Updated on November 30, 2023
The term bronchitis, when broken down, means inflammation of the bronchial tubes. Bronchial tubes are respiratory passages that allow air in and out of the lungs. Bronchitis presents a multitude of symptoms ranging from mere cough to spitting mucus. The causes of bronchitis are many, and this blog centers around answering the most frequently asked question, “Can you get bronchitis from allergies?” We will talk about how allergies impact lung health and its management techniques.
Continue reading the blog to learn more about bronchitis and its association with allergies.
Etiology & Risk Factors of Bronchitis
Bronchitis is broken down into two types — acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis is short-lived and caused by respiratory infections lasting 10 days or less. Chronic bronchitis lasts for more than 3 months and is usually caused by smoking or asthma causing persistent irritation of the bronchial tubes and lungs.
Causes of bronchitis include:
- Air pollution
- Toxic gases
Can You Get Bronchitis from Allergies?
Yes, allergies can cause bronchitis. Chronic bronchitis is referred to as allergic bronchitis which is triggered by certain allergens. These allergens constrict the bronchial tubes, restricting the airflow, resulting in bronchitis-like symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath.
Common triggers for allergic bronchitis include:
People who actively or passively smoke are at a higher risk of getting diagnosed with bronchitis.
Already existing infections can make immunity low and there is a greater chance of developing bronchitis.
Exposure to irritants:
Irritants like fumes, chemicals, and various gases can put you at a higher risk of developing bronchitis.
Severe heartburn can irritate the throat and cause dryness leading to cough and making you vulnerable to bronchitis.
Also read: Understanding Bronchitis vs. COVID.
Prevention of Allergic Bronchitis is Possible
Preventing allergic bronchitis is definitely possible. By limiting your exposure to irritants and allergens you can easily keep allergic bronchitis at bay. For those working in factories with a lot to do with chemicals and toxic gases, it is advisable to wear proper protection gear and stay in a ventilated area to avoid triggering the condition. Moreover, if someone smokes, they should quit smoking or sit at a good distance from someone who is smoking to avoid passive smoking.
If despite avoiding the triggers you feel like your condition is not getting better, you should consult an allergist to discuss a treatment plan that would suit you best.
Treatment Options for Allergic Bronchitis
Having discussed preventive measures, and the question, “Can you get bronchitis from allergies?” let’s now dive into the treatment options available for allergic bronchitis. All types of bronchitis have more or less, the same treatment plan and options, some of which are discussed below:
- Bronchodilators: Help the muscles around the airways relax and dilate to allow easy passage of air.
- Steroids: These drugs help reduce the inflammation of the bronchial tubes and allow the smooth flow of oxygen in and out of the lungs.
- Oxygen therapy: Allergic bronchitis might sometimes affect the ability of oxygen to move in and out of the lungs. For this reason, doctors often prescribe oxygen therapy to revive the oxygen levels and flow.
- Mucolytics: These are the drugs that make the mucus fluid, facilitating its easy removal from the lungs. Mucolytics can either be taken orally or through a nebulizer.
Check out the clinical research in allergy medicine, here!
To sum it up, allergies are a common cause of bronchitis, and they might disrupt daily life significantly. It is important to keep a journal and try to identify your triggers so that you can avoid them and manage the condition. However, if you feel like your symptoms are getting worse, reaching out to a healthcare professional might help.