Bronchitis, which is defined as “an infection of the main airways of the lungs (bronchi), causing them to become irritated and inflamed,” consists of two types: acute and chronic. Acute is caused by the same viruses that are responsible for colds and flus, while chronic typically occurs a result of cigarette smoking—although air pollution, dust and toxic gases can also contribute.
In addition to different causes, the healing times associated with each type also vary. Acute bronchitis can last for several weeks, but those who suffer from chronic bronchitis will experience symptoms for periods longer than three months at a time, that recur for at least two years. Despite how different the causes and recovery are between acute and chronic, the symptoms experienced can be quite similar. Here are six common symptoms of bronchitis to be mindful of…
A cough is the most common symptom of both acute and chronic bronchitis. With acute, it can persist for several weeks up to a few months and is often accompanied by a sore throat. How long the cough lasts entirely depends on how fast the bronchial tubes heal.
With chronic, the cough will often be unrelenting for longer than a three-month period of time. Over time, the forcefulness of the cough can lead to soreness of the chest and abdominal muscles. The cough may also worsen during certain times of year, particularly winter.