Bronchitis is an infection of the respiratory system characterized by inflammation of the airways which carry oxygen. As a result of the inflammation of the airways excess mucous is produced which causes the affected individual to have persistent wet productive cough.
Bronchitis can be acute or chronic. The symptoms of acute form of bronchitis develop all of a sudden and persist for about a week before resolving. The severity of the symptoms may be moderate to severe. The symptoms of chronic form of bronchitis tend to be gradual in onset and may persist for a prolonged period of time.
Bronchitis can be caused by bacteria or virus. In addition to the wet productive cough, the affected individual will also have difficulty breathing, fever, chest pains and body aches.
Bronchitis is a condition which is quite common especially in the winter time in the United States. How the body gets affected by bronchitis is what has been delineated below in the article.
How Is The Body Affected By Bronchitis?
Bronchitis affects the body in the following ways:
Respiratory Complications: Bronchitis causes breathing problems in the affected individual. Some individuals tend to go to mouth breathing as an alternative to normal nose breathing. The problems with breathing tend to get worse at nighttime.
Coughing: An individual with bronchitis will have persistent cough productive of greenish phlegm. In the acute form, the cough may last for a week or two before it resolves; however, in the chronic form of bronchitis the cough may persist for a prolonged period of time.
Fatigue: The persistent cough and problems with breathing that comes with bronchitis causes an individual to get fatigued quite easily. The affected individual feels tired and fatigued even with little work.
Bronchitis makes it hard for the patient to carry out normal activities of daily living, especially those activities that require strength like bending and lifting items.
Fever: An individual with bronchitis will also have mild fever or flu like symptoms. This is especially seen in patients with chronic form of bronchitis.
Compromised Immune System: The chronic form of bronchitis tends to weaken the immune system which makes the body predisposed to other infections.
Repeated episodes of chronic bronchitis makes the patient vulnerable to frequent viral infections as the immune system of the patient gets severely compromised as a result of repeated episodes of bronchitis.
Pulmonary Complications: The chronic form of bronchitis can progress on to pneumonia, especially in pregnant females along with other types of pulmonary diseases.
Tissue Irritation: As a result of the inflammation, the tissues in the airways become irritated and swollen which affects the breathing pattern of the patient.
Body Pains: This is yet another side effect of bronchitis. The patient will have persistent body pains and headaches which will affect the daily activities of the patient and may keep the patient in bed, especially in the chronic form of bronchitis.
Chest Tightness: An individual with bronchitis will have persistent tightness in the chest as a result of the respiratory system not functioning the way it should. The chest tightness will be preceded by a running nose in acute form of bronchitis.
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