Acute vs Chronic Bronchitis
Bronchitis is the name for a condition where the bronchial tubes, which are the tubes that carry air to your lungs, become inflamed and produce mucus. One of the primary symptoms of bronchitis is a cough that produces mucus. Other symptoms can also include wheezing, a whistling or squeaking sound when breathing, chest pain or discomfort, a low fever, and shortness of breath. Bronchitis comes in two main forms. Acute, which is short term, and chronic, which is ongoing. Both types cause your airways to constrict and cause coughing, both of which make it difficult to breathe and get adequate oxygen.
Bacterial infections, the viruses that cause colds and the flu, and other factors that irritate the lungs can cause acute, or short term, bronchitis. Viruses and bacteria are spread through the air by coughing, and on surfaces that have not been cleaned or sanitized, such as the hand of the sick person or something they’ve touched. Acute bronchitis usually develops a few days after the onset of the sickness, and lasts between three and ten days. The cough may persist, lingering around for several weeks after the infection is gone.
Chronic bronchitis is an ongoing, serious condition that occurs when the bronchial tubes and their lining are constantly inflamed and irritated. You are considered to have chronic bronchitis when your cough persists most days for at least three months of the year, two years consecutively. Smoking is the main cause of chronic bronchitis. Early diagnosis and treatment, combined with quitting smoking and avoiding secondhand smoke, can help maintain a high quality of life even with the condition. Untreated, it can develop in the condition known as COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder.