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Chronic Bronchitis: Causes, Prevention, and Facts

Updated on October 29, 2018

Why Do My Chest Hurt?

Most people experience chest pains or feel like they have build up of mucus in their chest and it can be a lot of things but the number one reason why can be Bronchitis. Bronchitis has been known to become one of the leading causes of chest pains, having trouble breathing, coughing, and one of the hardest infections to catch. Here are some facts about bronchitis:

Facts About Bronchitis:

  • Over 14 million cases of chronic bronchitis are reported each year in the U.S.
  • According to research, 80% to 90% of all emphysema and chronic bronchitis cases are caused by smoking.
  • Most people don't realize they have chronic bronchitis until they're 40 or older.
  • Women and people who live in the southern United States are more likely to get chronic bronchitis.

What Is Chronic Bronchitis?

Chronic bronchitis or acute bronchitis is inflammation in the bronchial tubes that is located in the chest area. Bronchitis includes mucus in the bronchial tubes leading to swelling and can cut off air ways. Bronchitis is caused by viral infections, bacteria, smoking, and inhaling chemicals. Bronchitis is contagious if not protected from it. There are two types of bronchitis including acute bronchitis or chronic bronchitis.It is also called COPD.Acute bronchitis only lasts a few days due to a cold or flu. Chronic bronchitis lasts more than a week and keeps reoccuring and can damage the lungs and lead to a persistent cough.


What Are The Symptoms?

Every person is different and suffer from different kinds of symptoms. It can be different related to gender, age, or the cause of it. The most common symptoms are:

  • Chest discomfort
  • Fatigue
  • Coughing
  • Buildup of mucus in the chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Respiratory infections
  • Slight fever and chills

How Can I Treat My Bronchitis?

Once you are prediagnosed with bronchitis, the doctor may want to run some tests on you to see if you definitely have it. There are different tests to know for sure if you have chronic bronchitis like a chest x-ray, lung function test, sputum samples(also known as mucus samples). The ways to treat chronic bronchitis follows:

  • Antibiotics from a doctor
  • Drinking plenty of fluids
  • Taking medicine to reduce fever
  • Resting
  • A humidifier to clear your airways and to help breathe better

Can I Prevent Bronchitis From Happening Again?

The only ways to prevent chronic bronchitis is to stay away from irritating chemicals, keeping a humidifier around you if you constantly have trouble with coughing or mucus buildup, STOP SMOKING, always wash your hands, and have doctor checkups regularly to check and make sure everything is fine. If it happens, then go to your doctor to see what they can do or check with a respiratory therapist for pulmonary rehabilitation.


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