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Bronchitis – 5 Questions You Should Ask Your Doctor

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1. What exactly is Bronchitis? Is this another term for Bronchiolitis?
Bronchitis is the inflammation of bronchi or the main air passage/duct or tube that carries air to our lungs. It can be caused by any of the virus that causes influenza or by rhinoviruses and adenoviruses. There are 3 types of Bronchitis presentations – Acute, Chronic and Protracted Bacterial Bronchitis. These variants are generally found in non-infants.

While Bronchiolitis is a contagious viral infection that usually affects infants and children by causing inflammation of the bronchioles (smaller and thinner air tubes that the bronchii branch into inside the lungs). The virus is known as Respiratory Syncytial Virus, RSV or human pneumovirus or by any of the parainfluenza, coronavirus, metapneumovirus, adenovirus, and rhinovirus.

2. Besides the cough, wheezing and sore throat I presently experience, is there any other symptom I can expect before the treatment begins?
Yes and it depends upon the type of Bronchitis you have been diagnosed with.

Symptoms of Acute Bronchitis: Dry cough, sore throat, runny nose, nasal congestion, low grade fever, fatigue, pleurisy and occasional sputum due to release of mucus.

Symptoms of Chronic Bronchitis: Sputum-producing cough, green or blood stained sputum which is thick, wheezing, shortness of breath, low grade fever, fatigue, cough at it’s worst in the mornings, repeated bouts of colds and flu, chest tightness and a productive cough for more than 3 weeks up to 2 years.

Symptoms of Protracted Bacterial Bronchitis: Productive cough of more than 8 weeks.

3. What could be the cause of my bronchitis?
It depends upon the type of bronchitis you have contracted.

Acute Bronchitis can occur as an occupational disease when workers exposed to certain dusts or fumes. It may also occur when acids from your stomach repeatedly back flow into your food pipe and a few drops go into your upper airway or inhalation of smoke and pollutants. Acute bronchitis can be caused by any of the virus that is known to cause colds and influenza. Chronic Bronchitis is caused primarily by inhalation of smoking, pollution, dust and toxic gases are the primary causes of contracting Chronic Bronchitis. Protracted Bacterial Bronchitis has been known to be caused by streptococcus pneumoniae, haemophilus influenzae, or moraxella catarrhalis.

4. Is Bronchitis a contagious disease? Are my family members at risk of contracting Bronchitis from me?
If the cause of your Bronchitis is viral or bacterial, then yes, your family is at a risk of contracting the disease. If you have been diagnosed with either Acute Bronchitis or protracted bacterial Bronchitis, it will be good to wear a mask, wash your hands often, dispose the tissues you use in a bin and keep the company of your loved ones with you to a bare minimum. Acute Bronchitis is especially very contagious in it’s 1st week. It is possible to contract either variant by air or touching an object touched by the infected person if it has traces of sputum. If your bronchitis is an occupational disease or is caused by irritants such as smoke, dust etc, it will not be contagious in all probability.

5. Besides the sputum test I have taken, are there any other diagnostic tests I will have to take?
A Blood-Gas test to evaluate your oxygenation and acid/base status, Spirometry to measure the air flow and volume to indicate lung health and a Sputum test besides a chest X-ray may be recommended. This depends upon what your doctor considers appropriate after going through your report and your check up.


Mamta Singh is a published author of the books Migraines for the Informed Woman (Publisher: Rupa & Co.) and the upcoming Rev Up Your Life! (Publisher: Hay House India). She is also a seasoned business, creative and academic writer. She is a certified fitness instructor, personal trainer & sports nutritionist through IFA, Florida USA. Mamta is an NCFE-certified Holistic Health Therapist SAC Dip U.K. She is the lead writer and holds Expert Author status in many well-received health, fitness and nutrition sites. She runs her own popular blogs on migraines in women and holistic health. Mamta holds a double Master's Degree in Commerce and Business. She is a registered practitioner with the UN recognised Art of Living Foundation. Link: http://www.migrainingjenny.wordpress.com and http://www.footstrike.wordpress.com

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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