Sickness is a common theme during the winter months. People can suffer from a number of sicknesses ranging from a minor cold to being hospitalized for the flu. However, there is one sickness that affects millions of Americans every year, and that is bronchitis. When a person has bronchitis, the tissue that lines their airways swells, narrowing air passages and making it difficult to breathe. These airways produce large amounts of mucus, which can clog the airway and make breathing extremely difficult. Usually this mucus is coughed up. There are three different types of bronchitis: acute bronchitis, chronic bronchitis and asthmatic bronchitis. Chronic bronchitis affects about nine million people every year, but is more common in people who smoke or who are 45 years or older. About ten million people get actuate bronchitis, and most of these people are less than five years of age. Although these types of bronchitis affect a certain range of people more than another, anyone can get bronchitis, and women are more susceptible to it than men are. Asthmatic bronchitis is seen in people with continual asthma. Understanding the symptoms of bronchitis can help you determine what type of bronchitis you are afflicted with.
The first symptom that people usually notice is a persistent cough. Usually people think they have a cold, as this symptom is common with having a cold. However, the difference is that with this cough, people will most likely experience mucus in their cough. The mucus can be white, clear, yellow, gray or green in color. It is rare that the mucus is streaked with blood, but this does occur. If this cough lasts for more than three weeks, or the mucus is discolored, you should go see a doctor.
Many people who have bronchitis suffer from fatigue. Often times this fatigue is due to the fact that the coughing people have kept them awake at night and they feel tired during the day because of lack of sleep. However, this is not always the case. If you feel fatigued along with any of the other symptoms of bronchitis, see your doctor right way to diagnose the problem.
Some victims of bronchitis have experienced wheezing, chest pain and difficulty breathing. This is usually common in sufferers of acute bronchitis. Whether the bronchitis is viral or bacterial, a bronchitis patient may have a fever accompanying their other symptoms. Chronic bronchitis victims can also experience these symptoms, but there are other warning signs as well. A cough that lasts two to three months and tightness of the chest are symptoms that could occur with chronic bronchitis as well as the others.
Other symptoms that can be commonly found when dealing with bronchitis are: chills, headache, runny nose and impaired voice. If these symptoms, and other symptoms listed above are affecting you, it is important to see a doctor as soon as you can. Doctors will want to check to make sure that these symptoms are not caused by pneumonia. They will run the proper tests to diagnose and treat you.