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About Bronchitis

Bronchitis is a respiratory disorder that encompasses the swelling or inflammation of the bronchial tubes. These tubes are actually the air passages that exist between the mouth and nose and the lungs. In other words, this condition is indicated by the inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes. People with bronchitis have a decreased ability to breathe air and oxygen into their lungs; also, they cannot get rid of heavy mucus or phlegm from their airways.

Chronic bronchitis is one kind of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). The inflamed bronchial tubes results into excessive amounts of mucus. This causes coughing and difficulty breathing. Cigarette smoking is the most general cause of this condition. Breathing in air pollution, fumes, or dust over a long period of time may also cause it.

Chronic bronchitis refers to a long-term condition that keeps recurring or never goes away totally. If you smoke, it becomes necessary to quit. Treatment can help you only with the symptoms. It often includes medicines to unclog your airways and help clear away mucus. The patient may also need oxygen therapy. Pulmonary rehabilitation may help you manage better in daily activities.

Signs and symptoms of bronchitis

Signs and symptoms of both acute and chronic bronchitis include:

  • Untiring cough, which may result into mucus
  • Wheezing
  • Low fever and chills
  • Chest tightening
  • Sore throat
  • Body aches
  • Breathlessness
  • Headaches
  • Blocked nose and sinuses

One of the major signs of acute bronchitis is a cough that remains for several weeks. It can sometimes last for many months if the bronchial tubes take a long time to heal completely.It is usual for the symptoms of chronic bronchitis to get worse two or more times every year, and they are often worse during the winter time.

However, a cough that rejects to go away could also be a symptom of another disorder such as asthma or pneumonia.

Causes of Bronchitis

Bronchitis is sourced by the inflammation of the bronchial tubes, by viruses, bacteria, or other irritation particles.

Causes of acute bronchitis

Acute bronchitis is generally caused by viruses, usually those that also cause colds and flu.It can also be sourced by bacterial infection and exposure to substances that affect the lungs, such as tobacco smoke, dust, fumes, vapors, and air pollution.

Causes of chronic bronchitis

Chronic bronchitis is caused by recurrent irritation and damage to the lung and airway tissue.Smoking is the most general cause of chronic bronchitis, with other causes encompassing long-term exposure to air pollution, dust and fumes from the environment, and repeated chapters of acute bronchitis.

Who are at higher risk?

People at risk include:

  • the elderly people
  • people breathing in irritating chemicals
  • smokers
  • people with a lung condition, such as asthma
  • people with weakened immunity

Complications of Bronchitis

The most generally occurring complication of bronchitis is pneumonia; this happens when the infection spreads far deeper into the lungs. This infection causes the air sacs within the lungs (alveoli) to fill with fluid.An almost 5 percent of bronchitis cases result into pneumonia.

Pneumonia is more likely to affect elderly adults, smokers, people with diseases in other organs, and a person with a reduced immune system.

Prevention of Bronchitis

Though it is not always feasible to prevent acute or chronic bronchitis, there are various things that can diminish the risk:

  • Do not begin smoking; quit smoking if you already smoke.
  • Evade lung irritants such as smoke, dust, fumes, vapors, and air pollution. If avoiding exposure is not seen, wear a mask that protects the nose and mouth.
  • Wash hands often to stop exposure to germs and bacteria.
  • Get a yearly flu vaccine.
  • Get a pneumonia vaccine.

Bronchitis Treatment

Individuals suffering from bronchitis are generally advised to rest, take fluids, breath warm and moist air, and use OTC cough suppressants and pain relievers to deal with the symptoms and ease breathing.

Variousincidents of acute bronchitis tend to go away without any particular treatment, but there is no known cure for chronic bronchitis. To keep bronchitis symptoms manageable and relieve symptoms, the healthcare experts might suggest:

  • Cough medicine - although coughing must not be totally suppressed as this is a major way to bring up mucus and eliminate irritants from the lungs.
  • Bronchodilators - these unclog the bronchial tubes and clear out mucus.
  • Mucolytics - these thin or loosen mucus in the airways, making it easy to cough up sputum.
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines and glucocorticoid steroids - these are for more tenacious symptoms to help reduce chronic inflammation that may result into tissue damage.
  • Oxygen therapy - this helps enhance oxygen intake when breathing getshard.
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation program - this includes consulting a respiratory therapist who can help the patient improve breathing.
  • Antibiotics - these are powerful for bacterial infections, but not for viral infections. They may also avert secondary infections.

Other behavioral remedies may include:

  • Eliminating the cause of irritation to the lungs - for example, by stopping smoking
  • Employing a humidifier - this can loosen mucus and easerestricted airflow and wheezing
  • Exercise - this will reinforce the muscles used in breathing
  • Breathing exercises - for instance, pursed-lip breathing helps slow breathing down

Treatments for Bronchitis


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