Bronchitis - The Basics
You know that
feeling. You finally seem to
have overcome your cold Ė except for that darned, lingering cough.
The next thing
you know your chest feels sore. You
complain youíve got the chills or even a slight fever.
If youíve experienced these symptoms, then youíve no doubt experienced an acute case of bronchitis. This is a health condition that occurs when the inner walls lining the main air passageways of your lungs are inflamed and become infected. Itís not unusual for
develop bronchitis following a cold. If you smoke cigarettes or are exposed to cigarette smoke,
that might increase your odds of developing this respiratory problem.
Even if you
donít smoke, you still may be at greater risk for developing bronchitis if
you possess certain risk factors. One
of these is a compromised immune system.
You may be experiencing lowered resistance for any number of reasons.
youíre just getting over another illness and your system has been busy
battling that. Or you may have
a chronic health condition which seriously compromises your immune system.
Those most at risk are usually older individuals, infants and young
Do you suffer
from GERD? Thatís
gastroesophageal reflux disease. With
this health condition, your stomach acids persistently back up into your
esophagus. This could prompt a
chronic cough, usually through a reflex mechanism.
It could be
your bronchitis is caused by exposure to certain irritants.
Many times, people encounter these on the job. If you work around
grains or textiles or if youíre exposed to chemical fumes from ammonia you
may be at greater risk for bronchitis.
This is usually referred to as occupational bronchitis, because
itís associated with your job. Other substances known to cause bronchitis in individuals
include strong acids, chlorine, hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide and
You may have a
dry cough with occupational bronchitis.
The good news about this health problem though is that once youíre
no longer exposed to these substances, the bronchitis clears up.
For the most
part, bronchitis disappears on its on within a few days leaving no lasting
ill effects. The most youíll
have to contend with is that lingering cough.
You may be plagued with that for several weeks.
If you notice, though, that you have recurring bouts of bronchitis,
visit your health care practitioner. The
problem may not be just acute bronchitis.
You may have the chronic version of this illness Ė or may be have
asthma. In either case, youíll need the attention of a
Note: Some statements in this article may not be approved by the FDA. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice.