About Chronic Bronchitis
Chronic bronchitis is one of the major conditions contributing to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Bronchitis is a condition in which the air passages of the lungs become inflamed. The inflammation occurs in the trachea (or windpipe), and in the large and small bronchi (or tree-like air passages in the lungs). Bronchitis is the result of irritation or infection, and can either be short-lived (acute) or re-occurring (chronic). When irritation or infection is present in the lungs, the thin mucous linings that protect the lungs become inflamed. As a response to the inflammation, the airway linings start to leak fluids. Coughing is the body’s natural reflex to clear the air passageways in the lung. As a result, sufferers of bronchitis often exhibit a wet, painful cough.
Symptoms of Chronic Bronchitis
Acute and chronic bronchitis exhibit the same symptoms including:
Acute bronchitis is associated with a cough that can last for several weeks. The cough usually follows a cold or upper respiratory infection. It can be either a wet and mucus-based cough or dry. Typically the cough will resolve as your lungs regain strength. Sufferers of chronic bronchitis will have a cough that lasts at least 3 months for 2 years in a row. Chronic bronchitis is often exacerbated by smoking.
Wheezing is the exhibition of an abnormal whistling noise while breathing out. Wheezing from bronchitis is the result of the inflammation of the airway.
The inflammation and tightness caused by bronchitis on the airways of the lungs causes an excess production of mucus. A person suffering from bronchitis can exhibit a painful dry cough or a cough full of mucus.
Fatigue, Fever & Chills
Since bronchitis is associated with viral and bacterial infections, the symptoms of fatigue, fever and chills are also commonly associated with bronchitis.
Sufferers of bronchitis often feel chest discomfort, tightness or shortness of breath. The consistent cough attributed to bronchitis can also cause chest pain. In severe cases, coughing can cause sufferers to faint, injure their chest or break ribs.
Smoking cessation is always the first step in treating a lung disease. Once you’ve visited with a pulmonologist you will likely get prescribed some medication to help your lung functioning, but note that interstitial lung disease does not have a known cure. It is also important that you regularly exercise your lungs and moderate your diet to help slow the progression of the disease. With all of these things, you may still not be satisfied with your ability to live a normal life.
The Lung Institute offers stem cell treatments for interstitial lung disease. The stem cells used by the Lung Institute are autologous, which means they come from the patient’s own body. The stem cells are extracted from bone marrow or the patient’s blood (venous) depending on the patient’s current condition and health history. Adult stem cells have the capacity to form many types of differentiated cells, so when the stem cells are returned to the patient, they will target the damaged tissue, which leads to improved lung function in patients with a chronic lung disease. Our minimally invasive, outpatient stem cell procedures are changing lives by helping patients breathe easier.
Once the desired volume of stem cells are available, they are extracted from the patient’s blood or bone marrow. The stem cells are isolated and returned to the patient intravenously or through the use of a nebulizer. Once the cells are returned to the patient, they may begin to slow down the progression of the disease. Since stem cells can continually replicate, the lungs can progressively grow stronger, and patients may see restored lung function.