What is bronchitis?
The term responds to inflammation of the bronchial wall caused by inhaled toxins (the most frequent tobacco) by infectious agents (either viruses or bacteria or even fungi) or of immunological etiology not linked to the previous ones such as asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, vasculitis, collagenosis etc. The most frequent agent of acute bronchitis is the infectious. Its symptoms are usually cough, expectoration of whitish to yellowish mucous material and possible suffocation if there is an associated asthmatic component.
At what point does it become a chronic disease?
If acute bronchitis is perpetuated over time, a chronic condition that can be appreciated by chronic inflammation of the bronchial wall can develop. Symptoms are recurrent with cough and / or expectoration more than three months a year and the feeling of dyspnea on exertion.
What are your causes?
In chronic bronchitis, the most frequent cause is an inflammatory agent that reaches the airway and tobacco is the most frequent followed by other agents present in the contaminated workplace. Aspiration of food material or gastric juices is also being considered as permanent causes of chronic inflammation of the bronchial wall.
What kind of symptoms can we find?
As chronic bronchitis progresses, a loss of lung function due to scarring consequent to toxic stimuli is established so that the sensation of suffocation with increasingly mild efforts is a characteristic in very frequent times, as well as coughing and coughing. expectoration, although sometimes both symptoms are not as evident as the dyspnea sensation.
How is chronic bronchitis treated?
First, by suspending the inducing agent from chronic inflammation such as tobacco or another agent trying to stop the deterioration of the pulmonary function that the chronic insult entails. Secondly, dealing bluntly and precociously the exacerbations of the same that usually are in the form of bacterial or viral infections of the airway and that motivate an acceleration of the clinical course. In case of associated asthmatic component, announced by accompanying dyspnea with "whistling" (or wheezing), it is necessary to add inhaled or oral corticotherapy to resolve excessive inflammation and associated bronchospasm.
What are the consequences if it is not treated?
Chronic bronchitis is the "hallmark" of chronic airflow obstruction that is a parameter that registers in spirometry the deterioration of lung function. The consequence is the dyspnea of progressive effort, the affectation of the pulmonary pressure and consequently, of the function of the right ventricle. The basic function of the lung, which is gaseous exchange, will be progressively altered so that a deficit of oxygen pressure appears.