Asthma is an inflammatory lung disease. The inflammation causes the airways in your lungs to become sensitive and narrow when triggered by factors such as cold air, exercise, infection or allergens. People with asthma have episodes of breathing problems in which the airways become blocked and breathing becomes difficult, with wheezing or cough. Asthma cannot be cured but it can be controlled with a good management plan. You can achieve control of your asthma by working with your doctor to understand your condition, by using the proper medications, by avoiding triggers, by learning to manage your asthma episode.
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the lining of your bronchial tubes, which carry air to and from your lungs. People who have bronchitis often cough up thickened mucus, which can be discolored. Bronchitis may be either acute or chronic. Acute bronchitis usually improves within a few days without lasting effects, although you may continue to cough for weeks. However, if you have repeated bouts of bronchitis, you may have chronic bronchitis, which requires evaluation. Smoking is a major risk factor for bronchitis.
COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is a progressive disease that makes it hard to breath. COPD can cause coughing that produces large amounts of mucus (phlegm), wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other symptoms. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD. Most people who have COPD smoke or used to smoke. Long-term exposure to other lung irritants – such as air pollution, chemical fumes, or dust may also contribute to COPD.
A chronic cough is a cough that lasts eight weeks or longer in adults, or four weeks in children. A chronic cough is more than just an annoyance. A chronic cough can interrupt your sleep and leave you feeling exhausted. Severe cases of chronic cough can cause vomiting, lightheadedness and even rib fractures. The most common causes of chronic cough are tobacco use, asthma, postnasal drip from allergies, or acid reflux. Fortunately, chronic cough typically disappears once the underlying problem is treated.