Understanding Acute and Chronic Bronchitis

If you are into music, you will be amazed at the wide range of instruments that you can use to produce different types of sounds. For me, I personally enjoy playing the piano because of the rich and varied sounds it produces. There are also musicians who prefer wind instruments such as trumpet, saxophone and flute. However, these instruments and many other wind instruments are ideal for people who have a healthy respiratory system and powerful lung capacity. If you are suffering from any respiratory disease, it can be hard for you to produce good music out of your instrument especially if you are constantly coughing.

One of the most common respiratory diseases that affect a significant number of people around the world is bronchitis, which may be acute or chronic. Both types of bronchitis are a result of inflammation to the bronchial passages which are part of the respiratory system responsible for channeling air to the lungs. Most people confuse bronchitis vs pneumonia because both conditions cause a person to suffer from coughing spells. If you have pneumonia or bronchitis, playing any wind instrument can be a big challenge.

A deeper understanding about bronchitis can help musicians, aspiring musicians, and even ordinary people avoid or treat this condition.

Acute Bronchitis

Acute bronchitis is the less serious of the two types of bronchitis. It is more common among infants, young children and elderly people. This condition only lasts for about two weeks although its associated cough may last for more weeks.

  • Causes

Most cases of acute bronchitis are caused by the viruses that also cause the common colds and flu. Sometimes, this condition may also be the result of bacterial infection or exposure to irritants. Irritants include dust, tobacco smoke, fumes, air pollution and vapors.

  • Symptoms

Acute bronchitis normally develops after a patient has suffered from a flu or cold. Its primary symptom is persistent cough which may come with clear mucus. Other associated symptoms include wheezing, fatigue, sore throat, fever, body pain, runny or stuffy nose, diarrhea and vomiting.

Chronic Bronchitis

Chronic bronchitis is a serious and long-term condition that can affect anyone of any age group though it is more common among people 45 years old and older. Women as well as smokers are also twice more likely to develop this condition.

  • Causes

Aside from smoking, bacterial and viral infections are also among the primary causes of chronic bronchitis, and the condition may worsen with exposure to the same irritants that contribute to acute bronchitis.

  • Symptoms

One of the most noticeable symptoms of chronic bronchitis is persistent cough with mucus that may sometimes have streaks of blood. Coughing may worsen when exposed to smoke and other irritants. Patients may also suffer from shortness of breath, fatigue, wheezing, swelling of the leg, foot or ankle, headaches and chest discomfort.

Acute and Chronic Bronchitis Remedies

Treatment options for both types of bronchitis are designed to help the patients breathe easily and to alleviate the symptoms.

For acute bronchitis, patients may be recommended to take plenty of rest, increase fluid intake, and take medications to treat the fever and cough. Inhaling steam or using a humidifier may also help relieve the wheezing and loosen mucus. As for chronic bronchitis, your doctor may recommend the use of steroids and bronchodilators to open the airways. In many cases, oxygen therapy has often helped patients breathe easier. Regardless of the type of bronchitis, patients are also advised to avoid irritants, most especially cigarette smoke.

With a clearer understanding about bronchitis, you can now have a greater chance of avoiding this problem when playing wind instruments.