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Causes and symptoms of bronchitis

Bronchitis is an inflammatory disease. This inflammation affects the lining of the lungs and bronchial tree. Bronchitis is of two types: acute and chronic. Symptoms of acute bronchitis can last from several days to three to four weeks. These symptoms are characteristic of all acute respiratory infections-diseases that pass with the defeat of the bronchial tree. Symptom of chronic bronchitis is a persistent cough. The reason for the development of this type of bronchitis is a prolonged Smoking and respiratory tract.

All diseases in our body caused by pollution of the gastrointestinal tract. So, chronic bronchitis, no wonder many people, also to some extent connected with this.

It is often assumed that most often bronchitis affects people over 50 years old, but it is not true. Of course, age plays a role, but bronchitis is more common in people exposed to harmful environmental conditions, with poor environment, with poor food, in cold, poor conditions of life. And also people with low body weight. Suffer equally by both men and women. Chronic bronchitis often leads to death. The reasons for this outcome, the rapid development of cardiopulmonary failure and pathological enlargement of the air spaces.

The content of the article:

The symptoms of bronchitis

The symptoms are the characteristic symptoms and the symptoms that warn of violations in the human body. Many people are not attentive to the symptoms of disease, but the disease may present a danger to life.

In children there are three types of bronchitis:

  • sharp simple.
  • acute obstructive.
  • acute bronchiolitis (occurs in infants and infants, it affects the small bronchi).

Adults get sick more often than children. There are two forms of the disease.

  • the acute form.
  • a chronic form.

This disease is quite common, everyone has at least once in your lifewas sick with bronchitis and its symptoms are well known and quickly recognizable. If there is a cough, runny nose, headache is the first symptomatic manifestations of the disease. Bronchitis is easily confused with the flu or colds, because the symptoms are very similar.

Turning to the doctor, you can accurately ascertain the determination of the diagnosis on patient complaints. Often, the main symptom of bronchitis is an annoying persistent cough. Chronic bronchitis develops in people working in hazardous industries, from Smoking and effects on the body environmental conditions. But mostly, acute bronchitis in adults occurs when ingested infection.

The duration of the disease in the acute form may last for several days or weeks. Disease in the acute form is accompanied by a dry cough, a high temperature to 39S, runny nose. Although cough is a symptom of the disease, but this protective function of the body to bring the mucus from the respiratory tract. Sputum in children can have greenish or yellowish-grey, which means the presence of bacterial infection.

White mass mucus secretion is its absence. The benefit of the body brings cough, allowing the patient for several days to get rid of accumulated mucus. The examination can identify the characteristic wheezing that occurs due to the resultant protective mucosal mass in the respiratory organs. The final recovery from acute bronchitis occurs within 10 days.

If the patient is left untreated, there is a high probability of transition of acute forms to chronic. And then the malaise could drag on indefinitely. In the case of chronic bronchitis in adults or in children, the cough is present for several months, there is a wheezing hissing character.

Sometimes a cough accompanied by hemoptysis. Will certainly need to ensure that a dry cough was moist, and departed sputum. In infants the symptoms of bronchitis in the beginning of the inflammatory process is a frequent, dry, exhausting, with no sputum discharge. Becomes severe shortness of breath, noticeable whistling loud wheezing when listening (auscultation), and high temperature. If it is not treated chronic bronchitis is converted into purulent.

With the fluid from the bronchi does the pus. Purulent bronchitis may occur due to weakened immunity. Cough with phlegm with the admixtures of pus, shortness of breath, pain in the sternal region, high temperature, weakness, sweating, headache – the symptoms of purulent bronchitis, which can develop into pneumonia.

The symptoms of bronchitis will also largely depend on the type of disease and nature of the flowdisease.

The symptoms of infectious bronchitis

If a person has an easy, infectious bronchitis, it is characterized by the following features:

  • Dry cough, which over the progression of the disease will go in the wet;
  • The emergence of feelings of weakness, fatigue;
  • Discomfort in the center of the chest;
  • The increase in body temperature (to subfebrile sometimes marks, sometimes much higher);
  • Listening hard breathing and wheezing;
  • Laboratory blood tests do not reveal the presence of infection.

When infectious bronchitis is of medium severity, the sick person experiences the following symptoms:

  • It suffers from a strong cough that is due to overexertion of the muscles causes painful sensations in the chest and in the abdominal area;
  • The person experiences a sense of weakness and General malaise;
  • Breathing becomes difficult;
  • During the cough the mucus with the admixtures of pus, or it becomes entirely purulent;
  • When listening to the wet finely wheezing and a dry, breathing hard.

If the patient has an allergic bronchitis, it will be in direct contact with the allergen. It can be a room of dust, pollen, odors of perfume, household chemicals, animal dander, feathers of birds, etc. in allergic type of the disease the sputum is never purulent, does not increase body temperature. Usually all symptoms disappear after contact with the allergen ceases.

The symptoms of allergic bronchitis

To distinguish allergic type bronchitis allow for the following symptoms:

  • The lack of increase in body temperature;
  • The appearance of dry scattered rales;
  • Dyspnea that occurs in the breath;
  • After the elimination of the provoking factor, the signs of deterioration are eliminated quickly.

If the patient has a toxic or chemical form of bronchitis, the manifestation of the disease is due to inhaled irritating substances. It can be acid vapours, dust (organic and inorganic), gas (carbon monoxide and sulfur).

The symptoms of toxic and chemical bronchitis

Among the symptoms of toxic-chemical bronchitis with the following:

  • The lack of desire to eat;
  • headaches;
  • Appearance painful cough;
  • The appearance of severe dyspnea, which can lead to suffocation;
  • The appearance of pain in the chest area pricking character.
  • The appearance of signs of respiratory distress;
  • Cyanosis of the mucous membranes;
  • The emergence of hard breathing and dry rales;
  • The emergence of signs of hypoxaemia.

Symptoms of acute bronchitis

If a person has acute bronchitis, it allows to distinguish the following symptoms:

  • The appearance of pronounced cough that is dry soon becomes moist;
  • The body temperature increases and can reach 39 degrees;
  • It joins General malaise increased sweating;
  • Chills occurs, performance falls;
  • Symptoms of a moderate or bright;
  • While listening to the chest physician hears dry rales and harsh breath diffuse;
  • If the disease is severe, patients get severe shortness of breath;
  • As a rule, acute disease passes two weeks later.

Causes of bronchitis

Causes of bronchitis may be many, however, the following risk factors of bronchitis is recognized by all medical organizations:

  • Smoking;

  • the heredity – congenital lack in the body alpha-1-antitrypsin;
  • adverse environmental conditions, namely saturation of the atmosphere of various harmful gases, dust.

There are many other minor causes of bronchitis, such as passive Smoking, alcoholism, living conditions, etc.

Bronchitis develops very quickly in those cases when there is permanent damage of the mucous membranes, bronchi any particles in the air. Another cause of bronchitis is a climate not very favorable for a person, namely, the constant dampness, frequent weather changes, fog.

When the mucous membranes of the bronchi are permanently damaged and some smoke, dust and other particles, it is a kind of "push" to a constant increase in production of sputum and, therefore, there is a need often to cough, to eliminate phlegm from the respiratory tract of a patient with bronchitis. Smokingis the cause of bronchitis is No. 1 because statistics show that smokers, regardless of gender, suffer from chronic bronchitis 3-4 times more often than free from this bad habit. Although, perhaps, less harm than Smoking, brings work in hazardous work: employees woolen, chemical, bakery factories are in large measure susceptible to bronchitis.

The importance of infection in the development of bronchitis

Chronic bronchitis progresses faster if in the bronchi for a long time, there are foci of infection, microbes. For example, bronchitis, exacerbated chronic tonsillitis, and latency flow of blood in the pulmonary circulation. (see also: What is tonsillitis? Causes and symptoms of the disease)

If a person has ever had attacks of acute bronchitis, it has increased the chances that he will develop chronic bronchitis.

If the bronchitis is joined by infection, the situation in this case is not the best, because the infection further increases the volume of mucus-secreting, in addition, the liquid composition begins to resemble pus.

Exacerbation of chronic bronchitis quite often take place with the direct participation of staphylococci, pneumococci, streptococci, and infection – as mycoplasmosis and viral. Most people in the winter, cold period of the year gets an infection of the bronchi, the windpipe – i.e. the upper respiratory tract. And patients with chronic bronchitis penetration of harmful bacteria deeper they go up to the light, so in winter in patients with bronchitis frequent sharp exacerbations. This viral disease like the flu also aggravates the course of bronchitis, therefore, during epidemics of influenza are recorded very frequent attacks of acute bronchitis.

The color value of sputum in bronchitis

Color discharge when coughing sputum is of great diagnostic value to the physician. Thanks to this characteristic, the doctor may determine the stage of disease, degree of severity, the cause of. The composition of sputum is saliva produced in the mouth, the cells produced by the immune system, particles of blood and plasma (visible or invisible), dust, pathogenic microorganisms.

White phlegm

When the color of the sputum is white, the condition of the patient is regarded as a normal course of the disease. However, it is necessary to pay attention to the amount of sputum, presence of foam in it. So, with a generous foamy white phlegm can be suspectedpulmonary edema, tuberculosis or asthma.

Green sputum

If the sputum for a long period of time, the green color indicates an existing infection of a chronic nature. This color is a result of the process of disintegration of neutrophils, which tried to cope with pathogenic agents. Their death leads to the release of enzymes and myeloperoxidase.

Therefore, green sputum may indicate the following disease:

  • Chronic bronchitis;
  • Lung abscess;

  • The transition of bronchitis into pneumonia;
  • Cystic fibrosis lung.

If the disease is infectious in nature, green color mucus can also indicate the presence of a large number of pus in the sputum. If the disease is of infectious etiology, then the mucus in the sputum will be more than green.

Yellow phlegm

If the phlegm is yellow, it indicates the presence in it of white blood cells, namely neutrophils. They are always found in large numbers in allergic, infectious and chronic inflammations.

Therefore, yellow discharge of the bronchi, doctors often determine:

  • Asthma;
  • Sinusitis;
  • The acute stage of pneumonia or bronchitis.

Upon detection of a discharge of yellow phlegm, you should not delay going to the doctor because her morning analysis allows to determine the presence of bacterial infection. Often this color sputum is separated from long time smokers.

Brown phlegm

Brown sputum is a serious symptom that requires medical assistance. Like the color of the mucus indicates the collapse of a large number of red blood cells and the release of hemosiderin.

By the brown color of phlegm can be suspected:

  • Chronic bronchitis or pneumonia;
  • Tuberculosis;
  • Lung cancer;

  • Pneumoconiosis.

Black (dark grey)

If the patient is separated black or dark grey phlegm, it most often indicates the presence of dust from Smoking tobacco. Also the blackening of the sputum may occur while taking certain medications.

Red phlegm (with blood)

The presence of blood in the sputum may indicate a serious infection, either on the opened pulmonary hemorrhage:

  • Pneumococcal infection;
  • Lung cancer;
  • Tuberculosis;
  • Pulmonary embolism.

Appeal for medical assistance should be immediate, as there is a threatnot only health, but also the patient's life.

Complications of acute and chronic bronchitis

All complications of acute bronchitis are associated with the deterioration process of drainage of the bronchi. This contributes to the fact that the infected mucus aspirates in the distal bronchial tree and leads to inflammation of the lung tissue. Therefore, bronchopneumonia is one of the most common complications of acute bronchitis. It develops on the background of reducing local immune strength and as a result of secondary bacterial infection.

What resolved the acute phase of the disease, depends on the depth to which struck the wall of the bronchus. Serous and mucous Qatar easily restored, and purulent Qatar, bronchiolitis, and destructive bronchitis lead to pneumonia. More frequent in a patient with acute bronchitis and the longer they exist, the higher the risk of chronicization process.

Complications of chronic bronchitis are:

  • Acute pneumonia;
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease;
  • Asthmatic bronchitis, which increases the risk of bronchial asthma;
  • Emphysema;

  • Pulmonary hypertension;
  • Expiratory tracheal stenosis;
  • Chronic pulmonary heart;
  • Cardio-pulmonary insufficiency;
  • Bronchiectasis.

However, the forecast for recovery even in chronic (but not obstructive bronchitis) favorable, if eliminated all the risk factors and initiated treatment.

Answers to frequently asked questions:

  • Bronchitis contagious to others? When the cause of the bronchitis was viral or bacterial infection, there is a risk of infecting the surrounding healthy people from sick with bronchitis. However, in this case, the person is not infected himself with bronchitis. It might be a major infectious disease such as tonsillitis, sinusitis. Bronchitis is a complication of these diseases. Transmission most often occurs through airborne droplets. Contact in this case has less relevance.
  • How many days persistent fever bronchitis? From the start of treatment with antibiotics high fever bronchitisshould not last more than 2 days. To subfebrile levels it can stay on for 5 days. If the body temperature does not subside, then required a change in treatment.
  • Could it be bronchitis without fever? Yes, this is possible. Moreover, the absence of temperature not only indicates allergic bronchitis. She can stay in the norm and bronchitis, and infectious bronchitis, and toxic-chemical bronchitis.
  • Is it possible to do inhalations for bronchitis? Inhalations for bronchitis can do. Moreover, they are key to speedy recovery of the patient, if performed according to the rules. Remember that real help for bronchitis able to provide only inhalation using nebulizer. This device allows delivery of drugs directly to the bronchi (read more: how to make inhalations for bronchitis?).

  • Can bronchitis go in asthma? Yes, that possibility exists, and it increases when properly treated, or when frequently occurring acute bronchitis, as well as chronicization process.
  • Is it possible to put a mustard plaster for bronchitis? A mustard plaster for bronchitis you can put. However, to perform the procedure at normal body temperature and in the absence of signs of systemic inflammation. Also contraindication is allergic to mustard and violation of the integrity of the skin. (read more: mechanism of action of tins and mustard).


There are several options for treatment of bronchitis:

Prevention of bronchitis in adults

Bronchitis shows both primary and secondary prevention.

Primary prevention of the disease is reduced to the following rules:

  • The rejection of bad habits, primarily Smoking and drinking alcohol.
  • you Should avoid such activities, which are associated with the inhalation of harmful vapors (lead, aluminum, chlorides, etc.).
  • It is necessary to get rid of any sources of chronic infection, such as tonsillitis, sinusitis, folliculitis.
  • Avoid places with large crowds, especially during epidemics.
  • Avoid hypothermia.
  • We need to support the natural body's resistance to infections. In this case we are talking about the maintenance of the immune system: balanced diet, hardening, adherence to work and rest, dispensing physical activity, being outdoors – all simple and effective measures to prevent any disease.
  • You should not ignore the seasonal flu shot.
  • The air in a residential area should be hydrated, especially for heated period.
  • Fresh air should be daily.

Secondary prevention of bronchitis is required upon chronicization process.

This reduces the number of exacerbations and prevents the development of serious complications:

  • It is important to eliminate any risks of developing the disease.
  • Diagnosis and treatment of acute bronchitis should be professional and timely.
  • During epidemics it is shown taking antiviral drugs prophylactically.
  • The administration of antibacterial therapy should be agreed with the doctor.
  • Treatment should be complex.

To what doctor to address with bronchitis?

If you experience the first symptoms of the disease, you must consult a physician. He performs all diagnostic measures and prescribes treatment. It is possible that the therapist will direct the patient to more narrow specialists, such as pulmonologists, infectious disease, allergist.