Allergies CAN cause bronchitis
When your bronchial tubes are inflamed, it often leads to bronchitis. This is a respiratory illness that affects millions of people, especially high-risk groups such as infants, children and seniors. If you have a nagging cough lasting about 10 to 20 days that produces mucus, wheezing, chest discomfort, shortness of breath and possibly a low fever, you may have bronchitis. This medical condition is also called acute bronchitis, which results from a viral or bacterial infection and in the case of chronic bronchitis; the bronchial tubes are persistently irritated by allergens.
Causes and Risk Factors for Bronchitis
The flu and cold viruses and bacteria are the most common causes of bronchitis. However, you may also get a chronic bronchial infection from exposure to allergens and air pollutants. These may include tobacco and cigarette smoke, chemical fumes and dust. People who work in some industrial settings that involve coal mining, grain processing and chemical handling may be at high risk of being exposed to allergic substances, which may result in chronic bronchitis. Smoking cigarettes over a long period and being around furry pets like cats and dogs often may also make you susceptible to bronchial infections.
Impact of Allergies on Bronchitis
If you are constantly inhaling smoke, fumes and dust you may not only be irritating your airways and lungs but may also damage your respiratory system, resulting in chronic bronchitis. To avoid other health complications, it is important to get treatment for bronchitis. These may include pneumonia and colds and in some cases, serious illnesses such chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or stress on the heart. Since allergies are some of the main contributors to bronchitis, care should be taken to minimize exposure to smoking and excessive air pollution, toxic chemicals and dust.
“Chronic Bronchitis.” Penn Medicine. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Aug. 2012. < http://www.pennmedicine.org/health_info/asthma/000106.html>
“Who Is at Risk for Bronchitis? – NHLBI, NIH.” NIH Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Aug. 2012. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/brnchi/atrisk.html .