Asthma UK community forum

Does anyone here diagnosed with chronic bronchitis too? Long story

Hi guys,

So I think my health situation is finally getting clearer. It's taken a long time though! I was in the ER on Tuesday (I'm in the States), and was diagnosed with a sinus infection and bronchitis. I was really lucky in that the ER doctor took time to talk to my new pulmonologist.

Anyways, this is kind of crazy, but I've finally been properly diagnosed. I have this congenital heart defect called a vascular ring. Basically it is a differential diagnosis to asthma. Doctors who have heard of it say ""Oh yes....rings, slings, and other things."" Or other things that are really rare that aren't asthma. Anyways...both my esophagus and trachea are compressed by major blood vessels going around my heart.

So they said that the compressed esophagus is causing me to breathe food and other foreign material into my airway and causing bronchitis (and that I was working on pneumonia). And then my trachea is narrower than it should be, so it makes it harder for me to cough up stuff and also makes me wheeze.

So I spoke to the cardiologist on Wednesday and I will be having heart surgery sometime in January to correct the vascular ring so that my trachea and esophagus have more room, and so I can eat and breathe easier.

Which leads me to one question....reading up on bronchitis (I don't know I always thought I had an asthma flare), but I have the symptoms for bronchitis. And then I realized that I actually have the symptoms for chronic bronchitis....I have had a productive cough for forever.

Does anyone else here have chronic bronchitis or know much about if it is treated differently than asthma?

They did tell me on Wed. that my rescue inhaler should help because the infection was causing my airways to constrict, but it is highly unlikely that I have asthma (or if I do that it's as bad as it seems).


3 Replies

Hi there from very very cold UK!

In the UK, ""chronic bronchitis"" is no longer used as a diagnosis: it is usually referred to with the umbrella term COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder), along with what used to be called emphysema. COPD sufferers are (95% of the time at least) over the age of 45 and long-time smokers. Whilst a productive cough is a very important symptom of COPD, it is not the only sign or symptom and depends on a lot of other factors too.

Though I am not a doctor, and we are not allowed to give medical advice, I think it is probably unlikely, although if you are in any doubt please go and see your doctor :)

Take care and hope you feel better soon x



Thanks for writing back. We call it COPD here too. It's just from reading the description I know there are different parts to it, and I definitely just have bronchitis caused by aspirating. At least I just got an e-mail back from my lung doctor. It's all caused by this weird birth defect I have anyways, so I'm weird! Apparently my trachea also collapses part way when I'm coughing and that's why I wheeze.

I hope it's warmed up a bit there! It's cold here too.



Nope, still snowing here in London! Though I doubt it'll last much longer...

Hope you're wrapped up well! x


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