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Learning about the issues concerning chronic and acute bronchitis progression can answer your question if it is really contagious.
Chronic bronchitis is the infection and inflammation of mucosal membranes and bronchial tubes, which generates excessive mucus production. These high levels of mucus production in the person’s respiratory tract are only the inflammatory response of the body to the bronchial infection and irritation. Excess mucus disturbs the normal respiratory process by reducing significant amounts of air going to the lungs. The chronic bronchitis symptoms include difficult breathing, breath shortness, wheezing, discomfort, chest pain, and cough produced by mucus.
Chronic bronchitis can generate time-persistent and recurrent symptoms which can intensify as its progresses. Chronic bronchitis displays characteristics of productive coughs, greater susceptibility to respiratory tract’s viral and bacterial infections, and little responsiveness when treated by medications. Chronic bronchitis can last for tree months or more and reoccurs after two years. Today, there is still no specific treatment for chronic bronchitis.
Compared to sufferers of acute bronchitis, patients who are diagnosed with chronic bronchitis never respond to antibiotics treatments that well. The excess mucus in the bronchial tubes can facilitate bacterial proliferation and other organisms which causes infections. The disease can become very severe on the area where infections occur. Cilia barriers or the respiratory system’s natural defenses are ineffective to antibiotics for curing chronic bronchitis completely. Thus treating chronic bronchitis is focused on relieving the existing symptoms to prevent further development of other complications.
Patients in their incipient stages of chronic bronchitis perceived symptoms usually at night or in the morning. Patients who have advanced chronic bronchitis suffer from inflamed respiratory tract because of mucus obstruction. This condition generates persistent and intense cough or also known as the “smokers cough”. Sufferers of chronic bronchitis can also acquire pulmonary problems and may develop severe lung diseases such as emphysema and pneumonia.
As time goes on, patients with chronic bronchitis may experience poor blood oxygenation and hypoventilation or accelerated, shallow breathing. Complicated chronic bronchitis may also result to cyanosis or a condition wherein the skin turns bluish suggesting that pneumonia or emphysema is present.
Smoking alone cannot be considered as the main cause of developing chronic bronchitis. However, the illness occurs in most cases on regular smokers. Keep in mind that smoking contributes greatly on bacterial proliferation slowing down the process of healing the respiratory organs and tissues. Sometimes, asthma is often linked with chronic bronchitis due to similarities of symptoms. But patients who suffer both from chronic bronchitis and asthma may experience relapse of symptoms and shows unresponsiveness to medical treatments.
In some cases, chronic bronchitis becomes the consequences of mistreated or untreated acute bronchitis and other diseases associated with respiratory system. Chronic bronchitis is also caused by too much exposure to airborne pollutants such as chemicals and dusts.
Acute bronchitis is general are caused by infections of the lungs. Ten percent of these infections are bacterial in origin, ninety percent are viral. However, chronic bronchitis is caused by more than one factor. Acute bronchitis which repetitively attacks a person can irritate and weaken the bronchial airways resulting to chronic bronchitis.
Another culprit of chronic bronchitis is industrial pollution. Higher rates of patients are metal molders, grain handlers, cola miners, and works with continuous exposures to dusts. High sulfur dioxide concentrations present in the atmosphere also worsen chronic bronchitis symptoms. However, if it is an asthmatic bronchitis, it is not contagious.