Changes of the Airways

Primary due to smoking (up to 80-90% of all cases) a chronic inflammation of the mucosa causes permanent changes in the bronchi:

  • The cilia of the airways lose their flexibility.
  • The mucous glands enlarge and produce more viscid phlegm.

As a consequence, the self-clearing of the lung increases, typical signs of disease develop: cough (smoker's cough) which comes with sputum. Furthermore a swelling of the mucosa develops, resulting in what is called a chronic obstructive bronchitis. This means a permanent narrowing of the airways [obstruction] coming along with a restricted ventilation and the consequence of breathlessness [dyspnea].