Before answering the question “why do I keep getting bronchitis,” the first question that should be answered is “what bronchitis is?” The condition named bronchitis is the inflammation of the bronchial tube lining. Bronchioles are part of the respiratory system that works as s passageway of air from the external environment to your lungs. When you catch the disease bronchitis, your mucus lining produces thick mucus which you tend to cough up.
There are two types of bronchitis—acute bronchitis or chronic bronchitis. Acute, being the short-termed type, is quite common. It usually develops from a common cold or common respiratory infections. Chronic bronchitis, on the other hand, is a long-term disease that develops due to consistent damage to the lining of the bronchial tubes.
Smoking is mainly the reason behind the chronic type. Smoking can constantly irritate the lining or can cause the lining to become inflammatory. Sometimes, repeated acute episodes may lead to an individual developing chronic bronchitis, which is more dangerous.
Now that you know what bronchitis really is, your question, “why do I keep getting bronchitis?” can be dealt with.
Why Do I Keep Getting Bronchitis?
Generally, bronchitis can be caused by bacteria, virus or any other particle that can irritate your bronchial tube lining.
Acute bronchitis, being the common one, occurs mainly due to flu or cold. Normally the cause is viral, but it can also be bacterial. Additionally, it can occur due to specific vapors, dust, fumes, air pollution and tobacco smoke. Exposure to these harmful substances can irritate the bronchial tube lining, as well as the lungs, causing this disease to develop.
Chronic bronchitis does not have such a simple pathological process. People get this disease through constant irritation, which eventually damages the air passages and the lungs. Smoking, longer exposure to harmful substances or recurrent occurrences of acute bronchitis can be causes of chronic bronchitis.
Causes are the direct reasons behind the disease. However, risk factors are the possible causes of the disease. They do not directly cause the disease but can aggravate the condition and eventually result in the disease.
The risk factors that will increase the risk of you getting bronchitis are:
Recurrent episodes of advanced heartburn cause irritation of the lower upper linings of the respiratory tract and make you more vulnerable to the disease.
Smoking various types of cigarettes can also be a source of strong irritation for your entire respiratory tract as well as your lungs. Active smoking can increase your chances of getting chronic as well as acute bronchitis.
Additionally, passive smoking can also cause this disease. Passive smoking means that even if you are living with a smoker or hang out with a smoker, you are at risk because you also inhale that harmful smoke.
Exposure to Harmful Substances
Your work environment can be the most common place to be dangerous in terms of being exposed to dangerous irritants. Working at places where you are exposed to fumes from a factory, grains, chemicals, textiles and many other such substances can pose to be a threat to you.
This means that your body has a weak immune system that can allow various types of bacteria and viruses to attack your body easily. Hence, other acute conditions, like a cold may precede your bronchitis. Low resistance is common among people with chronic conditions, older individuals, newborns, infants, people with autoimmune diseases, or on steroids and other immunosuppressant drugs.
Cold weather allows the body to become more prone to cold and other respiratory diseases. These colds develop into bronchitis.
You must still be thinking why you are the target all the time. Firstly, understand the fact that air pollution exists all around you. Whether you can see it or not, the air around has all of the possible irritants, it has various types of bacteria and viruses, and it has smoke from other people’s cigarettes.
One more point that you should understand is that bacteria grow and survive in dark, wet and warm areas. Your lungs provide the best-required conditions for these bacteria. Additionally, if you have a chronic condition or immune system has been suppressed by drugs or specific diseases then your body just makes it easier for bacteria to reside in your system.
Once you get bronchitis, your surroundings and the exposure to cold and the winter season further increase the condition. Pollutants also aggravate the condition. Being surrounded by sick people can also affect your chances of getting bronchitis.
Prevention of Bronchitis
Being something unavoidable yet painstaking, here are some ways that you can use to at least decrease the intensity of your disease and increase the time period between consecutive bouts of bronchitis.
- Keep your hands clean. Wash them with warm water and soap to get rid of the bacteria that you might have caught from the environment, by objects around you or even by shaking hands with your friends.
- At any cost, do not wait for the symptoms to wear off on their own, just because you get the disease all the time. Go visit a doctor if your symptoms worsen as it will save a lot of trouble as compared to when you progress into the chronic stage of the disease.
- Quit smoking! It is the biggest reason people get bronchitis and eventually progress into conditions COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) or respiratory cancers.
- Complete your prescribed antibiotic course despite feeling better. If you leave it in the middle, the remaining bacteria will cause bronchitis again very soon.
- Keep drinking water. Water is equally important in the summer as in the winter. This is because it will allow dirty secretions to be digested by your gut instead of staying in your throat and irritating your respiratory passages.
As you can perceive, your chances of getting bronchitis are high! The risk factors are around you all the time and are basically unavoidable. “Why do I keep getting bronchitis?” is the crying anthem of millions of people. At least now you know why people keep getting bronchitis and the possible ways to help escape the circle of this disease.