Bronchitis, Chronic

Below you will find more information about Bronchitis, Chronic from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Bronchitis, Chronic it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Bronchitis, Chronic and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Bronchitis, Chronic comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

Chronic bronchitis is the inflammation, or irritation, of the airways in the lungs. Airways are the tubes in the lungs where air passes through. They are also known as bronchial tubes. When the airways are irritated, thick mucus forms inside of them. The mucus plugs up the airways and makes it hard for the person to get air into your lungs. Symptoms of chronic bronchitis include a cough that produces mucus (sometimes called sputum), breathing difficulties, and a feeling of tightness in the chest.

Diagnosis

A physical examination will often show decreased intensity of breath sounds, wheeze (rales) and prolonged expiration. Most doctors depend on the presence of a persistent dry or wet cough as evidence of bronchitis. Pulmonary Function Tests (PFT) (or spirometry) must be performed in all patients affected with chronic cough. An FEV1/FVC ratio below 0.7 that is not fully reversible after bronchodilator therapy shows the presence of COPD, that requires more aggressive therapy and brings with it a more severe prognosis than simple chronic bronchitis. A chest X-ray that shows hyperinflation; collapse and consolidation of lung areas would support a diagnosis of pneumonia. Some conditions that look like bronchitis may be indicated by chest radiography. A blood test could indicate some sort of inflammation, as indicated by a raised white blood cell count and elevated C-reactive protein. Further obstruction to the airways is the result of more goblet cells in the small airways. This is generally typical of chronic bronchitis Although infection is not the reason or cause of chronic bronchitis it is seen to help in sustaining the bronchitis.

Treatment

Some treatments for chronic bronchitis include antibiotics, bronchodilators, and corticosteroids. For acute worsening of chronic bronchitis, if antibiotics are used a meta-analysis found that "amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, macrolides, second-generation or third-generation cephalosporins, and quinolones" may be more effective for treatment. For acute worsening of chronic bronchitis, a clinical practice guideline by the American College of Physicians found that bronchodilators may help. For acute worsening of chronic bronchitis, a clinical practice guideline by the American College of Physicians found that corticosteroids may help.

Symptoms and Signs

The following are the most commonly-found symptoms for chronic bronchitis. However, each individual may undergo symptoms differently. Such symptoms include cough and expectoration (or spitting out) of mucus. Chronic bronchitis may cause frequent and severe respiratory infections, narrowing and plugging of the breathing tubes (bronchi), difficult breathing, and disability. Other symptoms include abnormal lung signs, swelling of the feet, heart failure, and the lips and skin of the patients may appear blue. The symptoms of chronic bronchitis may look like other lung conditions or medical problems.

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