Bronchitis is a kind of infection that affects the bronchi or the bronchial tubes. These are air passages that connect the windpipe and the lungs. These tubes are lined with mucus producing lining and when this lining gets inflamed, it is known as bronchitis.
When a person gets bronchitis, the inflammation of the bronchi makes it difficult for the air to flow to and from the lungs. This also accompanied with excessive production of mucus from the lining of the bronchi.
The main bronchitis symptoms are persistent cough and phlegm. Bronchitis is primarily of 2 kinds -- acute and chronic. In acute bronchitis, the symptoms come on quickly after a severe cold or a bout of flu. Usually it is caused due to a viral infection, but it can also be caused on rare occasions due to bacterial infections. The symptoms last for a few weeks, but the cough may persist for several months even after the infection goes away.
In chronic bronchitis, the infection can be mild or severe, but it lasts for a long time. Usually when a person has persistent cough for a minimum period of 3 months accompanied with phlegm and mucus, it is known as chronic bronchitis. Smokers are more prone to this kind of bronchitis. Also, people having chronic bronchitis are more prone to bacterial infections, such as pneumonia.
Bronchitis symptoms are based on whether you have acute or chronic bronchitis. In acute bronchitis, the symptoms start with a dry cough for a few days. Thereafter, the person starts coughing up phlegm, which can be clear, yellow or green in color. In addition, the person will suffer from headache, low grade fever, chills, shortness of breath, have soreness in the center of the chest, and have wheezing when breathing or exerting himself.
In chronic bronchitis, the person will experience all the aforementioned symptoms other than the fever and chills.
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