We take a look at the facts surrounding the inflammatory conditions Asthma and Bronchitis.

Few people realise the overall global significance of asthma. However, according to some estimates, asthma may be responsible for up to a quarter of a million deaths annually! It is quite complicated to get to the root of issues like asthma and bronchitis that interfere with breathing. The fact is that everything from poor indoor or outdoor air quality to dust mites and allergies can trigger asthma symptoms of varying severity.

Like so many diseases, asthma is the result of inflammation. In the case of asthma, inflammation causes bronchospasms in the airways and the result can be difficulty breathing, coughing and wheezing. Environmental factors, such as poor air quality and air contamination, can also play a role in the process.

Exposure to pollutants and toxic compounds early in life, such as cigarette smoke and volatile organic compounds, may be partially to explain for the development of asthma, at least in some people who eventually develop the condition. It is important to note that there are genetic factors involved in asthma as well, and these factors are still being studied and explored.

Lifestyle choices, such as avoiding smoke in all forms, and seeking out ways to improve general air quality, are both important ways to address and manage asthma symptoms in sufferers. It is possible to improve indoor air quality by frequently replacing air filters in heating and cooling units, using high-quality air filters, and buying air- cleaning plants, such as Boston ferns and snake plants. Frequently opening windows and doors can also go a long way in preventing the symptoms of asthma.

Like asthma, bronchitis is also inflammatory in nature. In particular, bronchitis is a chronic inflammation of the mucous membranes of the bronchi in the lungs. If this situation becomes serious, it can develop into ‘acute bronchitis,’ which can lead to a serious and lasting cough. Viruses are cited
as being the most frequent culprit in the development of bronchitis. As a result, symptoms that resemble flu or a cold, such as a sore throat, tend to accompany acute bronchitis.

Another form of bronchitis called ‘chronic bronchitis’ is the result of being exposed to harmful air pollution. Cigarette smoke tops the list of culprits. This distinction between ‘acute’ and ‘chronic’ bronchitis can make bronchitis difficult to understand from the layperson’s point of view.

Once again, like asthma, bronchitis is greatly aggravated by airborne irritants such as cigarette smoke or other air pollutants. Therefore avoiding such airborne compounds or taking steps to address them is vitally important for overall lung health.

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