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Chronic Bronchitis: Causes, Symptoms and Prevention

  • Posted on- Jul 14, 2015
  • 3365 Views

An individual suffers from bronchitis when the bronchi or the airway tubes in our lungs get inflamed. Infection caused due to viruses or bacteria can cause bronchitis. Bronchitis is broadly classified into two types: acute bronchitis and chronic bronchitis. Acute bronchitis is the one where very severe symptoms appear suddenly. On the other hand, the symptoms of chronic bronchitis are not very severe but the condition lasts for a long time. Acute bronchitis can be treated quickly. However, chronic bronchitis is more severe and can lead to life-threatening conditions. Before taking a look at the actual tips on prevention, let us take a look at the causes and symptoms of chronic bronchitis.

Chronic Bronchitis Causes and Symptoms

It is essential to know the causes of chronic bronchitis in order to look for preventive measures for the same. As mentioned above, bronchitis can be caused due to virus (those causing influenza) and bacteria like Mycoplasma pneumoniae. One of the major causes of bronchitis of any kind is smoking. Active as well as passive smoking, for a long time, can lead to any respiratory disorder, including bronchitis. Secondly, long term exposure to airborne pollutants like dust, smoke, chemicals, also leads to chronic bronchitis. People having acute bronchitis are at a higher risk of suffering from chronic bronchitis. Those with a weak immune system are at a greater risk of suffering from this disorder. Chronic bronchitis symptoms include cough, chest congestion, wheezing, shortness of breath, chills. Chronic bronchitis can lead to severe health conditions like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), heart disorders, emphysema, asthma, etc. Therefore, it is essential to treat acute bronchitis and prevent it from turning chronic. So, can chronic bronchitis be prevented? How to prevent chronic bronchitis?

Prevention of Chronic Bronchitis

Following are the methods for prevention of bronchitis:
  • Viral as well as bacterial infection is the major cause of chronic bronchitis. As the influenza or flu virus causes bronchitis, you should consult a doctor and ask for a flu vaccine. Annual flu vaccination for children, adults, as well as older people, can help in prevention of bronchitis. Similarly, a pneumonia shot can also be helpful for the same.
  • Secondly, as smoking is also one of the prominent causes of chronic bronchitis, quitting it completely can help prevent bronchitis. You should stop smoking, both active and passive, immediately. There are several medicinal as well as self help methods that can help stop smoking in a short period.
  • By wearing masks, ensure protection against airborne pollution or avoid exposure to pollution completely. It is also necessary to avoid exposure to harmful chemical and industrial pollutants.
  • Another method of prevention is to improve your immune system. Having a healthy and nutritious diet every day, and exercising regularly, can help enhance your immune system.
  • One of the most important tips to prevent any kind of viral infection is to maintain personal hygiene and cleanliness. You should wash your hands before eating, and avoid rubbing your eyes too much to prevent infections.
  • Lastly, another important tip is to stay away from people suffering from bronchitis. You should avoid close contact with anyone showing any of the above mentioned symptoms.

Following these methods can definitely help in keeping this infectious disease at bay. Lastly, remember, taking proper treatment and following appropriate preventive measures can reduce the risk of suffering from any life-threatening conditions caused due to bronchitis.