Chronic Bronchitis wreaks havoc on the lung’s ability to clean themselves out. One of its hallmarks is thick, sticky mucus. This kind of mucus is made from airways that are continuously inflamed and swollen. In this condition, the airways are narrowed, so it’s not easy for the cilia to sweep mucus out of the lungs. As a result, a lot of the mucus just sits in the airways.
Mucus that sits in the lungs is a good incubator for germs that can cause a respiratory infection. Nine out of ten times that COPD flares up, it is because of a respiratory infection. It is therefore highly important to keep mucus moving up out of the lungs in order to stay well and avoid flare-ups of COPD.
With Chronic Bronchitis, not only do the airways narrow because of swelling and inflammation, they sometimes narrow even further when the muscles surrounding the airways squeeze and tighten up. This narrowing of the airways caused by the combination of swelling and squeezing is what makes COPD flare-ups so dangerous. This is why it is so important to recognize symptoms when they first begin, take medications regularly, and learn how to keep mucus flowing up out of the lungs.