Chronic bronchitis is “a productive cough that lasts at least three months for two consecutive years” (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2011). The bronchiole tubes become inflamed and enlarged narrowing the airways which will result in pulmonary hypertension. The air passage way can become blocked because of increased mucus production caused by enlarged mucus glands ("Chronic Bronchitis", n.d.). The cells that help the mucus move out of the body can become damaged reducing the ability to clear mucus from the air passage. A persistent cough is developed to try and get rid of the excess mucus. Smoking is the most common cause of chronic bronchitis (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2011). The symptoms of chronic bronchitis include an ongoing cough that produces mucus, shortness of breath and frequent respiratory infections. Chronic bronchitis is also known as type B COPD or “blue boaters” because they lack the oxygen needed, which causes a blue cast (cyanosis) in their skin and because the accumulation of fluid caused by congestive heart failure making their body swollen. Chronic bronchitis COPD can cause right-sided heart failure or cor pulmonale, which is a failure in the heart’s right ventricle and a form of Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) ("COPD and Heart Failure: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and More", n.d.). This leads to insufficient oxygenation of the blood (hypoxemia). In response to this, the walls of the pulmonary arteries change by an increase in the blood pressure, known as pulmonary hypertension and also develop polycythemia. The right ventricle of the heart pumps blood into the pulmonary arteries into the lungs. By having high blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries, this puts pressure on the right ventricle leading to a failure in pumping the blood effectively to the lungs to pick up oxygen because the ventricle has become too stretched and dilated ("COPD and Heart Failure ", n.d.). Due to the weak pumping of the heart’s muscle, blood will back up in the blood vessels and...
References: COPD - American Lung Association. (n.d.). Retrieved September 24, 2013, from http://www.lung.org/lung-disease/copd/
Emphysema Causes: Smoking, Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, and More. (2012, May 15). Retrieved September 24, 2013, from http://www.webmd.com/lung/copd/what-is-emphysema
Mayo Clinic Staff (2011, April 29). Emphysema - MayoClinic.com. Retrieved September 24, 2013, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/emphysema/DS00296
Wright, M. (n.d.). Alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency | Patient.co.uk. Retrieved September 24, 2013, from http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/alpha-1-antitrypsin-deficiency
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