CHRONIC BRONCHITIS – WHAT HAPPENS
Chronic bronchitis is a non- infectious disease but usually occurs as a result of prolonged exposure to the airways to any irritant like smoke, dust, tobacco.
Constant exposure to these irritants cause :
- Irritation of the cells lining the airways causing loss of cilia
- Increased mucous production which clogs (or obstructs) the airway
This inflammation and excess mucus combine to cause a cough that produces sputum almost every day. When this irritation continues for years together there is swelling of breathing tubes (bronchial wall) and increased mucous, which restricts air flow causing shortness of breath. Because of ciliary loss the mucus can not be cleared from the airways. If chronic bronchitis is not properly treated the irritated airways become an ideal place for infections that can endanger the lungs.