Chronic bronchitis is caused by the long-term inflammation of the airways. This causes excess mucus production. In addition, there is a higher risk of lung infection. Those who have chronic bronchitis are also diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD, or chronic bronchitis, often occurs through periodic flare-ups. A chronic bronchitis flare-up or exacerbation is a sudden worsening of symptoms. These flare-ups are generally preceded by the following signs:
Signs of chronic bronchitis flare-up
The signs of a flare-up can last for two days. In some cases, it lasts for several days. The intensity of the symptoms is usually more severe than usual. A person may have to go to the emergency room if they experience a full-blown exacerbation during a flare-up. Some of the common signs that indicate an incomplete flare-up include the following:
- Wheezing and noisy breathing sounds
- Coughing accompanied by more mucus than usual
- Change in the color of mucus
- Trouble catching breath
- Discomfort in the chest
- Tiredness or fatigue
Some other signs include the following:
- Unable to take deep breaths
- Trouble sleeping
- Headaches after waking up
- Stomach pain
- Frequent bouts of anxiousness
- Swollen ankles and legs
- Unable to think clearly
- Frequent mood changes
- Pale skin
- Changes in nail and lip color
- Difficulty talking
Tips to manage signs of a chronic bronchitis flare-up
Here are a few tips to manage chronic bronchitis symptoms:
One should not panic as soon as they start experiencing the first symptom. This can help prevent further worsening of the symptoms.
Oral treatment options given by the doctor for flare-ups must be taken as directed.
An effective way to slow down breathing and save energy is to use the technique of pursed lip breathing. This will help to relax as well.
If the symptoms do not improve after 48 hours or worsen further, seeking immediate medical care or going to the emergency room is crucial.
Ways to prevent chronic bronchitis flare-up symptoms
Flare-ups generally occur due to infections and other triggers. Therefore, it is important to protect oneself against them. This can be done by following these tips:
- Make healthy lifestyle choices, such as eating nutritious food and balanced meals.
- Practice a regular exercise routine.
- Follow a strict sleep schedule.
- Wash one’s hands often to lower the risk of infection.
- Avoid touching the nose, mouth, and eyes.
- Stay away from crowded and enclosed spaces whenever possible.
- Avoid products with strong smells emitting harmful fumes, such as household cleaning products, scented candles, perfumes, etc.