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Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Bronchitis

Chronic bronchitis is characterized by the swelling or inflammation of the airways or bronchi present in the upper respiratory system. This condition is frequently accompanied by the overproduction of mucus. This can manifest with various symptoms, and is usually hard to confirm diagnostically for the reason that the physical manifestations are so similar to other illnesses that involve the respiratory system in general and the lungs in particular. At present, 1 in 20 Americans currently suffers from chronic bronchitis. Though the documented cases have been slowly dropping since the 1970s, the number of individuals afflicted with chronic bronchitis is still alarming as it is more often than not fatal. The following are some frequently occurring signs and symptoms of chronic bronchitis:

Coughing – Cough set off by chronic bronchitis is commonly firstseen in the early hours of morning, soon after getting up from bed. The individual will most likely {cough|get a coughing attack) lasting up to several hours soon after waking up. As the illness further develops, this coughing will last for longer into the day, and in some cases will never go away.

Shortness of Breath – This symptom frequently occurs in the majority of individuals experiencing chronic bronchitis. This can possibly be aggravated by overworking or even slight activity. As the illness further develops this symptom may even be triggered by something as simple as covering a small distance, or climbing down some stairs.

Respiratory Infections – Chronic bronchitis is more often than not the causative factor of respiratory infections. Since a surplus of mucus is produced by the body in patients with respiratory infections, this this results in the upper respiratory system becoming very moist and warm. This can easily be some sort of hotbed for infection, and causes infections that are very tough to cure once they are contracted.

Fatigue – Fatigue or extreme exhaustion is commonly felt by people with chronic bronchitis. These patients tire easily just after getting up in the morning, or at other random hours during the day. This is owing to the fact that the amount of oxygen in their serum is exceedingly reduced compared to those who don’t have chronic bronchitis.

Swelling of the Legs and Ankles – Because chronic bronchitis can usually lead to more complications, due to a lack of oxygen present in the blood, it may cause the skin to turn blue or cause the extremities to swell in the later stages of chronic bronchitis. Swollen legs are also a symptom of congestive heart failure, thus people experiencing this symptom should visit a doctor right away.

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