Bronchitis occurs when the bronchial tubes, which facilitate air flow to the lungs, suffer from inflammation. The CDC reports that in 2016, over 8.9 million cases of chronic bronchitis were reported in the United States, and the majority of these patients were over the age of 75.
Though not as deadly as other diseases, it significantly affects your respiratory system. So itâ€™s important to be on the watch for the following symptoms...
10. Chest Discomfort
Having inflamed airways makes breathing extremely difficult, since less air travels through to the lungs. As a result, bronchitis patients feel a tight, sharp, or stabbing pain in the chest, specifically the area behind the breastbone.
However, this is just one of the symptoms wrought by swollen bronchial tubes...
9. Shortness of Breath
Like chest pain, shortness of breath is one of this conditionâ€™s most noticeable symptoms. It's also caused by limited air flow through the affected airways. Options like taking medication or using humidifiers often relieve bouts of breathlessness.
Donâ€™t let the seeming ordinariness of our next symptom keep your guard down...
8. Productive Coughing
Coughing caused by bronchitis starts as dry, but as the days pass, it will start to bring up a yellow or grayish-colored phlegm. Those who have chronic bronchitis may also find blood in their phlegm at times. In any case when someone coughs up blood, itâ€™s important to seek out medical attention right away.
On the other hand, clogging can be seen in other parts of the bodyâ€¦
7. Nasal Congestion
Colds are also common with acute (sudden, short-term) bronchitis patients. Oftentimes, itâ€™s the stuffy and runny nose kind of cold, which can make patients feel twice as uncomfortable. Sometimes it can cause a throat sore, which can make speaking likewise difficult.
Congestion causes the strangest symptoms at timesâ€¦
Wheezing is that whistling sound that one makes while breathing under strained circumstances. In this case, it accompanies the shortness of breath wrought by inflamed bronchial tubes.
Bronchitis sometimes can keep you up all night...
Sleep can help you recover from infections by boosting the immune system. However, reduced breathing capacity, coupled with the other symptoms, disrupt what should be a peaceful nightâ€™s rest. As such, sleeplessness can hinder the immune system in addition to making the entire experience more miserable.
Itâ€™s really no surprise that this next symptom happens more often when sleeplessness occurs...
Dr. Jen Tan, who specializes in immune systems, says that the vicious cycle of fatigue in bronchitis occurs because of two combined factors. Firstly, the constant coughing, which could disrupt sleep. Secondly, the sleeplessness itself, which can slow down recovery and exacerbate other symptoms.
The following symptom, while unpleasant, simply is the bodyâ€™s way of combating the infection...
Fevers are a result of the body trying to battle the virus that causes the infection. Specifically, certain viruses and bacteria cannot survive in hot temperatures; the body knows this fact, and cranks up the heat in an attempt to kill the infection-causing substances. Adult patients with fevers of 103 F (39.4 C) and above should seek medical care immediately.
Although bronchitis is a result of inflammation in the chest region, pain can be felt elsewhere in the body, tooâ€¦
2. Back & Muscle Pain
Aside from common bronchial chest pains, bronchitis patients may feel muscle aches and back pain from time to time.
Our last symptom is also a sign that patients should call a medical provider immediatelyâ€¦
1. Sudden Weight Loss
Since breathing is more difficult under bronchitis, the body takes a lot more effort to do so. This extra effort can also burn up more calories. Other symptoms can also affect the appetite. As such, patients often experience significant weight loss. This symptom could indicate that the patient is not getting proper nutrition, which in turn can hamstring the immune system.