Bronchitis is an inflammation in the mucous membrane lining the bronchial tubes within the lungs.
Bronchitis can be acute or chronic. Acute bronchitis is caused by virus and lasts for a short period of time. Acute bronchitis involves inflammation of the larynx and trachea.
Chronic bronchitis is persistent, producing cough which lasts for at least three months and continues for two consecutive years. Chronic bronchitis, involves chronic inflammation of the larynx and bronchial tubes coupled with a sinus condition.
Causes of bronchitis
Mostly bronchitis is caused by an infection. Allergies and chemical irritation like atmospheric pollution are some factors which cause bronchitis.
Smoking is also an important cause of bronchitis. Excessive smoking irritates the bronchial tubes and lowers their resistance. This makes them easily prone to the germs breathed in the environment.
Working in a stuffy environment, use of drugs to suppress earlier diseases and hereditary factors are some other causes of bronchitis. Changes in weather and environment hasten the onset of the disease.
Symptoms of Bronchitis
• Irritation of the bronchi
• Due the inflammation in the bronchi, large quantities of mucus are expelled as phlegm. The phlegm is sticky, humid, semi-fluid and may even be purulent.
• Persistent cough
• Loss of appetite
• Pain in the chest and hoarseness