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Understanding Chronic Bronchitis

Mar 30, 2017

Understanding Chronic Bronchitis

Bronchitis is inflammation of the large and medium-sized airways in the lungs called the bronchi. Chronic bronchitis can be defined as a productive cough for 3months or more per year for at least 2 years. Most patients with chronic bronchitis have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Sign and symptoms of chronic bronchitis includes wheezing and shortness of breath, cough which is worse after waking up and yellow or green color sputum which may have specks of blood. Chronic bronchitis is mainly caused by smoking cigarettes or other forms of tobacco. Also, chronic inhalation of air pollutants or dust or irritating fumes or from hazardous exposures in occupations like metal molding, coal mining, livestock farming, grain handling, chemical factories, textile manufacturing, and may be a risk factor for chronic bronchitis.

Treatment

The disease can be managed with medicines and lifestyle changes.  A bronchodilator medicine through inhaler is usually prescribed which opens the airways in lungs, making it easy to breathe. Oral medications like Theophylline, relax the muscles of airways which relieves breathing difficulties. In some cases Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program is prescribed. Lifestyle Remedies for chronic bronchitis include quitting smoking, breathing in warm, moist air from a humidifier, avoiding dust and pollutants. Physical activity can strengthen the muscles of the airways. Pursed-lip breathing can sometimes provide relief in case of breathing difficulties.

Latest Developments In Treatment Of Chronic Bronchitis

The Global Initiative for Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD), which is an international collaboration of experts in COPD, has recently launched the 2017 Guidelines for treatment of chronic bronchitis.

Four Lung Institute branches in Nashville, Pittsburg, Tampa and Scottsdale, has started treating lung disease like chronic bronchitis with stem cells from patient’s own body. A report from the institute called ‘Autologous Stem Cell Therapy and its Effects on COPD’; mentions that about 82% of patients with COPD had improvements in their quality of life after stem cell therapy. However level of improvement varies from patient to patient.

Disclaimer: The information given in this write-up is purely for educating the reader. It is not meant to be a substitute for any advice from a medical expert.

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