The rise of industrialization has done wonders to that world. No doubt that without this revolution, most of the technology, gadgets, easier alternatives, and facilities would not even exist including the ones used in medical science and health treatments.
On the other hand, it is a common counter-argument that there has also been a rise in many problems in the world that have affected and disturbed the environment leading to land, water, and air pollution resulting in increased health issues.
Some of the biggest and highly populated urban cities are facing many issues of different forms of pollution. In fact, according to research conducted recently, breathing in the air of some of the industrialized cities is equal to smoking 3 cigarettes a day.
The rise in air pollution has made breathing and lung concern fairly common. If you observe people around you, you can notice almost every other person has some kind of breathing issue. The most seen and diagnosed breathing concern statistically is asthma.
In addition to asthma, there are problems that are a lot worse, painful, and hard to treat with. One of them is bronchitis which is also included in the top ten diseases that are diagnosed and treated with medical attention around the world.
Comparing the number of cases of bronchitis to last century shows that bronchitis was one not as common as it is today. In the twentieth century, the lung problem that also took a lot of lives because of the unavailability of proper treatment was mainly tuberculosis.
The prevalence of bronchitis can be blamed on two reasons, the first being the rise of air pollution and second, is a number of extremely unhealthy habits that can also lead to major damage in the lungs or possibly cause even deadlier diseases such as lung cancer.
What Is Bronchitis?
Bronchitis is one of the notorious and stubborn health conditions when it comes to diagnosis and treatment mainly because the latter can actually be different from person to person depending on the microbe or cause.
What exactly happens in bronchitis? Bronchial tubes are passageways that connect the lungs with the nasal cavity. These tubes are responsible for the flow of air and oxygen into the air to be filtered and distributed in the rest of the body.
In a person who gets an attack of bronchitis, these tubes are the main part that is affected. In a bronchitis patient, the bronchial tubes are inflamed which results in a disturbance of the air flow and can make it really hard to breathe.
The person who is developing or has developed might also experience violent coughing, wheezing, and dizziness due to lack of air reaching the lungs. At this stage, severe pain in the chest area and under the arms can also be seen.
Usually, it can be hard for a person to keep in check of bronchitis symptoms as they can be easily confused with common and day to day conditions. The first signs to appear especially are very similar to those of a cold.
Typically, the majority of the people will take antibiotics and over the counter pills for early signs of bronchitis taking it as seasonal change sickness or just a cold which allows the inflammation in the bronchial tubes to worsen.
According to a number of studies, climate and weather change also have a big effect on bronchitis. The cases of bronchitis are higher in colder climates or in severe winters in comparison with summer or warmer climates.
This just makes it more confusing and even easier to mix up with the signs of a common cold for most people which is also why bronchitis is also known as a chest cold.
In addition, as the microbes causing bronchitis can also differ, it is considered as one of the complicated health conditions.
You can either get inflamed bronchial tubes due to infection caused by virus leading to bronchitis or because of a bacteria attack.
In accordance with the latest statistics, there has been a 5% rise in adults developing symptoms of bronchitis around the globe. Up to 80% of these cases seek medical attention. This makes bronchitis the top fifth why adults get help from doctors and medical practitioners.
What Are The Types Of Bronchitis?
Although the health condition and its rise are well-known about the majority of the people, there are many who are still unaware of about there being two types of bronchitis that differ the most in severity levels and effects on the body.
There actually are two main types of bronchitis. The first is acute bronchitis, also known as short-term bronchitis and the second one is chronic bronchitis or what is also called ongoing bronchitis. The former is more common than the latter.
Acute bronchitis is not as problematic when compared to chronic bronchitis. In fact, getting acute bronchitis is not much big of a deal and is caused by the same viruses responsible for common colds unless the person has other health complications.
The treatment of acute bronchitis is done mainly through prescription drugs and is highly effective.
Acute bronchitis infection caused by viruses usually lasts from some days to a maximum of ten or eleven days although coughing may continue for a long time even when the infection is gone.
A person diagnosed with chronic bronchitis is the one that will require immediate and constant medical attention. Chronic bronchitis is a severe and ongoing condition that is typically linked with declining lung function or even lung failure.
Chronic bronchitis occurs when the bronchial tubes providing air to the lungs and perpetually irritated and end up getting damaged. An attack by bacteria or virus in this condition worsens the situation and leads to the development of a severe form of bronchitis.
Another difference between acute and chronic bronchitis is that affected people in the latter will have a persistent cough along with mucus for a longer period of time. So far, the most common reasons that cause chronic bronchitis are smoking and pollution.
Hence, the first and immediate treatment method for this particular type of bronchitis is to quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke as well as pollution from the air. Residing in areas with less pollution is usually recommended for chronic bronchitis patients.
In addition to causing chronic bronchitis, smoking and secondhand smoke have also been, in accordance with the latest studies, linked to dangerous diseases with high mortality rates such as the chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder or even tuberculosis.
RELATED: COPD – Causes And Prevention
What Are The Symptoms of Bronchitis?
The symptoms for both types of bronchitis are usually the same. Both have similar early symptoms and usually start off with common flu and cold.
The main symptom of acute bronchitis is coughing. A person will usually cough consistently until the bronchial tubes are free of inflammation but also healed and back to how they were before the infection developed.
Research shows that a cough typically lasts for about three weeks for 50% of the patients with acute bronchitis while for some people it can also last up to a month because of late diagnosis or delayed treatment.
Since both the types start after a common cold or flu, a person may also see the following signs:
- Sore throat
- Stuffy or a runny nose
- Watery eyes
Upon coughing, it is common for bronchitis patients to see a slimy substance or clear mucus. A visible sign of a bacterial infection is that the mucus will be yellowish or green in color instead of being clear.
A person having acute bronchitis may also see wheezing, shortness of breath during physical activity, chest tightness, mild fever and mild pains in the chest area as well.
On the other hand, people with chronic bronchitis cough way more violently than patients of acute bronchitis which is why it is also called smoker’s cough. In addition, there is also a lot more amount of fluid along with great discomfort in the chest and wheezing.
People having chronic bronchitis might also experience dizziness due to lack of oxygen in the body, bluing of lips and nails, blurred vision, and may randomly wake up to difficulty in breathing during the night.