The respiratory or pulmonary system in a humanbeing is a vital system, since it provides the oxygen necessary for survival. The major organ of respiratory system is the lungs. However,respiratory system is comprised also of two parts; the upper respiratory tractand lower respiratory tract. The upper respiratory tract includes nose,pharynx, larynx and trachea or windpipe. The lower respiratory tract is made ofbronchi, alveoli and the lungs. The trachea branches into two bronchi, which further arebranched into bronchioles that carry the air into the lungs. Alveoli are tiny sacswith thin walls, which are responsible for the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen.
Bronchitis is the inflammation ofthe bronchi. When the inflammation occurs, the excessive mucous is produced andit blocks the airways. Therefore, shortness of breath and cough occur. Chronic bronchitis is diagnosed whencough, phlegm and mucus last more than three months in two successive years. Acuteexacerbation of chronic bronchitis refers to the chronic bronchitis whose symptomsare more frequent are severe.
Causes of acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis
This condition may be caused due to the exposure tocertain toxic chemicals and allergens or irritants, such as pollution, cigarettesmoke and pollen. Furthermore, acute exacerbation of chronicbronchitis can also be caused by viral or bacterial infections, since the excessmucus, which is produced in the airways, is suitable for the overgrowth of both,viruses and bacteria.
Symptoms of acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis
The symptoms of acute exacerbation of chronicbronchitis are the same symptoms that appear when chronic bronchitis is in question, although more aggravated. Therefore, people who suffer from thiscondition may experience severe cough, difficulty in breathing and chestcongestion. Furthermore, fever, wheezing and shortness of breathmay also appear as the symptoms of acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis. When this condition is caused due to bacteria, then mucusis thicker and greenish or yellow in color. Mucus can even contain bloodsometimes.
Treatment of acute exacerbation of chronicbronchitis
Acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis caused bybacteria is usually treated by antibiotics. Furthermore, this condition is alsotreated with cough suppressants, oxygen therapy, corticosteroids andbronchodilators. Corticosteroids are used in order to reduce the inflammationof the bronchi, while bronchodilators are good for opening up the air passages. Cough suppressants are used to relieve the severecoughing, while oxygen therapy is used when the level of oxygen in the blood islow.