Chronic bronchitis is a lung disease that causes a cough with increased mucus production for at least three months in two consecutive years. It generally falls under the category of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.
The most common cause is cigarette smoking, although the inhalation of irritants at work, air pollution and lung infections may also cause it. Considering most people develop this disease due to exposure to cigarette smoke, one might wonder: Why does smoking cause chronic bronchitis?
To best answer this question it’s helpful to understand the basics of airway anatomy, which is covered in the pithy post “ Your Journey Down the Respiratory Tract .” Knowledge of lung anatomy is helpful because long-term exposure to inhaled cigarette smoke may cause changes inside the airways. These changes may include:
1. Bronchial mucous glands become bigger : This causes increased mucus or secretion production...
New scientific studies are released daily, often reporting a grim prognosis for our future health. It's enough to make you feel hopeless about your own health as well as the health of everyone around you. There is no denying that obesity is a growing problem in the United States and around the world. The vast body of research on this topic allows us to make informed decisions and lifestyle changes; however, it is important to know that all research has limitations and the results are simply a best guess. A recent study that found people who have overweight friends are more likely to become overweight has been widely covered in the press. This particular study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine , found that if someone became obese their friends were 57 percent more likely to become obese, that's more than twice as likely. When not carefully considered, these findings can be quite disheartening. The very people you consider to be your support system...
A few weeks back the New York Times ran a column in their health section called "The Claim: It's a Cold. No, It's an Allergy." Guess what? Symptoms of seasonal allergies and colds overlap. The column looks to new studies to tell the actual difference; however common sense tells us the difference with or without clinical trials.
How are they different?
According to the New York Times: " The first is the onset of symptoms. Colds move more slowly, taking a day or longer to set in and gradually worsening - with symptoms like loss of appetite and headache - before subsiding after about a week and disappearing within 10 days. But allergies begin immediately. The sneezing is sudden and overwhelming, and the congestion, typically centered behind the nose, is immediate. Allergy symptoms also disappear quickly - almost as soon as the offending allergen, like pollen, is no longer around.
Then there are hallmark symptoms of each. Allergies virtually always cause itchiness in the eyes, the n...
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