Cough! Cough! Cough!
After spending a couple of years with numerous episodes of bronchitis, I’ve come to realize coughing, coughing, and more coughing is the mantra of bronchitis. Bronchitis is a respiratory disease, in which the bronchial tubes that carry air to the lungs, becomes inflamed and irritated. The irritated and swollen membranes cause chronic coughing, excessive mucus, and shortness of breath. Sometimes a person may sound like they are coughing up a lung or choking to death. With almost every breathe, coughing is generated as the person tries to clear the airways of mucus, and breathe through the rattling in their lungs. The inability to take a deep breath without coughing is what signifies bronchitis.
Another primary symptom of bronchitis is the shortness of breath resulting from the tightening of the bronchial tubes. The chest feels heavy and tight and every breath feels as if you are pushing up weight. Breathlessness makes it hard to have a conversation and talking is interrupted by little gasps of air followed by a string of coughing. It also makes you tired and exhausted because your body does not get all the oxygen it needs to function properly.
In addition to the symptoms of coughing and shortness of breath, there are other symptoms that may or may not be present. For example, fever, a lack of energy, fatigue and wheezing.
When you put a person suffering with bronchitis in a room full of people, they may have concerns over whether they will catch what you have. Well, the truth is — maybe, maybe not. It all depends on what caused the bronchitis. If it was the flu or a cold, yes, you may catch the flu or a cold. Bronchitis is caused by a virus or bacteria from an upper respiratory infection. But in many cases bronchitis is brought on by exposure and breathing irritants, like smoke, perfumes, chemicals, pet dander, dust and other pollutants and fumes in the air.
In any given room, there are numerous invisible and microscopic pollutants and irritants that may lead to bronchitis with prolong exposure. One example is the glue used to put carpet down or even some of the chemicals, dust and mold embedded in the carpet. Another irritant is the prolonged exposure to perfumes or heavily scented products. Soaps, perfumes, air fresheners, and candles can be detrimental to a person suffering with bronchitis. These products tend to cause shortness of breath, tightness in the chest and coughing.
So the next time you see a person doubled over coughing with tears in their eyes, shortness of breath, and cannot speak without coughing, think BRONCHITIS!.