Millions of Americans have to deal with the coughing, shortness of breath, chest pains and fatigue related to chronic bronchitis. By impairing one of your most basic functions, chronic bronchitis can disrupt nearly every part of your life — from getting a good night’s sleep, to spending time with your family, to having a productive day at work.
If you are concerned about finding relief from chronic bronchitis, educating yourself as a patient is a great place to start. Read on to learn more about the causes of this difficult condition, particularly the relationship it has with smoking.
Chronic Bronchitis and Smoking
By far, the most common cause of chronic bronchitis is smoking cigarettes. The irritants and carcinogens contained in cigarette smoke are inflammatory to the lining of the bronchial tubes in the lungs, especially after years of constant smoking. As we age, our bodies become less able to repair themselves and can become more prone to chronic inflammation.
Other Causes and Risk Factors
Cigarette smoke isn’t the only cause of chronic bronchitis. Exposure to poor air quality or fumes can also increase the risk of developing this condition. Chronic bronchitis is also more likely to occur in patients who have a weakened immune system due to the presence of another condition.
Some of these other chronic bronchitis causes include:
- Air pollution
- Exposure to job-related chemical fumes and dust
- Lowered immune resistance from a viral or bacterial infection
- Severe acid reflux
Symptom Management for Chronic Bronchitis
Upon diagnosis of chronic bronchitis, the specific course of treatment will often be dependent on the cause. For example, smokers will be strongly recommended to quit smoking immediately to remove the primary source of irritation to the lungs. Additional treatments include pulmonary rehabilitation, cough medication and bronchodilators. In some cases, steroidal medication and supplemental oxygen may also be prescribed.
One form of treatment many chronic bronchitis sufferers are turning to is regenerative treatment, such as the cellular therapy we provide at Lung Health Institute. With a sample of a patient’s blood, we can use the cells contained in it to help restore lung function and improve symptoms of conditions like chronic bronchitis.
Take the next step to find relief. Contact one of our patient coordinators today for more information or to schedule a free consultation.