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Bronchitis (cont.)

Chronic Bronchitis Prevention

  • Stop smoking.
  • The dangers of secondhand smoke are well documented. Children should never be exposed to secondhand smoke.
  • Avoid exposure to irritants. Proper protection in the workplace is vital to preventing exposure.
  • Avoiding long exposure to air pollution from heavy traffic may help prevent bronchitis.
  • Stay away from others you know have a cold or the flu.
  • Wash the hands frequently to prevent the spread of infection.

Chronic Bronchitis Prognosis

  • Chronic bronchitis can cause symptoms for prolonged periods.
  • In many cases, the symptoms of chronic bronchitis can be controlled with strict adherence to treatments recommended by your health-care professional.
  • Smoking cessation is a critical component in determining an individual's ultimate prognosis.
  • In some cases, the symptoms will progressively worsen and become debilitating from the repeated exacerbations of the disease.
  • Untreated or poorly managed chronic bronchitis can result in permanent and severe damage to the lungs.

When to Seek Medical Care for Chronic Bronchitis

When to call the doctor for chronic bronchitis

Chronic bronchitis can be diagnosed by your doctor. If you have been diagnosed with chronic bronchitis, see doctor if the following symptoms occur:

  • Increased shortness of breath
  • Chest pain with cough
  • Severe coughing that interferes with rest or sleep
  • Wheezing
  • Fever
  • Coughing up blood, rust-colored sputum, or an increased amount of green phlegm

When to go to the hospital for chronic bronchitis

Go to a hospital's emergency department immediately if the following symptoms occur:

  • Severe difficulty breathing with or without wheezing
  • Chest pain

REFERENCES:

COPD Foundation.

American Lung Association. Understanding Chronic Bronchitis.
<http://www.lung.org/lung-disease/bronchitis-chronic/understanding-chronic-bronchitis.html>


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/11/2017
Medical Editor:

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

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Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes, or bronchi.

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