You may wheeze and cough in an attempt to draw in more oxygen through tightened passageways. Bronchitis and asthma are two inflammatory airway conditions. Acute bronchitis is an inflammation of the lining of the airways that usually resolves itself after running its course. It’s caused by viral or bacterial infections
Every time you breathe in, air enters your nose and mouth. It flows down your throat and into a series of air passageways called bronchial tubes. Those tubes need to be open for the air to reach your lungs, where the oxygen is passed into the blood to be transported to your body’s tissues.
If the airways are inflamed, air has more difficulty getting to your lungs. With less air getting in, you can feel short of breath. You may wheeze and cough in an attempt to draw in more oxygen through tightened passageways.
Bronchitis and asthma are two inflammatory airway conditions. Acute bronchitis is an inflammation of the lining of the airways that usually resolves itself after running its course. It’s caused by viral or bacterial infections. Chronic bronchitis, which is longer lasting, can be triggered by long-term exposure to environmental irritants such as tobacco smoke, dust, or chemicals.
Asthma is an inflammatory condition that leads to tightening of the muscles around the airways and swelling that cause airways to narrow.
When asthma and acute bronchitis occur together, the condition is called asthmatic bronchitis.
What Causes Asthmatic Bronchitis?
There are many triggers that may initiate the release of inflammatory substances. Common asthmatic bronchitis triggers include:
- Tobacco smoke
- Allergens such as pollen, mold, dust, pet dander, or food (and food additives like MSG)
- Certain medications (aspirin, beta-blockers)
- Weather changes (for example, cold weather)
- Viral or bacterial infections
- Strong emotions (laughing or crying)
Is asthma and bronchitis the same thing?
What Are the Symptoms of Asthmatic Bronchitis?
The symptoms of asthmatic bronchitis are a combination of the symptoms of bronchitis and asthma.
You may experience some or all of the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness
- Excess mucus production
You might wonder, is asthmatic bronchitis contagious? Bronchitis itself can be caused by a virus or bacteria, which are contagious. However, chronic asthmatic bronchitis typically is not contagious.