What Causes Bronchitis

Acute Bronchitis

Acute bronchitis is caused by lung irritants and infection.The same viruses that causes the flu and cold are mostly the main cause of acute bronchitis. Occasionally, bacteria can also cause acute bronchitis.

There are Substances that can irritate your airways and lungs, thus raising the risk factor for acute bronchitis.

Some examples are; exposure to tobacco smoke, fumes, dust, vapors, or air pollution while inhaling, raises your risk for acute bronchitis. These lung and airway irritants usually make the symptoms worse.   

Exposure to a high level of dust or fumes, such as explosion or a big fire, also may lead to acute bronchitis.  

Chronic Bronchitis

Chronic bronchitis is caused by repeatedly breathing in fumes and other lung irritants that irritate and damage airway and lung tissue. Smoking is the number one cause of chronic bronchitis.

Intake of air pollution, fumes and dust from the work place or environment can also lead to chronic bronchitis.

People who have chronic bronchitis goes through periods when the signs and symptoms become much more severe. During this period, they may also obtain viral or bacterial bronchitis.




Symptoms of Bronchitis

Most medical disorders evidently shows early signs and symptoms, especially bronchitis, which is a respiratory illness that affects the lives of many worldwide.The symptoms of the condition are usually mistaken for the symptoms of a common cold and flu. However, accurate diagnostic of the condition are made by many doctors worldwide based on the signs their patients describes and tests carried out in medical labs.

The symptoms of bronchitis can be split into two subdivisions: symptoms of acute bronchitis and symptoms of chronic bronchitis.

Acute bronchitis is an acute illness with coughing being the main symptom, and at least one other symptom such as wheezing, sputum production, or chest pain.

Other symptoms may include:

  • sore throat
  • discolouration of the mucus (yellow or green)
  • headache
  • runny or blocked nose
  • aches and pains
  • tiredness
  • fever

The coughing may persist, even when other symptoms have gone.

Chronic bronchitis: symptoms of chronic bronchitis, often known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), may include wheezing and shortness of breath. The cough is usually worse in the morning and the mucus may have a yellow or green discolouration and specks of blood.

Other symptoms may include:

  • wheezing
  • a persistent cough
  • increasing breathlessness when moving
  • recurring chest infections
  • Increased mucus production
  • fatigue
  • sore throat
  • headaches
  • blocked nose

It is common to have several flare-ups a year and the symptoms are usually worse in the winter.

Asthmatic bronchitis: The symptoms of asthmatic bronchitis are a mix of the symptoms of asthma and bronchitis. You may experience some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Wheezing
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Increased mucus production Chest tightness

Seeking Advice When Showing Symptoms of Bronchitis

In the case of acute bronchitis, which is very common, the symptoms of bronchitis can usually be treated effectively without the need for professional medical assistance.

However, if you have high fever for a prolonged time, you cough up blood, or have other severe symptoms, you should seek medical advice. In the event of chest pains, or if you have trouble breathing, seek medical help promptly. If you suffer from chronic bronchitis, you should make sure you are seen by a doctor on a regular basis, as you are in danger of developing heart problems as well as more serious lung diseases.

Learn how to treat bronchitis HERE


What is Bronchitis?

Bronchitis is a condition in which the bronchial tubes (Bronchi), (airways leading from your mouth to your lungs) become inflamed. These tubes carry air to your lungs. Specifically bronchitis is when the lining of the bronchial tubes becomes infected then the airways become irritated and thick mucus forms in them. The mucus plugs up the airways and makes it hard for air to get into your lungs.

The Two Main Types of Bronchitis :

Chronic Bronchitis 

Chronic bronchitis is a lung infection that persists over the course of several years. Additionally, this is a chronic inflammatory condition in the lungs that causes the airways leading to the lungs (respiratory passages) to be irritated and swollen. This causes thick mucus to form, which damages the lungs. Additionally, Chronic Bronchitis is one type of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

Acute Bronchitis 

Acute bronchitis is usually caused by virus and bacteria, which infects the air passage between the nose and the lungs. This type of bronchitis usually last up to ten (10) days. However, the cough that comes with it may last some weeks after the contamination has gone. 




Bronchitis can make you feel really tired, because it affects the lungs. So it is very wise to take some time and rest, thus giving your lungs time to heal. 


You should keep your body hydrated at all times, and drinking fluids with warm temperature can help sore throat.

* Chicken soup and herbal tea are very helpful.


3. List of agents which should be used for symptomatic treatment of bronchitis include the following:

  • Central cough suppressants (eg, codeine and dextromethorphan) – Short-term symptomatic relief of coughing in acute and chronic bronchitis
  • Short-acting beta-agonists (eg, ipratropium bromide and theophylline) – Control of bronchospasm, dyspnea, and chronic cough in stable patients with chronic bronchitis; a long-acting beta-agonist plus an inhaled corticosteroid can also be offered to control chronic cough
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – Treatment of constitutional symptoms of acute bronchitis, including mild-to-moderate pain
  • Antitussives/expectorants (eg, guaifenesin) – Treatment of cough, dyspnea, and wheezing
  • Mucolytics – Management of moderate-to-severe COPD, especially in winter

Among otherwise healthy individuals, antibiotics have not demonstrated any consistent benefit in acute bronchitis. The following recommendations have been made with respect to treatment of acute bronchitis with antibiotics:

  • Acute bronchitis should not be treated with antibiotics unless co-morbid conditions pose a risk of serious complications
  • Antibiotic therapy is recommended in elderly (>65 years) patients with acute cough if they have had a hospitalization in the past year, have diabetes mellitus or congestive heart failure, or are receiving steroids
  • Antibiotic therapy is recommended in patients with acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis

In stable patients with chronic bronchitis, long-term prophylactic therapy with antibiotics is not indicated.

Influenza vaccination may reduce the incidence of upper respiratory tract infections and, subsequently, reduce the incidence of acute bacterial bronchitis. It may be less effective in preventing illness than in preventing serious complications and death.


Coughing is very important as it helps to get rid off the infection inside your lungs.Do not take over-the-counter cough suppressant without consulting your doctor as it may prevent your lungs from healing.

Additionally, if coughing gets extremely painful and persistent, please consult your doctor. 


avoid areas of  excessive pollution and smoking as these can lead to painful coughing and also cause the lung healing process to take longer.



Apply heat to your chest, especially when coughing as bronchitis can make your chest feel painful and heavy. Simple task such as; taking a warm bath or using a warm towel will  help.


After a week or a week and few days bronchitis usually heals itself. however, there are instances where the lungs are unable to expel the infection inside, so it is very important to consult with your doctor if you are experiencing any of the following;

  • If you are coughing so much you can’t sleep at night.
  • if you have a fever that lasts more than a couple of days.if you
  • if you feel light-headed or have trouble getting enough oxygen.
  • If you cough up blood.
  • If you notice an increase in the amount or thickness of the phlegm you cough up.
  • if your coughing lasts more than a week, and doesn’t seem to be going away.
  • If you have a pre-existing condition that could affect your body’s ability to take care of the infection on its own.

8. It is very important to know whether you have chronic bronchitis.

Chronic bronchitis is a lung infection that persists over the course of several years. Additionally, this is a chronic inflammatory condition in the lungs that causes the airways leading to the lungs (respiratory passages) to be irritated and swollen. This causes thick mucus to form, which damages the lungs.

Learn how to prevent bronchitis HERE

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How Is Bronchitis Diagnosed?

Diagnostic of bronchitis is usually made by your doctor based on your signs and symptoms. The doctor may ask about your cough, such as how long you’ve had it, what you’re coughing up, and how much you cough.

  • Your doctor also will likely ask you;
  • About your medical history
  • Whether you’ve been exposed to dust, fumes, vapors, or air pollution
  • Whether you’ve recently had a cold or the flu
  • Whether you smoke or spend time around others who smoke

Your doctor will use a stethoscope to listen for wheezing (a whistling or squeaky sound when you breathe) or other abnormal sounds in your lungs. He or she may also:

  • Look at your mucus to see whether you have a bacterial infection
  • Test the oxygen levels in your blood using a sensor attached to your fingertip or toe
  • Recommend a chest x-ray, lung function tests, or blood tests

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Source; (National Institutes of Health)

Who Is at Risk for Bronchitis?

Bronchitis is a very common condition and millions of cases occur every year. Additionally, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the 4th main cause of deaths in the United States.

Persons who are at higher risk to chronic bronchitis are; infants, elderly people, and young children. For acute bronchitis people in other age groups are at risk.

Persons from all age group can develop chronic bronchitis, but people who are age 45 and older are more likely to develop the condition . Adults who smoke usually develop chronic bronchitis. The probability of females developing chronic bronchitis is more than twice that of the males.   

Having a lung or airway disease and smoking increases your risk for bronchitis greatly.

Contact with dust, chemical fumes, and vapor from highly pollutant jobs also increases your risk for the condition. Examples include jobs in coal mining, textile manufacturing, grain handling, and livestock farming.

Air pollution, infections, and allergies can worsen the symptoms of chronic bronchitis, especially if you smoke.


Source;(National Institutes of Health)

How to Prevent Bronchitis

You can’t always prevent bronchitis. However, there are some steps that can be taken  to lower the risk. The following are a list of important steps:


  • Try your best to avoid cigarette smoke. if you are a smoker, you need to quit. Persons who smoke or persons who are exposed to second hand smoke have bouts of acute bronchitis more frequently. Additionally, smoke significantly reduces the body’s ability to get rid of viruses and bacteria that causes lung infection. 
  • if you work in a polluted area containing irritants such as dust, it is advisable to wear a face mask. There are some specially designed masks available to filter out dangerous chemicals or dust irritants.  
  • Try your best to avoid persons who have upper respiratory tract infection, for example cold or Flu, especially  if your immune system is damaged or better yet impaired as, this will make it difficult to protect your lung against infections effectively.
  • During the influenza (flu) and cold season it is very important to wash your hands as often as possible because,catching a cold or flu, increases the risk for getting bronchitis.
  • Have a discussion with your doctor whether you should get a yearly flu shot or vaccine.


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1. Can you qualify for life insurance with Chronic Bronchitis? And if so…

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Can Chronic Bronchitis Persons Qualify for life Insurance?

Yes, most individuals with Chronic Bronchitis will be able to qualify for traditional life insurance, the type of insurance which requires a medical exam.

However, these types of approvals can only be offered by life insurance companies that are accustomed to high risk life insurance cases.


If Chronic Bronchitis is diagnosed early and the prevention method implemented becomes successful, best case scenario the person may qualify for the best case rating at a“Mild Substandard” Insurance Policy

Cases with more persistent coughing and occasional fever and fatigue, but no serious complication to your lungs moderate case scenario the person may qualify for a “Medium Substandard” Insurance Policy .

Severe Case, with severe and recent complications such as presence of blood-tinged sputum that occurs more frequently than more than three months, the best approval you may obtain is at a “Severe Substandard” Insurance Policy

additionally, you may have difficulty qualifying for traditional coverage, but could be eligible for a graded death benefit policy.

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