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Bronchitis - The Basics

You know that feeling.  You finally seem to have overcome your cold Ė except for that darned, lingering cough. 


The next thing you know your chest feels sore.  You complain youíve got the chills or even a slight fever.


If youíve experienced these symptoms, then youíve no doubt experienced an acute case of bronchitis.  This is a health condition that occurs when the inner walls lining the main air passageways of your lungs are inflamed and become infected. Itís not unusual for 

individuals to develop bronchitis following a cold.  If you smoke cigarettes or are exposed to cigarette smoke, that might increase your odds of developing this respiratory problem.


Even if you donít smoke, you still may be at greater risk for developing bronchitis if you possess certain risk factors.  One of these is a compromised immune system.  You may be experiencing lowered resistance for any number of reasons.


Perhaps youíre just getting over another illness and your system has been busy battling that.  Or you may have a chronic health condition which seriously compromises your immune system. Those most at risk are usually older individuals, infants and young children.


Do you suffer from GERD?  Thatís gastroesophageal reflux disease.  With this health condition, your stomach acids persistently back up into your esophagus.  This could prompt a chronic cough, usually through a reflex mechanism.


It could be your bronchitis is caused by exposure to certain irritants.  Many times, people encounter these on the job. If you work around grains or textiles or if youíre exposed to chemical fumes from ammonia you may be at greater risk for bronchitis.  This is usually referred to as occupational bronchitis, because itís associated with your job.  Other substances known to cause bronchitis in individuals include strong acids, chlorine, hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide and bromine.


You may have a dry cough with occupational bronchitis.  The good news about this health problem though is that once youíre no longer exposed to these substances, the bronchitis clears up.



For the most part, bronchitis disappears on its on within a few days leaving no lasting ill effects.  The most youíll have to contend with is that lingering cough.  You may be plagued with that for several weeks.  If you notice, though, that you have recurring bouts of bronchitis, visit your health care practitioner.  The problem may not be just acute bronchitis.  You may have the chronic version of this illness Ė or may be have asthma.  In either case, youíll need the attention of a professional.





Note: Some statements in this article may not be approved by the FDA. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice.


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