protect your lungs:
- Don’t start smoking
- Quit smoking if you smoke
- Avoid secondhand smoke
Staying Fit With COPD*
How Can Exercise Help With COPD?
Some people with COPD think exercise will make their breathing worse. But the opposite is true. In fact, lack of activity can make it worse. Getting physical activity (at all stages of COPD) may Help you feel less short of breath Give you more strength and endurance while you do your daily activities Improve heart health Keep you in a better mood