What Causes Bronchitis?

September 21, 2021

What Causes Bronchitis?

Bronchitis affects more than 3 million Americans every year, and it’s one of the most common forms of respiratory illness. Those who have underlying health conditions, like asthma, are more susceptible to get bronchitis, but it can affect anyone at any time.

Our AFC Urgent Care Mooresville team provides more helpful information on bronchitis below, so keep reading.

What Is Bronchitis?

Bronchitis is when the bronchial tubes, the air-carrying tubes in the lungs, become infected and make too much mucus. Additionally, there are two types of bronchitis: chronic and acute.

Acute bronchitis typically lasts less than 10 days, but the coughing can continue for several weeks. Chronic bronchitis, on the other hand, can last for several weeks and usually comes back. This condition is more common in people with asthma or emphysema.

Common Bronchitis Symptoms

  • Cough
  • Production of mucus (sputum), which can be clear, white, yellowish-gray or green in color—rarely, it may be streaked with blood
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Slight fever and chills
  • Chest discomfort

Is Bronchitis Contagious?

Acute and chronic bronchitis are different. Acute bronchitis is contagious because it’s usually caused by a short-term viral infection that can spread from person to person. The infection can spread through mucus droplets discharged when you cough, sneeze or talk.

Chronic bronchitis, on the other hand, isn’t contagious. This is because it’s not caused by an infection. Rather, it’s caused by long-term inflammation, which is usually a result of irritants such as smoking, and inflammation can’t be spread.

Ways to Lower Your Risk of Developing Bronchitis

  • Make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose or eyes if you’re around people with bronchitis.
  • Avoid sharing glasses or utensils.
  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly, particularly during cold season.
  • Stop smoking or avoid secondhand smoke.
  • Eat a balanced diet to keep your body as healthy as possible.
  • Get vaccines for the flu, COVID-19, pneumonia and whooping cough.
  • Limit exposure to air irritants such as dust, chemical fumes and other pollutants. Wear a mask, if necessary.

Think you may have bronchitis? Our AFC Urgent Care Mooresville team can provide treatment, so don’t hesitate to stop by today!

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