Bronchitis is the inflammation of the bronchi. It may develop
suddenly, following a head cold (acute bronchitis), or it may persist or
return regularly for many years, causing progressive degeneration of the
than others; Men are more of a target to bronchitis than women, out
50 times more likely to get chronic bronchitis than non-smokers. Acute
smoking. People who have acute bronchitis usually have a mild fever,
soreness under breast bone, irritated by coughing. First they have a dry
cough then the cough later brings up green and yellow mucus. The cough may
persist to 4 to 6 weeks. Chronic bronchitis is produced by other chronic
problem: sinusitis, smoking, TB, etc. The Bronchi becomes thick, inelastic,
and accumulate mucus and pus in lower part of lungs instead of bringing
discharges up and out. The result is chronic cough, shortness of breath,
sometimes spasm, and frequent infection.
In acute bronchitis, the basic symptoms are a head cold, fever and
followed by the obvious persistent cough. At first the cough is dry and
racking and eventually becomes phlegmy. The persistent cough is worse at
The main symptoms most recognized in chronic bronchitis is, again, a
cough, with sputum, often occurring in paroxysms. Other symptoms in
chronic bronchitis are dependant on how much, or how little, emphysema is
present. This disorder causes the lungs to become overstretched, making
the breathing process difficult.
Shortness of breath only occurs during exercise and other strenuous
lot of his or her oxygen — exchanging ability, due to the condition, is
short of breath at all times. The bronchitic with emphysema very often are
underweight and, as the disease comes worse, develops a barrel chest. The
Chronic bronchitic also wheezes because of the obstruction.
NOTE: Emphysema is a state of overdistention of the tiny air-
containing sacs of the lung.
to take some time to recognize the new viruses and bacterias. Fortunately,
a different kind of white blood cells try to fight off the bacterias and
are releasing other chemicals. The chemicals enter the tissue that
surrounds the trachea (see page 5 — diagram 1) and they begin to expand
and swell up. As they expand, they squeeze the trachea (see pg 5 –
diagram 2). As a result, less air can pass through the trachea causing a
The best treatment for acute bronchitis is bed rest in a warm room.
Acute bronchitis that is viral usually runs it’s course without medication.
A proper diet and avoidance of additional irritants such as smoking are
recommended. Steam inhalations is helpful in eliminating congestive mucus.
Antibiotics may be needed if the cause is bacteria.
Treatment of chronic bronchitis is more difficult. The patients lungs
are already damaged and the destruction of the airways are not easily
Bronchial dilator drugs may be given to the patient to relieve any
such obstruction, while physiotherapy will help the patient get rid of any
severe cases, urgent hospital treatment may be required. Oxygen may have
to be given through the course of the illness.
Postal drainage can also be tried. This is when the patient lies on a
bed, a large cushion raising the groin, and smaller pillows supporting the
chest. Tapping the chest in this position causes the patient to cough up
The patient should stop smoking immediately, although this will not
reverse the chronic bronchitis, it will arrest it. Chronic bronchitis
instant treatment to milder respiratory infections. Living in a clean
environment and not smoking or not inhaling cigarette smoke is strongly