Effects of chronic bronchitis on lungs

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tube. These are the pipes that carry air from and to your lungs. People with bronchitis often have a persistent cough that causes thickened, discolored mucus. They may also have wheezing, chest pain, and shortness of breath owing to bronchitis. Acute bronchitis is caused by a cold or other respiratory infection and often improves within a few days without prolonged consequences. While chronic bronchitis is a more severe disorder that develops over time rather than occurs unexpectedly. Constant inflammation of the bronchial tube lining leads excessive volumes of sticky mucus to build up in the airways. Airflow blockage worsens over time, leading in breathing problems and enhanced output of mucus in the lungs.

Many individuals who have chronic bronchitis ultimately develop emphysema, a type of lung disease. Together, both conditions are referred to as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD. Most symptoms of COPD take a while to evolve, so individuals often mistakenly think that the condition is not life-threatening and overlook the symptoms until the disease has progressed to a more developed phase.

As time marches, the quantity of mucus rises gradually owing to an enhanced output of mucus in the lungs. The mucus ultimately builds up in the bronchial tubes and restricts the flow of air, making breathing progressively hard.

Other symptoms of chronic bronchitis may include:

  • Sometimes fever with chills
  • Chest discomfort
  • Sinus congestion
  • Bad breath

In later stages of chronic bronchitis, the skin and lips may develop a bluish color due to lack of oxygen in the bloodstream. Decreased levels of oxygen in the blood may also lead to peripheral edema or swelling in the legs and ankles. More serious episodes may be caused by a variety of variables, including:

  • Respiratory tract infections, such as cold and flu
  • Environmental exposure, such as air pollution or dust

Many people deny symptoms of chronic bronchitis, believing that they might have a smoker’s cough. However, it’s important to get in touch with your doctor right away if you even have the slightest suspicion that you may have bronchitis. Failure to receive timely treatment for chronic bronchitis significantly improves your risk of serious lung damage, which may lead to respiratory issues.

Treatment for bronchitis

Although there is no cure for chronic bronchitis, the disease can be controlled through medical treatment and lifestyle changes.

A bronchodilator is a sort of medicine that opens the airways of your lungs, making it better to breathe. Theophylline is an oral medication that relaxes the muscles in your airways to open up more, helping to alleviate respiratory problems. Sometimes steroids can be beneficial for bronchitis patients.

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If your symptoms don’t improve with medications, you need to make some lifestyle changes mentioned below.

  • Breathing in hot, moist air can relieve the cough in your airways and loosen your mucus.
  • Quit smoking.
  • If you live in an area with an elevated level of air pollution, you should wear a mask whenever you go outside.
  • Physical activity can enhance the muscles that assist you to breathe. Ideally, you should exercise at least three times a week for 30 minutes.
  • Deep breathing can provide relief when you’re having difficulty in breathing.

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