People with asthma or chronic bronchitis often develop asthmatic bronchitis. Patients who suffer from asthma develop asthmatic bronchitis when their previous respiratory condition becomes severe and persistent, causing permanent obstruction of the respiratory tract. People with asthmatic bronchitis also have the symptoms of chronic bronchitis and previous treatments for asthma are no longer effective in clearing the airways clogged with mucus.
Clinical physical examinations are unable to establish an appropriate diagnose judging only by the symptoms of asthmatic bronchitis. Chronic bronchitis, emphysema and asthmatic bronchitis all generate the same symptoms (cough, difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest discomfort when breathing) and therefore it is very difficult to correctly distinguish between them. In many cases, respiratory illnesses are diagnosed upon patients’ reports of their symptoms, which aren’t very revealing in indicating the exact cause of illness. Asthmatic bronchitis can be effectively diagnosed through the means of laboratory tests and careful physical examinations.
Asthmatic bronchitis is a common respiratory condition among chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. Bronchitis generally causes inflammation and irritation of the respiratory tract. The mucous membrane, bronchial tubes and other organs and tissues involved in the process of breathing become inflamed due to exposure to irritants (dust, pollen, chemicals) or infection with viruses. The respiratory tract has many natural defenses against irritants, but under some circumstances, external agents can break through these barriers.
The bronchial tubes produce mucus, a protective substance that covers the respiratory organs. Also, the mucous membrane, bronchial tubes and other soft tissues are covered with cilia, hair-like prominences that prevent irritants and viruses from reaching inside the lungs. However, prolonged exposure to external agents enables airborne particles and viruses to penetrate these defenses, causing inflammation and infection. The bronchial tubes start to produce an excess of mucus, obstructing the airways and perturbing the process of breathing.
Asthmatic bronchitis is mostly caused by exposure to external irritants rather than viruses and bacteria. It is believed that severe childhood respiratory conditions, weak immune system and hyperactivity of the respiratory tract are all factors that facilitate the development of asthmatic bronchitis. Smokers who suffer from chronic bronchitis are also very exposed to developing asthmatic bronchitis. The most common symptoms of asthmatic bronchitis are cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest discomfort when breathing.
Considering the fact that asthmatic bronchitis mostly involves obstruction of the respiratory tract, medical treatments should be effective in both unblocking the airways and fighting against bacteria. In most cases, medical treatments with antibiotics are accompanied by steroids and inhaled medicines. These medicines are called bronchodilators and they are useful in decongesting the airways clogged with mucus.
Just like chronic bronchitis, asthmatic bronchitis can lead to serious complications (pulmonary bacterial infections) and require ongoing medical treatment. Patients with asthmatic bronchitis are advised to stay away from external irritants (cigarette smoke, pollutants, chemicals, alcohol vapors, dust) as these factors can temporarily aggravate the illness. In some cases, patients with severe asthmatic bronchitis need hospitalization and medical monitoring until their symptoms are ameliorated.