Bronchitis is an inflammation of the lining in the bronchial tubes. This is the airways that connect the windpipe (trachea) to the lungs.
Acute bronchitis is usually a short illness that commonly develops from a severe
cold or following other viral infections.
Chronic bronchitis can last months or years and can be cause by several factors, that include cigarrete smoking, air pollution and industrial dusts and fumes.
The main sign of bronchitis is a cough that brings up yellowish-gray or green mucus (sputum) and trouble breathing.
Diagnosis procedures may include:
- Complete medical history and physical examination
- Peak flow monitoring (PFM) - a device that measures the fastest speed in which a person can blow air out of the lungs.
- Arterial blood gas (ABG) - a blood test that is used to evaluate the lungs' ability to provide blood with oxygen and remove carbon dioxide, and to measure the pH (acidity) of the blood.
- Pulse oximetry - an oximeter is a small machine that measures the amount of oxygen in the blood.
- Sputum culture
- Chest X-rays
Treatment may include:
- Oral medications
- Bronchodilators for inhaled medications
- Oxygen supplementation from portable containers
- Lung surgery