Exhale

The official blog of the Lung Institute.

What is Chronic Bronchitis?

26 Jul 2014
| Under Chronic Bronchitis | Posted by | 0 Comments
What is Chronic Bronchitis? Lung Institute

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an umbrella term for a few different conditions. One of these diseases in chronic bronchitis, and another is emphysema.

What is Chronic Bronchitis?

You’ve probably heard of acute bronchitis, which is a common wintertime ailment, usually occurring with an upper respiratory infection. Acute bronchitis usually clears up quickly, and only happens maybe once a year for a healthy person. Chronic bronchitis lasts much longer than acute bronchitis – the standard definition is that if bronchitis lasts for at least three months of the year for two years in a row, then it is chronic.

Chronic bronchitis is a form of COPD, and the symptoms include:

  • Irritating cough with mucus
  • Cough that is worse in the morning, and in cold weather
  • Chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue

The longer-term effect of all this coughing is scarring in the lungs, and a thickening of the airway linings. Unfortunately, many people with chronic bronchitis ignore the symptoms. They write it off as getting sick again, as “smoker’s cough,” or they don’t think it’s serious. Over time though, it is serious.

Cause of Chronic Bronchitis

Chronic bronchitis does not happen suddenly, it progresses gradually. The main cause of chronic bronchitis is smoking. Breathing in other fumes, which would usually occur in workplaces like mines or metalworking, can also cause chronic bronchitis. But smoking is the more common cause because tobacco smoke irritates the airways and causes them to produce mucus. Long exposure to tobacco smoke (or other irritants) causes chronic bronchitis to develop. It can even develop in people who quit smoking over a decade ago, so the best thing you can do for your health is quit.

Prevalence of Chronic Bronchitis

How many people have chronic bronchitis? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 8.7 million Americans are diagnosed with chronic bronchitis. Another 4.1 million Americans have emphysema, the other main form of COPD. And millions of others are walking around undiagnosed.

There are a variety of medicines available to treat chronic bronchitis, and staying active and exercising can help strengthen the muscles that help you breathe, and help your lung function. Other treatments include pulmonary rehabilitation. Cellular therapy is another option- click here to learn more about cellular therapy for chronic bronchitis.

If you or a loved one has chronic bronchitis or other lung disease and want to learn more about treatment options, contact us or call (800) 729-3065.

 

* Every patient is given a Patient Satisfaction Survey shortly after treatment. Responses to the 11-question survey are aggregated to determine patient satisfaction with the delivery of treatment.

^ Quality of Life Survey data measured the patient’s self-assessed quality of life and measurable quality of improvement at three months of COPD patients.

All claims made regarding the efficacy of Lung Institute's treatments as they pertain to pulmonary conditions are based solely on anecdotal support collected by Lung Institute. Individual conditions, treatment and outcomes may vary and are not necessarily indicative of future results. Testimonial participation is voluntary. Lung Institute does not pay for or script patient testimonials.

As required by Texas state law, the Lung Institute Dallas Clinic has received Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval from MaGil IRB, now Chesapeake IRB, which is fully accredited by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Program (AAHRPP), for research protocols and procedures. The Lung Institute has implemented these IRB approved standards at all of its clinics nationwide. Approval indicates that we follow rigorous standards for ethics, quality, and protections for human research.

Each patient is different. Results may vary.