Last updated:09-05-2008
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Definition and causes

Chronic bronchitismeans that there is a permanent inflammation of the mucous membranes of the bronchial tubes. Bronkierne is the continuation of the trachea. Their function is to lead the air from the trachea to the lungs and small airways (bronkiolerne). These ends inalveolior lungeblærerne, where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the blood and the air is made (see Lungerne ). Chronic bronchitis give cough and opspyt, which must have gone on for at least three months of a year in at least two years in a row, before the diagnosis can be made.

Chronic bronchitis is one of the most common lung disease in Denmark. The rarely seen in the 60 years of age and typically seen in smokers. Pollution or many years of work in støvfyldte surroundings can also cause chronic bronchitis. The disease is much more common in cities than in rural areas.

Slimhinden in the bronchial tubes are characterized by one hand to have many slimproducerende cells, and by having many cells with fimrehår. Fimrehårene is moving and ensure the transport of mucus with unwanted particles in the throat, where it either swallowed or may spyttes.

Betændelsen in the mucous membranes leads to increased formation of slimproducerende cells as well as the destruction of cells with fimrehår, which means a reduced ability to remove mucus and unwanted particles. This gives rise to bacteria have easier to infect mucous membranes and easier to maintain the infection.

The disease typically starts with several smaller attacks, acute bronchitis

with cough and opspyt of mucus. These attacks damage mucous membranes, and in ophelingen formed arvæv. This means that the small airways forsnævres, and mucous membranes are more exposed by further attacks.

Aobstructive lungelidelsedefined as a condition in the lungs, where luftskiftet established. Chronic bronchitis is to start with, not an obstructive lungelidelse, but over time damage the bronchial tubes so much that luftskiftet reduced, and it develops COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) . By COPD are chronic bronchitis usually with emphysema . COPD is also called forsmokers.

Symptoms of chronic bronchitis

The most common symptoms are:
  • Cough.

  • Opspyt of mucus.

  • Shortness of breath (dyspnea) and pibende breathing.

  • Blåfarvning (cyanosis), skin and lips. This is a result of lack of oxygen and seen only late stage as a sign of advanced disease.

Precautions and diagnosis

As chronic bronchitis most often caused by smoking, it is important to stop smoking If one makes the above symptoms. It is common to smokers experiencing morgenhoste, tobakshoste, but if this exacerbated or breathing difficulties encountered in, you must take it seriously and contact the doctor. Moreover, we must avoid passive smoking, and very polluted or støvfyldte surroundings.

The diagnosis made on the symptoms and sygehistorien that most often will reveal many smoking or work in støvfyldte surroundings. In addition, a X-ray

of the lungs.

Treatment of chronic bronchitis

The treatment of chronic bronchitis aimed mainly against the symptoms. Once formed arvæv, the damage can not be restored. If people still smoke, can be offered to help with rehabilitation.
Upper respiratory tract infections (such as cold

and influenza and others) may worsen the disease further. That is why it is important to try to avoid people who nyser and hosts, to the extent possible. Get an upper respiratory tract infection, it must be dealt with immediately, so that the risk of spreading to the bronchi minimized.

The treatment of symptoms can be done in several ways. First, given medicine, which extends the bronchial tubes (afslapper musculature of the bronchial tubes), thereby allowing more air to reach the lungs. In addition, antibiotic treatment associated with bacterial infections. Sometimes also given antibiotic treatment in cases of viral infections, although this does not immediately help. This is linked to that of a viral infection, the immune system weakened and the risk of development of inf

It is important to try to maintain good respiratory function. This can be done partly by creating different åndedrætsøvelser (lungefysioterapi), and to exercise as far as is possible.

In advanced disease, and the resulting permanent lack of oxygen, offered the administration of oxygen, and many with chronic bronchitis have oxygen at home. This is offered only to people who have stopped smoking, as it may be dangerous to smoke in the vicinity of an oxygen.

We must never take cough medicine, as this leads to slimen will be cooler, which may aggravate the disease further.

Select and complications

As mentioned the disease often begins with several attacks of shorter duration. However, the symptoms become more permanent. Often, formed arvæv and small airways forsnævres (obstructed) permanent. In such cases, the person developed so-called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) , Also calledsmokers. This is serious and lead to gradually lower the air gradually when the lungs. People with COPD develop over time, severe shortness of breath and blåfarvning of skin and lips (cyanosis) due to a pronounced lack of oxygen, which eventually can be fatal.

Chronic bronchitis complicated by the often repeated bacterial infections of the bronchial tubes ( acute bronchitis ). In these, there is an acute deterioration of the obstructive pulmonary disease. There is also a high risk of these infections spreading to lungevævet and pneumonia . Pneumonia may result in the destruction of lung tissue and thus the formation of arvæv. This means that the flow of blood in the lungs compromised and the longer term, blood pressure rises in lungekredsløbet , Which can lead to right sided heart failure . The destruction of lung tissue can also cause lungeemfysem . Furthermore, chronic bronchitis associated with increased incidence of lung cancer . This is probably a reflection of many years of smoking, rather than a genuine link between chronic bronchitis and lung cancer.

Especially at very reduced lung function (and COPD), chronic bronchitis so associated with an increased mortality. The development may be hindered by smoking cessation . If you stop smoking, and the disease is not too advanced, then, can we live many years with chronic bronchitis and have good quality of life without many restrictions.

See related articles:

Chronic Obstruktiv Lungesygdom (COPD)


Smoking and smoking cessation

Prevention of COPD

Prevent disease with smoking cessation

Prevent disease through exercise and weight loss

Related articles:

Acute Bronchitis
Allergic alveolitis
ARDS (Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome)
Bronkiektasi (Bronkieudvidelse)
Chronic Bronchitis
COPD (Chronic Obstruktiv Lungesygdom, Rygerlunger)
Empyem in lungehulen (Lungehulebetændelse)
Interstitielle lung diseases
Lung absces
Lung cancer
Lungs and respiratory passages
Pneumoconioses, Asbestosis
Pneumonia (Pneumonia)
Pneumothorax (Lungecollapse, Ruptured lung)
Sarcoidosis (Morbus Boeck)
Water in the lungs (Pulmonary oedema)



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