What is the Relationship between Bronchitis and Asthma?


What is Bronchitis

Bronchitis is a respiratory disease which affects the  large airways. The infection causes the muscles of the airways to be inflamed which means that less oxygen is able to pass through the lungs. This situation may be caused by some substances  being inhaled for long periods of time which causes the airways to become inflamed. The infection will be accompanied by an excessive cough,  heavy mucus or phlegm being expelled from the lungs, high fever and pain.

Types of Bronchitis

Bronchitis can be caused from viral or bacterial infections. In the case of a viral infection; the person may develop asthma after the infection has cleared up.  This  kind of asthma development usually occur in adults who have never had asthma; this is called adult onset asthma. For the person with asthma already, and develops bronchitis, their asthma symptoms will become much worse and they develop what is called, chronic asthmatic bronchitis.

There are also noninfectious irritants that may cause bronchitis. These irritants are chemical in nature and for persons who develop this kind of bronchitis it is called industrial bronchitis. The irritants which cause this ailment is chemical based or maybe from cigarette smoke and are inhaled over long periods of time. This kind of bronchitis can be avoided especially if you are a non-smoker and you do not inhale second-hand smoke or by staying away from environments that have these chemical irritants. For smokers, this kind of bronchitis can make your asthma symptoms worse if you already have asthma.

Asthma and its Conditions

Unlike bronchitis; asthma is not a viral or bacterial infection, it is either a genetic inheritance or an environmental factor. Environmental, meaning dust, animal fur or pet dander, aerosol sprays, smoke, anything environmental can trigger an asthma attack. For asthma, your airways become swollen and irritated making it difficult for you to breathe. This is similar to bronchitis. You will also have the feeling of possibly drowning or not able to breath under water; wheezing, coughing at nights, fatigue, or excessive tiredness. This can be really frightening and if experiencing these symptoms you need to seek medical help.

Avoiding  these triggers is the best way to prevent an attack. Take your medication as prescribed; which are generally albuterol inhaler. If you are not able to avoid these triggers, then the best way is to take your control inhalers which are very effective in this regard.  If after taking your control inhaler, as prescribed and using the rescue inhaler with no relief, the best advice is to go to the hospital. You may need additional help like being nebulized to help the clearing of your airways.

All asthma sufferers are able to assess their symptoms during an attack and know when additional medical help is needed, apart from at home treatments. For persons who experience these symptoms, and have never had  an asthma attack, and are experiencing these symptoms beyond two weeks, they need to seek medical help immediately, as their condition may be very serious.

About Author

Mehak Musheer is a health enthusiast who loves to write in the same domain as a freelancer. As well as a health care worker she always produces accurate medical information to readers.
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