Bronchitis is amongst the most common respiratory problems around the globe. It affected more than 10 million people in the USA back in 2011. Since this number is ever increasing, it is imperative that you should be familiar with what does bronchitis feel like in order to take necessary precautions at the first stage.
Bronchitis shares many of the common symptoms associated with pneumonia. A person suffering from either of these two diseases experiences cold or flu, and they might also have a bad cough. They might also suffer from chest pain and, in fact, both these diseases start from an uncomplicated fever. To learn and know more about the condition and understand what does bronchitis feel like, we will talk about bronchitis comprehensively.
What are the Types of Bronchitis: An Overview
There are two types of bronchitis which normally affect people all over the world. One of them is acute bronchitis, and the other one is chronic bronchitis. While the former is a temporary respiratory problem, the latter can be termed as a rather ongoing disease.
- Acute Bronchitis
Many people refer to acute bronchitis as the chest cold. This disease normally happens due to a viral infection like a cold or flu, and it is very rare that it gets triggered by bacterial activities. A lot of people often think that this type of bronchitis tends to last for just a few days, but the truth is that it can affect your body for several weeks. It affects the human body in such a way that even after the infection is long gone, the individual might still suffer from a persistent cough for 20 days.
One thing which is important to keep in mind is that acute bronchitis is actually contagious in nature. This is due to the reason that it is caused by viruses. Therefore, the disease can be transmitted from one person to the other through direct contact.
- Chronic Bronchitis
Chronic bronchitis can be considered as a serious respiratory problem. This one can affect your body in a number of different reasons. Many people develop chronic bronchitis due to continuous smoking while others become a victim of this problem due to regular exposure to a polluted environment.
Unlike acute bronchitis, chronic bronchitis is not a reversible problem. It means that the treatments being prescribed by your doctor can only reduce the intensity of this disease, but they just cannot completely treat the condition. Similarly, regular therapies can reduce your breathing problems in such a way that they will open your air passageways for the time being. Having said that, chronic bronchitis is not infectious, so it cannot be transmitted from one person to another.
What Does Bronchitis Feel Like: The Symptoms
As mentioned earlier, if you suffer from bronchitis, be it acute or even chronic bronchitis, the first thing that you might feel is tightness in your chest. It also starts with a cold or flu-like condition wherein the person will suffer from unwanted fatigue, sore throat, and body fever. He or she might also develop body pains or regular vomiting.
Another most common symptom of bronchitis is a persistent cough. It usually starts as a dry cough which can last for as long as two weeks. After the first few days, you might already have a productive cough or a cough with mucus. This usually has a yellowish color, but it can also turn into a greenish color if bacterial activities caused your bronchitis.
Apart from the ones mentioned above, there are some other symptoms of bronchitis which are normally observed amongst patients. One is shortening of breath which can be related to the tightening of the chest. Some might also experience body aches, a heartbeat that is faster than normal, reduced appetite, and a runny nose.
One thing which is important to mention is that both acute and chronic bronchitis have the same set of symptoms. However, the former only lasts for two to four weeks while the latter affects your body for a longer duration. So, if you feel that the problem persists even after one month, you might have actually developed chronic bronchitis. At this stage, it is highly recommended to consult your doctor as early as possible.
Protecting yourself from bronchitis is not as complicated as it seems, and there is no better way than to wash your hands on a regular basis. Also, since smoking is another major cause of this respiratory problem, if you are a chain smoker, it is then imperative to get rid of this habit at the earnest. If you do not smoke, it is best to avoid being exposed to cigarette smoke.
If you are a person who works in a dangerous environment, one which is polluted with all sorts of harmful chemical fumes and gases, you can use face masks in order to protect yourself from this particular respiratory problem. Lastly, you should also avoid regular contact with people who are sick with flu because this is how acute bronchitis gets transmitted in a majority of the cases.
If you are 100% sure that you are suffering from acute bronchitis, there is no need to seek professional help since viruses generally cause this problem; hence, it won’t get cured with antibiotics. You just have to take a lot of rest, and you should also consume plenty of fluids. Using a humidifier or an inhaler can also help in relieving severe breathing problems.
However, if it seems like you have chronic bronchitis, consult your doctor to receive the proper treatment for it. They will normally recommend you different types of medicines. They can either be taken orally or inhaled.
Bronchitis is a condition that usually affects people who are above the age of 45. That is because they are the ones that have already been exposed to the causative agents for years. Nonetheless, even if you are younger, you can still acquire such. Hence, as early as now, it is recommended to take necessary measures in order to protect yourself. The most important note is that, since the symptoms are very common to a lot of respiratory problems, it is always best to consult a doctor.