The Facts about Asthma and Bronchitis

Have you ever had bronchitis? If so, then you probably know that this is a very common condition that results when your airways become inflamed, either from a viral or bacteria infection or some other type of irritant.

Bronchitis can cause excess mucus to form in your airways, making it difficult for air to move in and out. It can also cause excessive coughing. For people with asthma, these symptoms can trigger or even worsen their existing respiratory condition.

Different Types of Bronchitis

When bronchitis comes on suddenly as the result of a viral infection or bacteria, this is usually called acute bronchitis and sometimes occurs along with a headache, fever and feeling of being unwell. Chronic bronchitis, on the other hand, may appear in a milder form and can linger for an extended period of time. It may also reoccur often. This latter version is sometimes caused by smoking or exposure to certain irritants or fumes. In either the acute or chronic state, when asthma and bronchitis co-exist, you may find yourself feeling worse than you would if you had either condition on its own.

Research Findings on Asthma and Bronchitis

Consider the results of one study, which was published in the medical journal Lancet in March of 2002, which explored the link between asthma and rhinovirus infections. To this end, researchers from the UK looked at couples in which one partner had allergic asthma (which typically runs in families) and the other person was healthy, in an effort to determine whether the illness presented itself differently in different situations.

Interestingly enough, the presence of asthma didn't seem to make any significant difference in the likelihood of getting the rhinovirus. However, the severity of the illness was greater in people who had allergic asthma. The asthmatics were twice as likely to have severe symptoms when they did get sick, and the rhinovirus also progressed into lower respiratory track infections more frequently than it did in their otherwise healthy mates. In addition, the symptoms also lasted longer in asthmatics.

Take Care

Wonder what this means for you? This information can serve as a reminder to take extra care this winter to avoid exposure to germs that can cause bronchitis and other illnesses.  It's also important to steer clear of smoke and other irritants.

Also remember that keeping yourself well is always the best protection, so make an effort to get enough sleep and also eat a healthy, balanced diet to help your immune system remain strong. In addition, take your asthma medications as direction and pay attention to any changes in your symptoms so you can adjust your dose right away to help head off any serious complications.


Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

Kids Health/Nemours

Lancet Medical Journal

Medical News Today