Donate to Bronchitis Research, Patient Care and Education

Bronchitis is an upper respiratory infection in which the bronchial tubes become inflamed. This inflammation results in thick mucus building up and blocking airways, leading to difficulty breathing and a severe cough. Acute bronchitis is characterized by red and swollen airways, severe cough and the production of yellow or green mucus. This type of bronchitis is caused by an infection from an allergen, bacteria or a virus.

Chronic bronchitis, also known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), is not a viral or bacterial infection and tends to be a long-term illness. This type of bronchitis is most common among smokers. It is worth noting that, while smoking is likely to cause chronic bronchitis, exposure to secondhand smoke may increase the risk of acute bronchitis in nonsmokers. Chronic bronchitis also is frequently linked to other pulmonary conditions such as asthma, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, tuberculosis, sinusitis and various upper respiratory infections. When you make a donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, you will help physicians at Northwestern Medicine to continue to provide the best care to individuals who suffer from both acute and chronic bronchitis.

Both types of bronchitis cause coughing, excess mucus, shortness of breath and wheezing. Other symptoms include fever, chest discomfort, stuffy nose, sore throat, headache and earache. Acute bronchitis may last approximately two weeks and with the proper treatment even less. Chronic bronchitis, on the other hand, develops over an extended period of time and has additional symptoms. These include frequent, severe infections, cyanosis (bluish skin discoloration due to lack of oxygen), swelling in the lower extremities, heart failure, difficulty breathing and severe fatigue. Your gift to Northwestern Memorial Foundation ensures that physicians at Northwestern medicine will continue to diagnose bronchitis efficiently and provide the best possible treatments.

Bronchitis Research, Patient Care and Education Donation

While acute bronchitis will usually improve on its own, there is currently no known cure for chronic bronchitis. Further research is needed to pursue a cure for chronic bronchitis, and donations to Northwestern Memorial Foundation are instrumental in making that research a reality at Northwestern Medicine. However, there are treatments available to help manage the symptoms. These include using a humidifier, quitting smoking, avoiding chemical exposure, bronchodilators, corticosteroids, and other inhaled medications, pulmonary rehabilitation, lung reduction surgery, and, rarely, lung transplant surgery. In cases of acute bronchitis, treatments include getting extra sleep, drinking plenty of fluids, taking decongestants and expectorants if prescribed, and sleeping in a reclined position. With both acute and chronic bronchitis, avoiding or quitting smoking is one of the most crucial things a person can do to improve his or her health. Your support will make a difference in the health and lives of many people affected by both acute and chronic bronchitis.

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