Anytime you have trouble breathing, it can be annoying. When you have a serious challenge catching your breath, it can be frightening. Some chronic bronchitis symptoms may have you wondering whether or not you will live to see tomorrow. Knowing what they are, taking the proper precautions and, above all, staying calm will help allay your fears.
What is Chronic Bronchitis?
The Mayo Clinic identifies chronic bronchitis as a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes coughing, difficulty in breathing, producing mucus or sputum in the lungs, and wheezing. If you are coughing daily and producing mucus at least three months out of the year for two consecutive years, you may have chronic bronchitis.
Exposure to smoking only increases the problem and exacerbates the damage already present in the lungs. Significant damage to the lungs is one of the indicators of COPD. Symptoms of it do not usually appear until after the lungs have been impaired.
Chronic Bronchitis Symptoms
Perhaps the most frightening symptoms of chronic bronchitis are tightness in the chest and the feeling of breathing through a tiny straw. Breathing can become a challenge, as inflamed bronchial tubes become narrow. The production of mucus further complicates matters, clogging the airways and causing you to cough in order to clear them.
Struggling for breath during one of these episodes can cause fatigue and make your chest feel sore. Coughing causes discomfort, and it seems impossible to find a relaxing position. You may feel restless and irritable as a result of fighting for each breath.
The discomfort in the chest area and shortness of breath can also cause you to wonder if you are having heart issues. This can be very disconcerting; however, these are common symptoms for both acute and chronic bronchitis.
When Chronic Bronchitis Symptoms Get Serious
Most people will go see a doctor if they don’t feel well, however, there are those who don’t feel a doctor is necessary, except under the most extreme conditions. If you have not been treated or diagnosed with bronchitis, but you have the symptoms and they get worse, you need to see a doctor.
It is possible that you may only have a chest cold. If your symptoms subside within a week or two you don’t have much to worry about, even though your cough may continue for several weeks. However, if you are a smoker, or you are exposed to smoke or heavy air pollution and have symptoms, you may have chronic bronchitis. Coughing up mucus and trouble breathing for three or more months in each of two consecutive years most likely indicative of a chronic condition. Consult with a doctor if you cough up blood or if your cough lasts more than three weeks. You should also see one if you are having shortness of breath and/or wheezing, or if your coughing is preventing you from sleeping, Chronic bronchitis symptoms can be difficult to live with, but you can learn to manage life with this disease. DM Clinical Research can help you find the most efficient procedures for making your breathing as comfortable as possible.