Bronchitis is the inflammation of your bronchial tube lining – the air passage linking your mouth and nose with your lungs that carries air to and from your lungs. It can be either acute or chronic.
Acute bronchitis is a prevalent condition that often develops from cold and respiratory infections, while chronic bronchitis (more severe form) usually occurs due to smoking.
Bronchitis can result in symptoms like:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest discomfort
- Production of mucus that can be white, clear, yellowish-gray, green, or sometimes red
- Slight fever and chills
Let’s talk about what happens in your lungs during bronchitis and where you can go in Wellington to get treatment for your bronchitis.
What Happens in Your Lungs During Bronchitis?
Bronchitis is also known as an infection of the lower respiratory tract. Both viral and bacterial infections can cause bronchitis. Nearly 95% of bronchitis cases are caused by viruses, while bronchitis caused by bacteria is uncommon.
Besides bacteria and viruses, other factors trigger bronchitis, such as allergens and irritants like smoke, dust, and polluted air, can also irritate the epithelial lining of your lungs and cause acute inflammation of the bronchi. This swelling and inflammation of the bronchi occur when your body tries to fight the triggers.
When the walls of the bronchi get inflamed, you develop a cough. Initially, the cough is dry, but when the mucus-producing goblet cells of inflamed bronchi produce and excrete more mucus, your cough becomes productive with mucus. The swelling of airways also narrows them, allowing less air to pass through, and causes wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.
Acute bronchitis lasts for 10 to 14 days, and you feel symptoms for about three weeks. However, if the productive cough persists for three months in a year for at least two consecutive years, this is called chronic bronchitis. Chronic bronchitis can further cause the obstruction of the airflow causing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
How does a Doctor Manage Bronchitis?
Typically, the treatment of bronchitis depends on the type of bronchitis you have. Usually, acute bronchitis may not need treatment or sometimes get better with over-the-counter drugs. However, chronic bronchitis – also considered COPD – is not curable but its symptoms can be managed with a variety of treatments. These treatments may include:
- Medications, such as antibiotics, bronchodilators, anti-inflammatories, and their combination.
- Pulmonary rehabilitation involving breathing exercise programs that manage breathing problems and improve lung strength and quality of life
- Oxygen therapy
Bronchitis Treatment in Wellington
If you think you or your loved one has chest tightness, wheezing, shortness of breath, and other discomforting symptoms, don’t hesitate to contact our primary care physicians at Advanced Medical Clinic. Our highly skilled experienced and compassionate providers will offer your proper treatment for your bronchitis so that it doesn’t develop into pneumonia. Our providers know that each person’s illness is different, so they offer a highly personalized and evidence-based treatment plan.