Bronchitis is the inflammation of the bronchial passages, the tubes that carry air to and from your lungs, causing their swelling and narrowing. It is caused by viral infection (cold and influenza viruses are the most common causes), or by chemical irritant (from smoking, industrial pollution and gastric acid reflux). Bronchitis is categorised as acute or chronic. Acute bronchitis is common, the complication of colds or flu, and usually improves within a few days of treatment, though the cough may persist for some time. Chronic bronchitis is more serious, with the symptoms recurring for weeks and even months. Should you experience the symptoms for more than a few days, it would be advisable to seek the advice of your medical doctor or health professional.
1. A Severe Cough
A hacking cough is probably the most common symptom of bronchitis. Coughing is the body’s way of expelling unwanted dust, germs and other irritants from the throat and bronchial (breathing) passages. Bronchitis, because it causes the inflammation of the bronchial tubes, results in the irritated membranes secreting extra mucus, which coat the surface of the airways and can even block the smaller ones. Coughing is the body’s attempt to expel this excess mucus, reopening the airways and restoring normal air flow to and from the lungs.