Asthma, asthmatic bronchitis and emphysema are often hard to tease apart because the symptoms are similar. The disorders are common, but therefore researchers are not quite certain how many people specifically suffer from each disorder is hard to tell.
Causes of Asthmatic Bronchitis
We researchers know is that the air passageways are obstructed by irritants and that is what is causing the labored breathing, coughing and wheezing. However, researchers have not determined the exact causes for asthma or asthmatic bronchitis. It could be a number of underlying factors causing this condition such as early infections in childhood, something going wrong with the immune system, and bronchial sensitivity. Among these irritants, one of the biggest irritants is smoking, as asthma sufferers seem to be very susceptible to effects of inhaling smoke.
Cases of Misdiagnosis
Many people are walking around with asthma and do not even know it. Infants can and often do develop asthma before they turn a year old. Children are often diagnosed as having a common cold, or they are misdiagnosed with some other kind of respiratory ailment when it is clearly asthma due to the restricted airflow in the respiratory tract.
Asthma is a disorder that does accompany other diseases such as cystic fibrosis, croup, broncopulmonary dysplasia and more. Some physicians concentrate on these primary disorders and do not treat the secondary condition, which is asthma.
Chronic Asthmatic Bronchitis
Chronic asthmatic bronchitis or chronic bronchitis is a more advanced form of asthma and is believed to occur when the initial or acute stage of asthma has gone unnoticed or untreated. Exposures to environmental toxins and smoking have a significant role in contracting the condition.
Symptoms of chronic asthmatic bronchitis
The symptoms of chronic asthmatic bronchitis are the same as asthma; coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath, as well as heavy sputum, only in this stage they occur more often, last longer and they are more severe in nature.
Sometimes besides the actual symptoms, asthmatic sufferers may also have other symptoms requiring immediate treatment and or hospitalization such as sinusitis or pneumonia. Sinusitis is the inflammation of the sinus or nasal cavity. This could happen because of inhaling toxins from the environment, or it could happen due to an allergy.
Again, pneumonia is an infection of the lungs, which is caused by inhaling foreign toxins from the environment. These toxins could viruses, parasites, or bacteria. Pneumonia is contagious and will spread from one person to another. It can also be a complication of asthmatic bronchitis. When pneumonia is present, the lungs and air sac become filled with liquid and pus. Pneumonia occurs when the body is in a weakened state and unable to fight off the invading microorganisms.
Further complications requiring hospitalization
Other reasons for hospitalization could result from an overdose of medication or a serious reaction to medication. Sometimes patients have a severe reaction to steroid therapy.
Patients can suffer from hyperglycemia (high sugar levels in the blood and urine) or fluid retention and other infections.
What to ask your doctor
If you suffer from asthma ask your doctor to review the following with you:
What is causing the obstruction to the airways?
What is the correlation between asthma and bronchitis, how are they the same how do they differ?
What is emphysema and do I also have it?
Is the diagnosis absolute or do I need further testing?
What is triggering my attacks?
What can I do to avoid asthma attacks?
What medications will I have to take if any?
What are the complications of asthmatic bronchitis?
How do I prevent the complications from happening?
Will I need hospitalization?
Under what conditions will hospitalization are necessary?
Armed with sound information will help you to settle your fears and no just what kind of asthma you have and how to handle it.