Easy to say ” I have a cough “, but how, which, what kind , dry, oily? Is it temporary or does it last a long time? Does it get worse at night or in the morning?
In medical jargon we speak of bronchitis , and the classification is complex, depending on the cause, symptoms and duration. Let’s clarify and try to classify the types of bronchitis schematically.
Bronchitis – what it is
Bronchitis is the inflammation of the bronchi , or the pulmonary ducts through which gases are exchanged during breathing. The inflammation can have different causes: bacterial, viral, atmospheric, and the bronchi react, by defense, to these external agents producing mucus ( phlegm) , which must be eliminated by coughing.
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Types of bronchitis
The different types of bronchitis are distinguished by duration, symptoms and causes.
Here is the list of the main types of bronchitis :
> Acute bronchitis : it is an inflammation of the bronchi generally caused by viruses or bacteria, or also by other environmental factors such as irritants, smoke and pollution. An episode of acute bronchitis can last up to 20 consecutive days, while if the episodes persist and tend to occur several times during the year, we speak of chronic bronchitis, characterized by a frequent cough with sputum (catarrhal form).
> Chronic bronchitis : it is a very common and debilitating lung disease. Due to constant irritation , due to persistent atmospheric agents or cigarette smoke , there is an excessive production of mucus in the glands. The mucus produced is expelled from the body through coughing, which in this case is continuous and chronic. Chronic bronchitis is usually part of a more complex syndrome: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD .
> Asthmatic or asthmatic bronchitis : it is a particular form of bronchitis that combines inflammation of the airways with excessive production of mucus, asthma, or a reduction in the diameter of the airways that prevents proper gas exchange during breathing.
> Tuberculous bronchitis : it is the consequence of an infection caused by mycobacteria that cause tuberculosis. Now thanks to vaccinations it has now been practically eradicated in our country.
> Fibrinous bronchitis : it is a form of bronchitis characterized by the expectoration, during coughing attacks, of mucus in which there are fibrin filaments. Fibrin is the protein involved in blood clotting.
> Bronchiectasis : these are hereditary (genetic) or acquired bronchial malformations, which cause a series of persistent symptoms of cough, phlegm and frequent respiratory infections (bronchitis and pneumonia).
> Interstitial bronchitis : a type of bronchitis that affects the pulmonary interstitium or the structure that constitutes the “skeleton” of the lung and supports the airways and pulmonary vessels up to the periphery, at the level of the visceral pleura. In severe forms of the disease there is a complete subversion of the pulmonary structure, associated with alterations in the capillary vessels.
> Infectious bronchitis : bronchitis is infectious when it is of viral or bacterial origin, or if it is a chronic weathering bronchitis that has developed a bacterial or viral superinfection.