Bronchitis happens when cold or the flu prolongs more than a week. It is a condition in which the airways in the lungs become inflamed and cause coughing, often with mucus, or wheezing. During bronchitis, it becomes hard to breathe as there are formed in the airways. This causes inflammation and irritation of the bronchial tubes (the airways in the lungs). Based on the timeline of the flu, bronchitis is classified into acute and chronic.

What Causes Cause and Symptoms

Acute bronchitis also known as ‘Chest Cold’ is temporary and is usually caused by virus. It does not last more than a week. It starts with respiratory infection which can include a sore throat, blocked or runny nose, headaches, fevers and fatigue.

When a person suffers from acute bronchitis, it’s the small things that triggers inflammation and irritation of the bronchi. Generally these are resolved within a week as the cause of the infection is virus and can be treated easily. Virus and bacteria are contagious and can spread bronchitis easily.

On the other hand, chronic bronchitis spans for months or even years and is often triggered by smoking. It is also known for its recurring nature. Primarily, it is caused by smoking cigarette, second-hand smoke, air pollution and chemicals. Chronic bronchitis is not contagious but it is a serious serious illness and requires doctor’s attention.

Bronchitis Diagnosis

Often it’s hard to identify the nature of the flu and people assume it as normal flu. To distinguish between the sign and symptoms helps in approaching the doctor and taking the right kind of medication. Diagnosis of bronchitis is based on three things - Medical history, environmental and occupational exposure and smoking history.

Types of Tests

During the physical exam, the doctor uses a stethoscope to examine if the breathing is impaired or not. Such multiple tests can help in the diagnosis of bronchitis.

  • Chest X-ray: This test gives a clear picture of other problems such as pneumonia
  • Complete blood count: This can show signs of infection present in the body
  • Sputum Culture: It can detect bacteria or fungi that infect lungs or bronchial tubes
  • Pulmonary Function Tests (PFTs): This monitors how well the lungs works by measuring the volume of the lungs, rate of flow and exchange of gas. PFTs helps the doctor to decide the type of treatment for the particular disorder
  • Arterial Blood Gas Test: This test helps in finding ways to help lungs perform their function by examining the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the blood

Bronchitis Breathing Treatment

The main intention behind the treatment is to reduce the symptoms, make the patient breathe better and lead a normal life like others. Bronchitis can be cured easily when it’s acute. In no time, person regains better health as it can be identified and resolved within a week.


Bronchitis caused by viral infection don’t go so easily by mere antibiotics. However, if the doctor suspects bacteria, he or she may prescribe antibiotic. In some cases, the health care provider may also recommend other medications, including:

Cough Suppressants: Doctors highly recommend to take during bedtimes as it gives the person good sleep.

Other Medicines: In some cases, the person suffer from asthma or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). In such cases, doctor prescribes inhaler and other medications to level down the inflammation and irritation caused in bronchial lungs.


Our Pulmonary Rehabilitation benefits chronic bronchitis and brings down lot of stress down. Our breathing exercise program is designed in a interactive manner. The respiratory therapist teaches how to breathe with ease and better the breathing.

What are the home remedies?

Avoid Irritants: Things like cigarette smoking, chemicals and air-pollutants triggers bronchitis. Face mask can prevent exposure to such harmful toxins.

Use humidifier: Air moisture reduces respiratory symptoms as these problems are caused by dry air.

Use face mask: There are millions of dust particles and toxic pollutants around. By covering face with the mask, the chance of getting more exposed is reduced.

Wash your hands: keep your hands disinfected by keeping it clean.

Bronchitis VS Pneumonia

Bronchitis involves inflammation and irritation in bronchial lungs. But in case of Pneumonia the infection inflames the air sacs in the lungs causing cough with phlegm, fever and difficulty in breathing. These tiny air sacs are called alveoli. Pneumonia can be caused by bacteria, virus and fungi. The degree of seriousness can vary from mild to life-threatening. It is most common in people who have health problems and weak immune system.


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