Bacterial and viral infections are the two causes of bronchitis infection. Viral bronchitis is the more common form of bronchitis infection. Virus causing this condition is spread out when someone with bronchitis sneezes or coughs.

When the virus is spread through cough or sneezing, they are contained in tiny droplets of saliva or mucus that land on surfaces where the virus can survive for one whole day (24hours). When someone comes into contact with these contaminated surfaces, they get infected with this virus and can develop bronchitis.

Items in your home and in other places such as a PC mouse, a doorknob or even a TV remote can have vestiges of the virus and people can become infected when they hold or handle these contaminated objects. They will develop bronchitis, cold or flu when they place their infected hands in their nose or mouth. One can also be infected when he or she directly breathes in these virus laced airborne droplets when the droplets are suspended in the air.

Breathing in irritant substances

Besides certain pathogens bronchitis can also come about when irritating substances are inhaled by the person. These substances can be tobacco smoke, household chemicals or smog.

The most common cause of long term or chronic bronchitis is tobacco smoking. Even non-smokers can develop bronchitis from inhaling second-hand smoke as easily as tobacco smokers themselves.

You are at a high risk of developing bronchitis if you are often exposed to things that can hurt your lungs. These things can be chlorine fumes, potent acids, ammonia, chemicals from textiles, dust or even grain. Bronchitis from these substances is termed occupational or industrial bronchitis. This is a minor type of bronchitis since your body usually develops immunity from these substances eventually.

Scott Paglia is a licensed and board certified acupuncturist in Bellingham, WA and provides master level pulse diagnosis, Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture in Whatcom County, WA.