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Asthma

Frequent bronchitis and asthma

03/02/2009

Question:

I work in a hospital and am frequently exposed to pathogens. I also have asthma and have been frequently getting bronchitis whenever I get an infection. Of course, this exacerbates my asthma and I always have really strong, painful coughing attacks. What I`m worried about is whether the frequent bronchitis might be causing any long term damage to my lungs?

Answer:

There is no good answer to this question. The fact that asthma is present would suggest that there is lung inflammation. The best thing to do is make sure the asthma is well controlled. Uncontrolled long term asthma can lead to permanent lung remodeling and changes. Therefore, if your "bronchitis" is really a manifestation of asthma, then it is possible that more asthma control is possible and that you could cause long-term problems. If the "bronchitis" is simply a viral infection, then it is impossible to determine whether there is any long-term damage happening with the illness.

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Response by:

David  Hauswirth, MD David Hauswirth, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor
Pulmonary, Allergy, Crtitical Care & Sleep
Pediatrics
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University