How to Prevent Bronchitis

Bronchitis is a very common condition and millions of cases occur every year. Additionally, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the 4th main cause of deaths in the United States.

Persons who are at higher risk to chronic bronchitis are; infants, elderly people, and young children. For acute bronchitis people in other age groups are at risk.

Persons from all age group can develop chronic bronchitis, but people who are age 45 and older are more likely to develop the condition . Adults who smoke usually develop chronic bronchitis. The probability of females developing chronic bronchitis is more than twice that of the males.

Having a lung or airway disease and smoking increases your risk for bronchitis greatly.

Contact with dust, chemical fumes, and vapor from highly pollutant jobs also increases your risk for the condition. Examples include jobs in coal mining, textile manufacturing, grain handling, and livestock farming.

Air pollution, infections, and allergies can worsen the symptoms of chronic bronchitis, especially if you smoke.

Is Bronchitis Contagious?

You can find more information about how long bronchitis is contagious and other details.

How Is Bronchitis Diagnosed?

Diagnostic of bronchitis is usually made by your doctor based on your signs and symptoms. The doctor may ask about your cough, questions about your cough, such as how long you’ve had it, what you’re coughing up, and how much you cough.

  • Your doctor also will likely ask you about;
  • About your medical history
  • Whether you’ve been exposed to dust, fumes, vapors, or air pollution
  • Whether you’ve recently had a cold or the flu
  • Whether you smoke or spend time around others who smoke

Your doctor will use a stethoscope to listen for wheezing (a whistling or squeaky sound when you breathe) or other abnormal sounds in your lungs. He or she also may:

  • Look at your mucus to see whether you have a bacterial infection
  • Test the oxygen levels in your blood using a sensor attached to your fingertip or toe
  • Recommend a chest x ray, lung function tests, or blood tests

How to Prevent Bronchitis

You can’t always prevent bronchitis. However, there are some steps that can be taken  to lower the risk. The following are a list of important steps:

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  • Try your best to avoid cigarette smoke. if you are a smoker, you need to quit. Persons who smoke or persons who are exposed to second hand smoke have bouts of acute bronchitis more frequently. Additionally, smoke significantly reduces the body’s ability to get rid of viruses and bacteria that causes lung infection.
  • if you work in a polluted area containing irritants such as dust, it is advisable to wear a face mask. There are some specially designed masks available to filter out dangerous chemicals or dust irritants.
  • Try your best to avoid persons who have upper respiratory tract infection, for example cold or Flu, especially  if your immune system is damaged or better yet impaired as, this will make it difficult to protect your lung against infections effectively.
  • During the influenza (flu) and cold season it is very important to wash your hands as often as possible because,catching a cold or flu, increases the risk for getting bronchitis.
  • Have a discussion with your doctor whether you should get a yearly flu shot or vaccine.
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