|How Long Does Bronchitis Last ?
The medical condition illustrated by an inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes that connect the trachea or windpipe to the lungs is known as bronchitis. The consequences of this swelling are decreased air flow in the lungs and the increased formation of mucus in the air passage.
Bronchitis is caused by a viral or bacterial infection or through tobacco smoke and pollutants. Bronchitis may be acute or chronic. Some of the common symptoms of both types of bronchitis include persistent cough with mucus, fever, chest discomfort and wheezing. Acute bronchitis is not an issue of grave concern in comparison to chronic bronchitis. The latter can lead to serious breathing complications.
The duration of the disease solely depends on the kind of bronchitis contracted by the patient and certain related aspects. Acute bronchitis is generally cured within a time span of a few days to weeks even without any medical assistance. At times, a dry cough may last for a few months thereafter. This could be a healing time for the bronchi or a result of certain irritants in the air passage.
The story of chronic bronchitis is completely different. Even today, there is no permanent cure for the disease. The symptoms can either last for an indefinite period or reoccur frequently. Patients do get temporary respite from medication, but the symptoms generally keep cropping up, especially during winters. As the disease progresses, the patient gets prone to more chest infections, thereby worsening the situation. The symptoms last for a longer duration. The patient experiences immense discomfort in the mornings and during damp and cold weather. Chronic bronchitis leads to irreversible lung damage that eventually poses a threat to life as well.
Cigarette smoking or even being a passive smoker can increase the complications and prolong the cure. Exposure to chemicals and dust also leads to similar consequences. Also, in certain patients, especially in the elderly, bronchitis can further lead to pneumonia. Asthma could also be a manifestation of the disease. In such cases, the cure and the duration of the disease get prolonged. In pure cases of bronchitis, antibiotics, inhalers, bronchodilators and even steroids may be prescribed to relieve the patient from the symptoms and shorten the duration of the disease.
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