Understanding asthmatic bronchitis: symptoms, causes and treatment

a mask on a table with a stethoscope and a hand

Asthmatic bronchitis , also known as bronchitic asthma, is a respiratory condition that combines features of bronchitis and asthma.

It can be caused by a respiratory tract infection or result from complications related to asthma. Today we will discuss its symptoms, causes and treatments available for this condition.

You can also find our guide to understanding the different respiratory diseases .

What is asthmatic bronchitis?

Asthmatic bronchitis is inflammation of the bronchi resulting from the combination of asthma and bronchitis.

It usually manifests itself with difficulty breathing, wheezing, persistent cough , fatigue and other symptoms similar to those of the two diseases previously mentioned.

When bronchitis persists for several weeks and leads to chronic respiratory problems, we then speak of chronic asthmatic bronchitis.

This situation requires appropriate medical care in order to avoid other complications.

Common symptoms of asthmatic bronchitis

The symptoms of asthmatic bronchitis are often similar to those of bronchitis and asthma. Some of the most commonly seen symptoms include:

  • Breathing difficulties : People with asthmatic bronchitis may have difficulty breathing, especially during or after physical exertion.
  • Persistent cough : A dry, continuous cough is often present, sometimes accompanied by thick mucus.
  • Wheezing : Wheezing and snoring-like sounds may be heard when breathing.
  • Chest tightness : Some people describe a feeling of tightness or pain in the chest, similar to what is felt during an asthma attack.
  • Fatigue : Difficulty breathing can cause excessive fatigue during daily activities.

young man with glasses sitting on a brown sofa coughing

Risk factors for asthmatic bronchitis

Several factors can increase the risk of developing asthmatic bronchitis, such as:

  1. Exposure to environmental allergens (pollen, mold, dust mites)
  2. Passive or active smoking
  3. Family history of asthma or bronchitis
  4. The presence of other chronic lung conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Diagnosis of asthmatic bronchitis

The diagnosis of asthmatic bronchitis is based on a careful medical assessment of symptoms, a physical examination, and lung function tests.

The doctor can also prescribe additional tests to rule out other similar pathologies or determine their causes.
Some diagnostic methods include:

  • Auscultation : The doctor may use a stethoscope to listen to the patient's breathing to detect wheezing or crackling sounds.
  • Pulmonary function tests : These tests can help measure lung capacity and identify possible obstructions in the airways.
  • Chest x-ray : This imaging technique allows you to visualize the lungs and possible signs of infection or inflammation.
  • Allergy tests : If it is suspected that the symptoms are related to an allergy, skin or blood tests may be carried out.

Doctor pointing a finger at a chest x-ray

Treatment of asthmatic bronchitis

Treatment of asthmatic bronchitis is primarily aimed at relieving symptoms, preventing exacerbations and improving the patient's quality of life.

Treatments vary depending on the severity of symptoms and the frequency of attacks. Treatment options include:


Medications to treat asthmatic bronchitis are generally the same as those used for asthma, such as:

  • Fast-acting bronchodilators (inhalers) : These medications help relax the muscles in the airways and reduce wheezing, coughing, and other symptoms during an attack.
  • Inhaled corticosteroids : They help reduce inflammation in the lungs and prevent asthma attacks.
  • Anticholinergics : These medications may be prescribed in combination with bronchodilators to relieve symptoms of asthmatic bronchitis.

Additional therapies

Other therapies may be recommended to complement drug treatment and help better manage asthmatic bronchitis:

  1. Pulmonary rehabilitation: This approach consists of a personalized exercise program to strengthen the respiratory muscles and improve lung capacity.
  2. Relaxation techniques: Breathing exercises and stress management methods can help control symptoms and prevent attacks.
  3. Education about the condition: Finding out about asthmatic bronchitis and its management can contribute to a better understanding and better control of the disease.

Asthmatic bronchitis is a condition that combines the symptoms of asthma and bronchitis. An accurate diagnosis is essential to implement appropriate treatment to effectively manage this disease.

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