Asthmatic bronchitis

Asthmatic bronchitis is sometimes a difficult disorder to diagnose because it has many things in common both with bronchitis and with other respiratory illnesses like asthma, sinusitis or emphysema. Usually, asthmatic bronchitis can develop from chronic bronchitis as well as from asthma. Bronchitis is generally caused by various irritants in the environment, such as dust, pollen, chemicals or infections with foreign pathogens.

Chronic bronchitis is caused by a bacterial infection. The infection appears when certain strains of bacteria make their way into the bronchial tubes. These tubes have a mucous membrane which when inflamed by whatever reason creates more mucus that covers the soft tissues and this can obstruct the proper flow of air into the lungs which disturbs the normal breathing process. The production of mucus is also symptomatic of asthmatic bronchitis, so it’s rather plain to see why the two might be confused with each other.

The mechanism behind the shift from chronic bronchitis to asthmatic bronchitis isn’t completely understood, but it is known that prolonged exposure to smoking and other irritants is a definite factor in the process. It is also considered that a long history of severe respiratory conditions coupled with a weak immune system and a hyperactive respiratory tract are factors that enable the development of asthmatic bronchitis. It is worth mentioning the fact that asthma as a condition has no cure. The symptoms can be managed, but once a case of chronic bronchitis has shifted into asthmatic bronchitis, symptom management is all that can be done. This means that it is important to correctly deal with a bronchitis condition when it arises, so that such problems can never come to pass.

Another issue when it comes to correctly diagnosing asthmatic bronchitis is the fact that both it and chronic bronchitis share the same symptoms, which include wheezing, difficulty when breathing, pain and discomfort in the chest area and an increased sensitivity to infections. The only difference is that one who suffers from asthmatic bronchitis will experience more intense versions of the symptoms. Usually, when the symptoms of bronchitis lasts for more than a month, especially the specific cough, one will have to go to a specialist for a diagnosis because airways that have been constantly irritated and inflamed for a long period of time can also develop into asthmatic bronchitis.

This is part of the problem why a complex illness like asthmatic bronchitis can be diagnosed much later than other diseases. Most respiratory diseases are diagnosed from those symptoms, but the only way of effectively diagnosing asthmatic bronchitis is with the help of laboratory tests and very specific physical examinations. The treatment for asthmatic bronchitis isn’t one that targets the cause, because as mentioned before it isn’t yet completely understood. The treatments allow for the management of the symptoms to a level where they stop disturbing the course of everyday life.

Asthmatic bronchitis is treated with a variety of medicines like corticosteroids, antibiotics, bronchodilators and anti-inflammatory medicine. The antibiotics are there to deal with any kind of infection that might be causing the problem in the first place and the rest of the medicines are meant to deal with the obstruction of the respiratory tract and decongesting the mucus-clogged airways.

If it isn’t treated, asthmatic bronchitis can in turn develop into even more serious respiratory problems. This is exactly why patients who do suffer from asthmatic bronchitis, even if they are under treatment, are advised to stay away from environments where they can inhale irritants like cigarette smoke, chemicals, pollen, all sorts of artificial vapors and dust because those external irritants will temporarily aggravate the illness.

Last updated on May 7th, 2010 and filed under Respiratory Diseases. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed