About Smokers cough (Chronic Bronchitis)
Learn about the disease, illness and/or condition Smokers cough (Chronic Bronchitis) including: symptoms, causes, treatments, contraindications and conditions at ClusterMed.info.
Smokers cough (Chronic Bronchitis)
|Smokers cough (Chronic Bronchitis)|
Smokers cough (Chronic Bronchitis) Information
Chronic bronchitis definition and facts
Can chronic bronchitis be prevented?
The majority of instances of chronic bronchitis can be prevented by not smoking and avoiding second-hand smoke. Flu and pneumococcal vaccines can help prevent repeated infections that may lead to the disease.Certain industries (for example, chemical, textile, and farm workers) are often associated with air-borne chemicals and dust; avoiding air-borne chemicals and dust with appropriate masks may prevent or reduce the individual's chance of developing chronic bronchitis.Good control of asthma may prevent chronic bronchitis from developing. The genetic predisposition to chronic bronchitis is not currently preventable.
How is chronic bronchitis diagnosed?
Health care professionals diagnose chronic bronchitis based on a person's medical history, physical exam, and diagnostic tests. A history of a daily productive (sputum production) cough that lasts at least 3 months, especially if has occurred two years in a row, fits the criteria for a clinical diagnosis of chronic bronchitis. The physical examination often allows health-care professionals to hear wheezes and a prolongation of the exhalation of breathing, which are signs of airflow obstruction.A chest X-ray is often performed to help rule out other lung problems (for example, pneumonia, bronchial obstructions). Additional tests such as a complete blood count (CBC), arterial blood gas measurements, CT scan of the chest, and pulmonary function tests are often done to characterize the structure and function of the lungs and to help exclude other conditions (for example, lung cancer, tuberculosis, lung infections). Often a pulmonologist (a physician with specialized training in the management of lung diseases) can help diagnose and treat chronic bronchitis.
What are the causes of chronic bronchitis?
There are many causes of chronic bronchitis, but the main cause is cigarette smoke. Statistics from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that about 49% of smokers develop chronic bronchitis and 24% develop emphysema/COPD.
What are the complications of chronic bronchitis?
The major complications of chronic bronchitis are:
What are the signs and symptoms of chronic bronchitis?
The major signs and symptoms of chronic bronchitis are:
What is acute bronchitis? What are the symptoms of acute bronchitis?
Acute bronchitis is bronchitis that is short-lived. Acute bronchitis lasts about two weeks, and usually people recover with no permanent damage to the bronchial tree. Viruses such as influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and rhinoviruses cause the majority of cases of acute bronchitis, while the remainder are caused by bacteria (for example, Mycoplasma, Pneumococcus) or short-term exposure to chemical irritants (for example, tobacco smoke, acid reflux, inhaled solvents).Symptoms of acute bronchitis may include:
What is bronchitis?
Bronchitis is a term that describes inflammation of the bronchial tubes (bronchi and the smaller branches termed bronchioles) that results in excessive secretions of mucus into the tubes, leading to tissue swelling that can narrow or close off bronchial tubes. Bronchial tubes extend from the trachea and terminate at the alveoli in the lungs. The bronchial system resembles an inverted tree and is sometimes termed the "bronchial tree." A few authors include the trachea and upper airway in the definition of bronchitis.There are two major types of bronchitis, acute and chronic. Chronic bronchitis differs from acute bronchitis in several ways, for example, pathology, progression of disease, major causes, treatments, and prognosis. Recurrent incidences of acute bronchitis are the first steps that can lead to developing chronic bronchitis, according to some doctors and researchers.
What is chronic bronchitis?
Chronic bronchitis is defined as a cough that occurs every day with sputum production that lasts for at least 3 months, two years in a row. This definition was developed to help select uniform patient populations for research purposes, for example, to study medication therapies for treatment of chronic bronchitis.Many of the bronchi develop chronic inflammation with swelling and excess mucus production. The inflammation causes a change in the lining cells of the airways to varying degrees. Many cells that line the airway lose the function of their cilia (hair-like appendages that are capable of beating rapidly), and eventually the ciliated cells are lost. Cilia perform the function of moving particles and fluid (usually mucus) over the lining surface in such structures as the trachea, bronchial tubes, and nasal cavities to keep these hollow structures clear of particles and fluids. These ciliated cells that help in clearance of secretions are often replaced by so-called goblet cells. This group of cells secretes mucus into the airway. The warm moist environment of the airway along with the nutrients in the mucus is an excellent medium for growing bacteria. The mucus often becomes infected and discolored from the bacterial overgrowth and the body's inflammatory response to it. The inflammation, swelling, and mucus frequently and significantly inhibit the airflow to and from the lung alveoli by narrowing and partially obstructing the bronchi and bronchioles.The muscles that surround the some of the airways can be stimulated by this airway irritation. This muscular spasm also known as bronchospasm can result in further airway narrowing. With long-standing inflammation, as can be seen in chronic bronchitis, this muscular spasm and inflammation results in a fixed, nonreversible narrowing of the airway and the condition is termed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Chronic coughing develops as the body attempts to open and clear the bronchial airways of particles and mucus or as an overreaction to ongoing inflammation. Chronic bronchitis can be a progressive disease; symptoms (listed below) increase over time. Some NIH investigators consider chronic bronchitis a type of COPD.COPD also includes the entities of emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and chronic asthma. These conditions are not always separable and patients often have components of each. In the case of chronic bronchitis, the fixed airway obstruction, airway inflammation, and retained secretions can result in a mismatch of blood flow and airflow in the lungs. This can impair oxygenation of the blood as well as removal of the waste product, carbon dioxide.Although people of any age can develop chronic bronchitis, the majority of people diagnosed with the disease are 45 years of age or older.
What is the prognosis for chronic bronchitis?
Although the disease is chronic and progressive, affected individuals that are diagnosed early before much bronchial damage occurs stop smoking (or avoid airborne dust, chemicals, or other situations that lead to bronchial irritation), they often have a good prognosis for many years.Approximately half of smokers with chronic bronchitis will stop coughing after 1 month of smoking cessation. Most patients will no longer cough with continued abstinence from smoking. If airflow obstruction has occurred, this can improve but the improvement level depends on the duration of injury and the compliance with therapy. Obviously, the more impaired patients will have a lesser recovery of lung function.Conversely, those individuals that have continued bronchial irritation have only a fair to poor prognosis, since repeated bouts with the disease usually get worse, with affected individuals having more frequent incidents of coughing and dyspnea over time and further progression of lung function abnormalities.
What is the treatment for chronic bronchitis?
For the majority of cases, the initial treatment is simple to prescribe but frequently ignored or rejected by the patient â stop smoking cigarettes and avoid second-hand tobacco smoke. People should be encouraged in every way to cease smoking, as continuation will only cause further lung damage. Similarly, blocking or removing other underlying causes of repeated bronchial irritation (for example, exposure to chemical fumes) is a treatment goal. Half of patients with chronic bronchitis who smoke will no longer cough after 1 month of smoking cessation.Two major classes of medications are used to treat chronic bronchitis, bronchodilators, and steroids.
What medications treat chronic bronchitis? What are other medical treatments?
PDE4 inhibitors are a class of anti-inflammatory agents for certain exacerbations of COPD. They are primarily for exacerbations that involve excessive bronchitis and mucus production. There is currently only one agent available called roflumilast (Daliresp), a pill taken once per day.Antibiotics: Occasionally, antibiotics are used to treat chronic bronchitis exacerbations caused by bacterial infections. Broad-spectrum antibiotics are often the choice. Examples include:
What natural remedies treat chronic bronchitis symptoms?
Certain "home remedies" may ease the symptoms of chronic bronchitis.
When should you see a doctor for chronic bronchitis?
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