What is Bronchitis ?
A health article about Bronchitis from Your Health Online the A to Z directory of dealing with Health Problems & nutritional Self Care Strategies
The most common disease associated with respiratory system is bronchitis. It is often accompanied by a cold or flu and affects people regardless of age.
This condition is an inflammation in the bronchi, the passageways from the lungs. It is characterized by a cough that starts dry and progresses to a mucus cough.
In most cases, some infection also occurs in the nose and throat. It is a disease endemic to cold, dampclimates, but may occur anywhere.
Bronchitis may be acute or chronic. In chronic cases, the disease is of long duration.
It is more serious than the acute type as permanent changes may have occurred in the lungs, therebyinterfering with their normal movements.
Chronic bronchitis is more frequent in males than in females and mortality rate is also higher in males.
If your immune system is weak or you are a chain smoker, then you are greatly exposed to develop chronic bronchitis. In few cases, developing asthmatic bronchitis is also possible.
Signs & Symptoms of Bronchitis
Bronchitis is generally indicated by an expectorating cough, shortness of breath (dyspnea) and wheezing. Occasionally chest pains, fever, and fatigue or malaise may also occur.
In most cases of bronchitis, the larynx, trachea and bronchial tubes are acutely inflamed. Thetissues are swollen due to irritation.
Large quantities of mucus are secreted and poured into the windpipe to protect the inflamed mucous membrane.
The phelgm, when expelled is found to be viscid and purulent. There is usually a higher fever, some difficulty in breathing and a deep chest cough.
Other symptoms are hoarseness and pain in the chest and loss of appetite. Breathingtrouble continues till the inflammation subsides and mucous is removed.
Video: Bronchitis Symptoms Explained
Acute Bronchitis: Knowing About the Different Signs and Symptoms
There are quite a lot of people living today who are suffering from different kinds of respiratory illnesses. You have to consider that your respiratory health is one of the most important factors that you should consider.
Many people have been disabled by chronic respiratory illnesses where the main cause is that they tend to neglect early signs and symptoms of the disease when it develops and becomes severe.
One kind of disease that is commonly neglected by people is called bronchitis. This particular disease is common in infants and children where their immune system is still at the developing stages. Tobacco smokers and people living in areas where there is a high level of air pollution is also commonly affected by bronchitis.
Acute bronchitis is a respiratory illness where the bronchial tree is infected by either a virus or bacteria or in rare cases, fungus. 95% of acute bronchitis is caused by viral infection where no special treatment is necessary.
The treatment for acute bronchitis that is caused by viral infection only consists of getting a lot of rest, drinking a lot of water or juices during the duration of the infection. In bacterial infection, antibiotics are usually needed along with the basic treatments.
If it is possible, it is recommended that the humidity in the house should be increased by using room humidifiers or by placing wet towels and blankets around the house.
Acute bronchitis, if properly treated, can last up to 10 to 12 days only and are usually followed by flu or cold. Sometimes, coughing can last for two to three weeks or during the duration of the healing process of the bronchioles.
However, if the cough still persists, it is recommended that you should consult your physician immediately because there may be other conditions that is affecting your body.
If acute bronchitis is left untreated, it can develop into chronic bronchitis where the disease can remain in long duration that can last up to 3 months to 2 years. Chronic bronchitis has permanent damages into your respiratory system.
This is why it is important that you should know all about bronchitis and the signs and symptoms associated with it. If you neglect the signs and symptoms of acute bronchitis, it will develop into chronic bronchitis that can cause permanent damage in your respiratory system and can interfere with your normal movements and activities.
The signs and symptoms associated with acute bronchitis will include shortness of breath, mild pain on chest, mild case of fever, persistent coughing with mucus, chills, tightness in the chest, wheezing, and headache.
As you can see, the symptoms associated with acute bronchitis have similar symptoms associated with the common cold disease. This is why it is important that if you experience the mentioned signs and symptoms, you should immediately consult your physician about it.
Prolonged smoking and exposure to irritants, pollutants, and toxins can lead to asthmatic bronchitis especially if the person already has chronic bronchitis. The reason behind this is still unknown according to experts; but they claim that some environmental factors influence such condition.
- difficulty breathing
- chest discomfort
- pain and soreness
- increased infection vulnerability
Individuals suffering from asthma exhibit the same symptoms, but those that have asthmatic bronchitis experience them in higher intensities.
By taking the necessary precautions and by knowing about the signs and symptoms of acute bronchitis, you will be able to prevent it from getting worse and let it develop into chronic bronchitis. By effectively managing the illness and with the proper treatment, you can be sure that you will never have to suffer from chronic bronchitis.
The symptoms of allergic bronchitis are shortness of breath, runny nose, red or swollen eyes, hyperventilation, rashes, tickling in throat, tight chest, persistent sneezing, coughing, headache, nausea, and other symptoms associated with asthma and allergies.
There are some cases where a person is overly sensitive to allergens and can be a very dangerous situation that needs medical assistance. However, most cases are only mild to moderate suffering.
You have to realize the fact that allergic bronchitis can be a very dangerous condition. In fact, people with this condition have been hospitalized or died of suffocation caused by blocked airways because of severe swelling of the tissues found in the airway.
Types of Bronchitis
Among the COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases) illnesses, bronchitis mostly affects more people.
And despite its large affected population, it is usually misdiagnosed. Insufficient clinical examination can misinterpret bronchitis with allergies, asthma, and sinusitis.
Bronchitis refers to an inflammation of the mucous membrane lining the bronchi and bronchialtube within the chest. It is a breathing disorder affecting the expiratory function.
Acute bronchitis, usually caused by viruses or bacteria and may last several days or weeks
Chronic bronchitis. Chronic bronchitis "is characterized by hypersecretion of mucus accompanied by a chronic (more than 3 months in 2 consecutive years) productive cough."
Tobacco and infectious agents are major causes of chronic bronchitis.
Acute bronchitis can result from breathing irritating fumes, such as those of tobacco smoke or polluted air
Asthmatic bronchitis is similar to bronchitis.
This is a disease associated with the airways. If you have chronic bronchitis, it can develop into asthmatic bronchitis.
This type of disease is quite difficult to identify and diagnose. The generated symptoms exhibited by an individual having asthmatic bronchitis are similar to other respiratory tract illnesses such as asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, and emphysema.
Bronchial hyperactivity, immunologic abnormalities, and severe childhood infections can cause asthmatic bronchitis. Individuals suffering from serious chronic bronchitis and persistent asthma are susceptible to asthmatic bronchitis.
Bacterial infections lead to chronic bronchitis; but with asthmatic bronchitis, small particles that passes though the cilia in the bronchial tubes triggers this disease; the airways and bronchial tubes become obstructed. Mucus is produced by the bronchial tubes to cover the trachea, lungs, and soft tissues involved in the breathing process.
Due to irritants, the bronchial tubes produce an excessive amount of mucus thereby blocking air access. Constant blocking of the tract is a common occurrence among patients having asthmatic bronchitis.
This particular illness is a type of asthmatic condition where the bronchi and the lower airway of the respiratory system is inflamed by irritants and allergens. In allergic bronchitis, asthma and respiratory allergies are present. This can cause a condition called hay fever or allergic rhinitis.
Allergic bronchitis is also commonly called as allergic asthma.
This particular condition is triggered by an overly active immune system that attacks harmless foreign substances that enters the body. The immune system identifies the foreign substance as dangerous and releases antibodies to fight the substance.
You have to consider that allergic bronchitis is very different from non-allergic bronchitis. In non-allergic bronchitis, the main causes of the illness are usually viruses or bacteria.
However, in allergic bronchitis, the main causes are allergens. Allergic bronchitis can occur as long as the person affected by this condition is exposed to the allergens.
What Causes Bronchitis?
Acute bronchitis is usually caused by a virus infection. However, there are some cases where bacteria and fungus infection can also cause bronchitis. You have to consider that you need to know about bronchitis in order for you to know how to treat it properly and also know how to manage it.
In about half of instances of acute bronchitis a bacterial or viral pathogen is identified.
Typical viruses include respiratory syncytial virus, rhinovirus, influenza, and others.
Another possible cause of bronchitis is wrong feeding habits. The habitual use of refined foods such aswhite sugar, refined cereals and white-flour products results in the accumulation of morbidmatter in the system and collection of toxic waste in the bronchial tube.
Another important cause of this disease is smoking. Excessive smoking irritates the bronchial tubes and lowers their resistance so that they become vulnerable to germs breathed in from the atmosphere.
Othercauses of bronchitis are living or working in stuffy atmosphere, use of drugs to suppress earlierdiseases and hereditary factors.
Changes in weather and environment are common factors forthe onset of the disease.
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the large bronchi (medium-size airways) in the lungs.
It can lead to pneumonia. Acute bronchitis is usually caused by viruses or bacteria and may last several days or weeks.
Acute bronchitis is characterized by cough and sputum (phlegm) production and symptoms related to the obstruction of the airways by the inflamed airways and the phlegm, such as shortness of breath and wheezing.
Diagnosis is by clinical examination and sometimes microbiological examination of the phlegm.
Treatment may be with antibiotics (if a bacterial infection is suspected), bronchodilators (to relieve breathlessness) and other treatments.
Acute bronchitis is considered to be very easy to treat and manage.
This kind of bronchitis will usually last for only 10 to 12 days and will also be followed closely by flu or cold.
Acute bronchitis will contain the following signs and symptoms that you need to be aware of:
• Mild chest pain
• Hacking cough with mucus
• Mild fever
• Sinus congestion
• Squeezing sensation around the eyes
• Wheezing sound when breathing
• Chest discomfort
These are the signs and symptoms of acute bronchitis that you should know about. It is important that you should consult your doctor immediately after you feel the mentioned signs and symptoms.
They will be able to know what kind of infection you have or whether it is a viral, bacterial or fungal infection. With a proper diagnosis, the doctor will be able to give you the right kind of medicine.
If bronchitis is caused by bacteria, the treatment will include antibiotic use. There are a lot of bacteria that cause illnesses and diseases.
Bronchitis is a very common disease among children and adults. Mycoplasma pneumoniae is said to cause bronchitis. It is a minute bacterium that belongs to Mollicutes class.
Unlike other bacteria that have cell walls, this organism doesn’t have any. It is composed of a membrane that incorporates compounds. Antibiotics, particularly the beta-lactam, and penicillin disrupts cell walls; and so it can't be used to treat mycoplasma pneumoniae since it lacks a cell wall.
These bacteria thrive as parasites just like viruses; they are not free-living. It has genomes with 816 kbs and proteome that are fully characterized. M. pneumoniae uses a distinctive genetic code like mitochondria and is unable to make essential compounds because it doesn’t have cellular machinery.
M. pneumoniae spreads through droplet transmission in the respiratory system. Once it is attached to the host organism, the bacteria extract nutrients and grow. It also reproduces through binary fission. The respiratory tract is the usual attachment site of these bacteria.
Risk Factors: How long is Bronchitis Contagious?
People who are at risk of getting acute bronchitis are infants, very young children, and the old adults.
This is due to the fact that infants and very young children still have underdeveloped immune systems, while the old adults, on the other hand, have immune systems that have become weaker due to ageing.
Other group populations who are at risk are smokers and those with preexisting lung and/or heart ailments. People who are often exposed to pollution are also at risk of being afflicted with acute bronchitis.
Get Rid from the Anxiety of Contagiousness Brought By Bronchitis
Bronchitis is extremely contagious. The virus can be transmitted by the means of cough, sneeze, and yes, even by simply touching the things that has been touched by the person infected.
Bronchitis, basically, is the swelling of the bronchia, thus, it is not contagious. However, as the bacteria starts to form, the disease then is contagious the moment the bacteria was emitted into the air.
In fact, there are already several affected people who confessed that they had the disease when they had a close contact with the infected person.
Now, the question is how long is bronchitis contagious?
According to the medical experts, the length of time of the disease contagiousness actually depends on the cause and type of the person's bronchitis.
For a person who suffers from bronchitis, it is suggested for him to visit and consult to a medical specialist of respiratory and pulmonary to assure whether he is already contagious and until when will it last.
It is advisable for the infected person to consult to a medical specialist when bronchitis tends to occur, if not, it may possibly lead to pneumonia.
Both the acute and chronic bronchitis have the threat to become contagious.
Even the healthy person is not safe from the attacks of acute bronchitis. This is because of the viral infection. These viral infections can be transmitted from one person to other through indirect and direct contact.
However, the spread of bronchitis can still be avoided. The affected person only needs to maintain a healthy hygiene by regularly washing his hands and by using hand sanitizers afterwards.
Most importantly, the affected person should cover his mouth whenever he is coughing. Hence, the possibility of transmitting the disease is reduced.
People who suffer from asthma may also develop an acute bronchitis. Such circumstance reduces the risk of acute bronchitis to be contagious. It is the effect whenever the acute bronchitis acts as a complication of a certain disease.
To totally eliminate the risk of spreading the disease, it is best to cure it. Antibiotic are not regarded as an effective way to treat acute bronchitis. This is because bronchitis is caused by viral infection.
Only an ample amount of rest, an extra liquids intake, and a non-prescription medicine for cough are the suggested effective treatment for acute bronchitis.
The antibiotic are only prescribe by the doctors whenever there is the presence of bacterial infection. Antibiotic will then serve to lessen the risk of secondary infection.
For the asthmatics, the doctor may recommend a medication for asthma, most likely an inhaler. These medications will widen the contracted lung airways.
Other risks of Bronchitis:
When it is caused by Adenoviridae it may cause systemic and gastroentestinal symptoms.
Acute bronchitis may lead to asthma or pneumonia
It is possible that having irritated bronchial tubes for as long as a few months may inspire asthmatic conditions in some patients.
In addition, if one starts coughing mucus tinged with blood, one should see a doctor. In rare cases, doctors may conduct tests to see if the cause is a serious condition such as tuberculosis or lung cancer
Smoking is considered to be a serious cause of bronchitis which can lead to other complications like pneumonia. The substances found in cigarettes as well other tobacco causes bronchial tubes irritation.
Environmental pollution and exposures to chemicals can also lead to developing chronic bronchitis. In addition, second-hand smokes as shown in some studies can also cause chronic bronchitis.
Mostly, chronic bronchitis is diagnosed among metal molders, grain handlers, coal miners, and other dust-related occupation. Symptoms of chronic bronchitis worsen if air pollutants and sulfur dioxide also increases.
Preventive care must be incorporated to avoid acute and chronic bronchitis. The simplest way is to keep away from irritants and air pollutants.
Yearly flu and pneumococcal vaccination is advised to prevent infection leading to chronic bronchitis exacerbation or acute bronchitis.
In 1985, University of Newcastle, Australia Professor Robert Clancy developed an oral vaccine for acute bronchitis. This vaccine was commercialised four years later as Broncostat
To prevent bronchitis, or to at least minimize the chances of getting bronchitis, eating a lot of garlic is recommended. Garlic is filled with chemicals that kill virus and bacteria. In short, garlic is a natural antiviral and antibacterial herb.
It is recommended that you should not disregard if you are already seeing the early signs and symptoms of acute bronchitis. You have to remember that if you neglect it, it make likely develop into its chronic form that will cause permanent damage to your respiratory system.
The best thing that you can do to prevent bronchitis from affecting you is by changing your lifestyle by quitting smoking and drink alcohol in moderation. You should also exercise regularly to maintain your respiratory health.
When to seek Medical Advice:
Bronchitis caused by viruses doesn’t usually need medications, but you can consider taking medications for symptom relief, such as nasal decongestant, and anti-inflammatory drugs.
Again, you first need to tell your doctor about your intentions of taking some medications as you may have allergies in certain kinds of drugs and some drugs are also considered to dangerous when combined, especially in pregnant women.
A physical examination will often reveal decreased intensity of breath sounds, wheezing (rhonchi) and prolonged expiration. Most doctors rely on the presence of a persistent dry or wet cough as evidence of bronchitis.
A variety of tests may be performed in patients presenting with cough and shortness of breath:
A chest X-ray that reveals hyperinflation; collapse and consolidation of lung areas would support a diagnosis of pneumonia. Some conditions that predispose to bronchitis may be indicated by chest radiography
A sputum sample showing neutrophil granulocytes (inflammatory white blood cells) and culture showing that has pathogenic microorganisms such as Streptococcus spp.
A blood test would indicate inflammation (as indicated by a raised white blood cell count and elevated C-reactive protein)
Neutrophils infiltrate the lung tissue, aided by damage to the airways caused by irritation
Damage caused by irritation of the airways leads to inflammation and leads to neutrophils being present
Mucosal hypersecretion is promoted by a substance released by neutrophils
Further obstruction to the airways is caused by more goblet cells in the small airways. This is typical of chronic bronchitis
Although infection is not the reason or cause of chronic bronchitis it is seen to aid in sustaining the bronchitis
Should the cough last longer than a month, some doctors may issue a referral to an otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat doctor) to see if a condition other than bronchitis is causing the irritation.
The best way to confirm the presence and seriousness of bronchitis is to undergo PFT or pulmonary function tests. Keep in mind that these tests can be done if causes are known. It includes:
An instrument called spirometer is utilized to measure the air inhaled and exhaled from your lungs. Air volumes are measured to determine the ability of your lungs to hold and exhale air.
2. Peak flow meter.
It measures the PEFR (peak expiratory flow rate). PEFR is the maximum quantity of air that you can exhale upon forced exhalation.
3. Chest x-ray.
This is suggested by a doctor to know if pneumonia problems are present. Mild x-ray changes can be a sign of chronic bronchitis.
4. ABG (arterial blood gas) test.
This determines the amount of carbon dioxide and oxygen in your blood. A blood is drawn from your artery. The procedure can make you very uncomfortable. Analysis of your blood gas is useful if oxygen therapy can be advised in case your blood oxygen is very low.
5. Additional tests are necessary if other problems related to your health are involved. If infections are present, sputum and blood tests as well as cultures are conducted to determine the causes of infections.
There are different factors when considering treatments for bronchitis. If it is not caused by bacteria, unblocking the obstruction from the airways is done.
Medical treatments inhaled medications helpful in unblocking the air passages of your respiratory tract. Bronchodilators are widely used for asthmatic bronchitis and chronic bronchitis.
Generally, viruses are cleared within seven to ten days in acute bronchitis. You can take cough medications containing expectorants, use humidifiers, and drink lots of fluids to relieve symptoms.
Infections due to bacteria must be consulted first to your doctor. It is not recommended to take medicines without proper prescriptions. Most often, the doctors prescribe antibiotics.
Others include bronchodilators, like Albuterol which can help in opening your airways and corticosteroids which is inhaled or taken orally to reduce inflammation and mucus.
Asthmatic Bronchitis Treatment includes bronchodilators, antibiotics, and steroids.
You must be warned that these treatments are not that effective in treating the causes of the disease. Inhaled medicines and bronchodilators provide only temporary amelioration to symptoms because the airways are cleared. Improvement can be seen after an ongoing treatment.
- Oral corticosteroids like prednisolone tablets
- Symptom controller like salmeterol
- Oral antibiotics
- Preventer-medication or anti-inflammatory like fluticasone
- Reliever medications or bronchodilation like salbutamol
Asthmatic bronchitis Treatment:
Doctors will advice patients with asthmatic bronchitis to avoid irritants like dust, pollen, smoke, alcohol vapors, and chemicals.
Some patients are even required to have flu vaccines and the necessary precaution should be undertaken against bacterial or viral infections.
Treating mild to moderate symptoms of allergic bronchitis can include taking anti histamine mediations and getting away from the allergen that caused the symptoms. It is very important that you should consult your physician immediately after you notice the mentioned signs and symptoms of allergic bronchitis.
The physician may conduct some examination to determine what kind of allergen is causing the condition. They may perform some skin test where an allergen will be injected just below the skin to determine which allergen you are allergic from.
Allergic bronchitis can effectively be treated by having the right information about the disease and also being informed on what kind of allergen is causing the irritation.
Your physician may also recommend you to an allergist where they will able to perform a series of test of the particular allergens that causes the irritation. The allergist will also advice you on the different methods to prevent the condition from happening again.
Normally, prevention of allergic bronchitis will include staying away from the allergens that causes the condition. You have to consider that allergic bronchitis may worsen during the summer months as there will be a lot of allergens available.
You also have to know that pets, such as cats and dogs can also have allergens in their furs. This is why it is important that you should bathe your pet frequently to wash off the allergens caught in the fur.
Allergic bronchitis can be easily managed. However, you should consider the fact that if you have this condition, you should always be careful as it can be dangerous. Also, you need to consider that you should always take some anti histamine medications with you wherever you go out. You will never know when and where you will come across an allergen that can trigger the symptoms of allergic bronchitis.
By carefully managing allergic bronchitis, you will be able to live a normal and productive life. Learn more about this condition by visiting your local allergist or your physician and ask them about it. You can be sure that they will provide you with all the information you need about allergic bronchitis.
Bacterial Bronchitis Treatment:
If your bronchitis is caused by M. pneumoniae, it can be easily identified because of the slow progression of the symptoms, blood test on cold-hemaglutinins with positive result, lacks bacteria in sputum sample (gram stained), and lacks blood agar growth.
The effective medications for this type of bacteria are macrolide antibiotics and quinolones (both second generation). Bronchitis caused by these bacteria is usually mild. Others experience moderate symptoms.
When bacterial infection occurs in a person with bronchitis, it is usually treated with antibiotics and should take the medication prescribed. The infection will return if the antibiotic is stopped.
A lot of people stop antibiotics when they feel better; but this should not be done because the bacterial infection will just come back.
You have to strictly follow what the doctor prescribed to kill all existing bacteria and prevent the disease from coming back.
Antibiotics used are usually:
- trimethoprim or sulfamethoxazole
- for children: amoxicillin
Bacteria are life forms, and in order to stay alive, it performs chemical processes. They manufacture structural elements, digest nutrients, assimilate, and replicate themselves.
They multiply and at the same time guard themselves against hostile elements. Antibiotics are able to hinder such processes to occur, thereby killing the bacteria.
Bad bacteria are a lot like poisons and acids. The body has its own defenses and when the bacterium irritates the system, it can go overboard.
In this manner, the bacteria and host tissues are attacked, which is not that good so careful attention and medication must be given to patients with bacterial infections.
Acute Bronchitis Treatment:
As for chronic bronchitis, treatment is a bit more multifaceted than acute bronchitis. The physician would need to carefully evaluate the patient for other health problems before a treatment plan can be employed to control the disease.
Including in the treatment plan are changes in lifestyle that will involve stoppage of smoking and keeping away from polluted environments. Regular exercise may also help in the control of the disease.
Medications for chronic bronchitis include anti-inflammatory medications and bronchodilators. Anti-inflammatory drugs decrease the inflammation in the respiratory tract tissues.
The following are commonly prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs:
~ Corticosteroids (i.e. prednisone, can be taken either as an oral medication or through IV)
~ Ipratropium (also reduces the amount of mucus produced)
Meanwhile, bronchodilators help loosen up the bronchial muscles which then permits increase air flow in the respiratory passages. These can be taken in orally or by inhalation through a nebulizer (an apparatus that transport medication to the respiratory tract).
Bronchodilators may include the following:
With the advancement of chronic bronchitis, the individual afflicted may eventually require supplemental oxygen. And in the later stages of the disease, the patient may need to be in the hospital if he or she developed severe complications.
In addition to conventional medications, herbal medicines can be also included in the treatment plan.
Herbal medicines may be inhaled (like eucalyptus) or taken as tea made from mullein or Verbascum thapsus, coltsfoot or Tussilago farfara, and anise seed or Pimpinella anisum.
In most cases, acute bronchitis is caused by viruses, not bacteria and it will go away on its own without antibiotics. To treat acute bronchitis that appears to be caused by a bacterial infection, or as a precaution, antibiotics may be given.
However, a meta-analysis found that antibiotics may reduce symptoms by one-half day.
Antibiotic medications may include the following:
~ trimethoprim or sulfamethazole
~ tetracycline or ampicillin
~ amoxicillin (for children below eight years of age due to the fact that tetracycline causes discoloration on the teeth that have not come out)
To help the bronchial tree heal faster and not make bronchitis worse, smokers should cut back on the number of cigarettes smoked daily or quit smoking completely to allow their lungs to recover from the layer of tar that often builds up over time
Using over-the-counter antihistamines may be harmful in the self-treatment of bronchitis.
An effect of antihistamines is to thicken mucus secretions. Expelling infected mucus via coughing can be beneficial in recovering from bronchitis.
Expulsion of the mucus may be hindered if it is thickened. Antihistamines can help bacteria to persist and multiply in the lungs by increasing its residence time in a warm, moist environment of thickened mucus.
Using antihistamines along with an expectorant cough syrup may be doubly harmful: encouraging the production of mucus and then thickening that which is produced.
Using an expectorant cough syrup alone might be useful in flushing bacteria from the lungs.
Using an antihistamine along with it works against the intention of using the expectorant.
Acetaminophen is the most prescribed medication to fight pain and fever. Another is aspirin, but this is contraindicated for children and pregnant women due to the fact that this drug is suspected to be the cause of Reye’s syndrome among children. For women, it may cause severe bleeding.
Anti-cough medicines are taken when the sufferer experiences dry cough (cough without phlegm). But if the individual is experiencing cough with phlegm, then it should be left as it is and let the phlegm come out naturally.
This is because if cough is suppressed and the phlegm is contained within, then it will eventually accumulate in the air passages which will cause an obstruction and may become a hotbed for dangerous microorganisms.
Expectorants, on the other hand, are medications that help liquidify or thin out the thick mucus in the lungs to make it easier to cough out.
Moreover, if the physician has detected a bacterial infection then an antibiotic medication may be prescribed. Intake of antibiotic medications should be done religiously as the physician ordered because any lapse may only cause the return of the disease or worse, the bacteria may produce a strain that could become immune to the medication.
Self Care strategies for Living with bronchitis
Acute bronchitis usually lasts approximately 20 or 30 days. It may accompany or closely follow a cold or the flu, or may occur on its own. Bronchitis usually begins with a dry cough, including waking the sufferer at night.
After a few days it progresses to a wetter or productive cough, which may be accompanied by fever, fatigue, and headache. The fever, fatigue, and malaise may last only a few days; but the wet cough may last up to several weeks.
Changing your lifestyle is also a helpful remedy. You need to stop smoking if you currently smoke. If possible, utilize a steam or humidifier in your bathroom.
Make it a habit to drink lots of water and other fluids. If your infection is active, take your rest. Oxygen therapy at home can be also done if the levels of oxygen in your body are low due to chronic bronchitis.
Some Home Remedy for Your Bronchitis: A First Aid Alert
Bronchitis is a condition wherein there is inflammation of the bronchial tubes. As the condition worsens, mucus is developed because of the swelling of the bronchial tubes.
The symptoms of bronchitis may cause uneasiness, irritability and to some extent, pain. Hence when bronchitis is causing you too much discomfort, then there are suggested home remedies for the said illness.
Drink plenty of fluids.
It is highly recommended that you drink a lot of non-caffeinated fluids such as water and fruit juices extracted from fresh fruits. Orange juice is highly recommended to drink to help alleviate the symptoms of bronchitis.
Taking a lot of fluids will help thin your mucus. Thus, you will have an easier time to breathe.
It is best to avoid cold drinks since it can worsen the air passageway.
Say No to Smoking.
If you are a smoker, you need to put off smoking. Smoking deteriorates your lungs which leads to the development to difficulty in breathing. Furthermore, smoking worsens the infection in your bronchial tubes.
On the other hand, if you are not a smoker you need to prevent anyone in your home from smoking. Explain to your family members the need for them to stop smoking. If you are on public conveyances and places, it is best to stay away from smokers.
Humidify your environment.
Research shows that humidity helps relieve the aggravated membranes in your bronchial tubes. It is best to have a “vaporizer” in your bedroom. Thirty minutes before you rest or go to sleep, turn on the vaporizer.
If the vaporizer is turned on, make sure to close any door or windows. You can leave the vaporizer open during the night. Doing so, you will be able to get at least 70% humidity.
Other steps to obtain moisture are to take a hot bath, breathe steam from a container of hot water or drape a hot towel on top of your head.
Medical findings show that doing regular exercise is helpful to treat bronchitis. It is recommended that outdoor exercises be done instead of indoor exercises since you are most likely to breathe in fresh air when you are outside. Additionally, an outdoor exercise is best taken in the morning.
It is also suggested that you carry out other forms of exercises such as cleaning calisthenics, workouts to correct body postures and breath-hold exercises.
You do not need to immediately rush to your doctor or run to the nearest drug store during the onset of the symptoms of bronchitis. The above-mentioned steps can temporarily relieve you from the pain and discomfort that bronchitis bring.
Diet change strategies:
Acute bronchitis is usually the result of a cold and viral infection. Chronic bronchitis is a persistent cough that lasts more than 3 months, with air pollution and smoking contributing to chronic bronchitis. Herbal remedies can help with both types.
Today, research has found that some herbal medicines can help in alleviating the symptoms of bronchitis.
If you are having severe symptoms such as chest pain, high fever or are coughing up blood you need to see a medical specialist immediately.
• Licorice – Licorice soothes mucous membranes and is an expectorant. It also helps stimulate the cells to produce more interferon, the bodies own antivirus. Taken as capsules or as a tincture or tea, licorice should not be taken for longer than 6 weeks.
• Horehound – Horehound is available in syrups and also in lozenges. It soothes a sore throat and also works as an expectorant. It is also commonly available as a tea.
• Peppermint – Peppermint has menthol properties that help relax airways and also helps fight viruses. It is a good thing to use as an herbal steam. Add 3 to 5 drops of peppermint essential oil to 4 cups of very hot water. Then use a towel to cover your head and tent the steam. Inhale this way until the water stops steaming.
• Mullein – A tea or tincture, mullein is used to help you expel mucus. It can also help stop the pain of a raspy cough. Drink up to 6 cups of tea per day.
• Wild Cherry Bark – Wild cherry bark is often mixed with other herbs. It helps to suppress coughs, and should only be used for short periods of time. It is best used on coughs that are the dry, hacking type. It is available in teas and tinctures.
• Eucalyptus oil helps loosen the phlegm to make it easier for the lungs to get rid of the mucus secretion inside. In fact, inhaling eucalyptus has been recommended by a lot of medical practitioners all over the world for bronchitis patients.
• Almond is another effective remedy for bronchitis. You can prepare “almond medicine” by pounding at least seven kernels of almonds. Once done, mix it with your favorite fresh fruit juice. It is best to take the said remedy before going to bed.
• Stinging nettle plant - Recent studies have found that the stinging nettle plant can treat bronchitis and other kinds of respiratory illnesses. The juice inside the roots and leaves mixed with honey or sugar can relieve the signs and symptoms that you can suffer from bronchitis.
• Studies show that Vitamin C is beneficial to give as a treat as well as to prevent the onset of bronchitis. Vitamin C is said to be a “cell protective antioxidant.” With that, it safeguards yours lungs from possible lung damages. Plants containing a good source of vitamin C can also help prevent and alleviate the symptoms of bronchitis. It is also recommended that you should eat plants containing magnesium as this can also help in alleviating the symptoms of bronchitis.
• Spinach - A natural expectorant can be found with “spinach mix.” You need to prepare fresh leaves of spinach, water and a bit of ammonium chloride and some honey. Mix those ingredients and then drink it.
• Asparagus is also another cure for bronchitis. You will need one can of asparagus. Mix it with the help of your blender. Refrigerate afterwards. It is recommended to take an “asparagus drink” one in the morning and one before bedtime.
• Ginger is said to be an effective remedy for bronchitis which can be commonly found within your home. Ginger can be made as a tea or it can be licked with honey. To obtain optimum relief, take the said ginger preparation at least three times a day.
• It is believed that onions are a good alternative to give aid to bronchitis. Extract the juice of the onion and drink it. It is most effective if taken first thing in the morning. Onions soften phlegm. Furthermore, it prevents possible formation of phlegm.
Using Ayurveda Therapy:
In acute cases of bronchitis , the patient should fast on orange juice and water till the acutesymptoms subside. The procedure is to take the juice of an orange in a glass of warm waterevery two hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Thereafter, the patient should adopt an all-fruit diet for twoor three days. In case of chronic bronchitis, the patient can begin with an all- fruit diet for five toseven days, taking each day three meals of fresh juicy fruits.
After the all-fruit diet, the patientshould follow a well-balanced diet of seeds, nuts and grains, vegetables and fruits. For drinks,unsweetened lemon water or cold or hot plain water may betaken.
The patient should avoidmeats, sugar, tea, coffee, condiments, pickles, refined and processed foods, soft-drinks,candies, ice-cream and products made from sugar and white flour.
One of the most effective remedy for bronchitis is the use of turmeric powder. A teaspoonful ofthis powder should be administered with a glass of milk two or three times daily. It acts bestwhen taken on an empty stomach.
Another effective remedy for bronchitis is a mixture of dried ginger powder, pepper and longpepper taken in equal quantities three times a day. It may be licked with honey or infused withone’s daily tea.
The powder of these three ingredients have antipyretic qualities and are effectivein dealing with fever accompanied by bronchitis. They also tone up the metabolism of thepatient.
The onion has been used as a food remedy for centuries in bronchitis. It is said to possessexpectorant properties . It liquefies phelgm and prevents its further formation. One teaspoon ofraw onion juice, the first thing in the morning will be highly beneficial in such cases.
A simple hot poultice of linseed should be applied over the front and back of the chest. It will greatly relieve pain. Poultices act by diluting the vessels of the surface and thereby reducing theblood pressure.
The heat of the poultics acts as a cardiac stimulant. A poultics should be appliedneatly and carefully and should be often renewed, so that it does not hamper respiration.Turpentine may be rubbed over the chest with fomentation for the same object.
A hot Epsom-salts bath every night or every other night will be highly beneficial during the acutestages of the attack. This bath is prepared by dissolving three lbs. of Epsom-salts to 60 litres ofwater having a temperature of 100 o F.
The patient should remain immersed in the bath forabout 20 minutes. In case of chronic bronchitis, this bath may be taken twice a week. Hot towelswrung out and applied over the upper chest are also helpful. After applying three hot towels inturn for two or three minutes each , one should always finish off with a cold towel.
A cold packshould also be applied to the upper chest several times daily in acute conditions. The procedureis to wring out some linen material in cold water, wrap two or three times round the affected partand cover it with some flannel. The pack can remain for about an hour at a time.
Fresh air and outdoor exercises are also essential to the treatment of bronchitis and the patientshould take a good walk everyday.
He should also perform yogic kriyas such as jalneti andvamandhouti and yogic asanas such as ekpaduttansana, yogamudra, bhujangasana,shalabhasana, padmasana and shavasana. Simple pranayamas like kapalbhatti,anuloma-viloma, ujjai and bhramari are also highly beneficial.
Vitamin & Nutrient Associations
Dietary and nutrition supplements are also recommended. Food experimentation can be done to see if changing your diet is effective or not in alleviating chronic bronchitis symptoms. Keeping careful records regarding how you feel.
Eating dairy products should be lessened to reduce mucus production. Try avoiding milk, eggs, nuts, preservatives, additives, and food coloring. Instead, try adding garlic and onions.
Scientific studies revealed that NAC or N-Acetyl-Cysteine can help in dissolving mucus as well as improve symptoms of chronic bronchitis. Zinc supplementation can enhance the activity of your immune system.
It also protects you from infections including infections of the upper respiratory system and colds. Other supplements include bromalein, quercetin, vitamin c, and lactobacillus which also prevent the person from catching infections and relieve bronchitis symptoms.
Using herbs is proven to strengthen and treat diseases for many years. However, herbs may contain substances that are active. It may produce side effects upon interactions with other medications, supplements, or herbs.
Herbs must be taken with proper prescription from a knowledgeable practitioner of herbal medications.
Barberry or berberis vulgaris helps improve immune system functions and fight infections. Eucalyptus or eucalyptus globules is good for treating common colds and coughs.
Eucalyptus oil helps in loosening the phlegm. Peppermint or mentha x piperita is effective as decongestants. It contains menthol, thinning the mucus like an expectorant.
It provides calming and soothing effects for dry coughs and sore throats. Slippery elm or ulmus fulva is recognized by the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Authority) as an effective and safe remedy for respiratory symptoms and sore throat. Stinging nettle or urtica dioica also acts as expectorants having anti-viral properties.
Homeopathy is some cases are applicable provided with standard medical attention. It is because physical, psychological, and emotional makeup of a person are taken into consideration before the procedure.
Even when we try to eat well, we're disadvantaged. The nutritional content of most food has been compromised over the years, not only by deficient soils and modern production, transportation, storage and processing methods, but also by the enormous amounts of chemical and artificial substances added to promote growth, storage life, taste and appearance.
It's for this reason that more and more medical authorities are advocating the use of vitamin and mineral supplements. However, finding them in the right combination can be both confusing and costly.
The nutrition products I am going to recommend you make use of knowledge gained from the botanical world's 6,000 year history. They incorporated health building nutritional herbs with the best modern technology to help our bodies cleanse and detoxify so that the cells - the tiniest living units - can be as fully nourished as possible.
This allows the cells to grow, repair and to perform their functions with the best possible efficiency so that we feel and look better and are more able to prevent and fight disease. Once the body begins to clear itself of toxins it can more efficiently absorb nutrition.
As Aloe Vera Juice is a refreshing and anti-bacterial drink, you might find that taking this daily, diluted in some filtered water will not only refresh you like ‘a shower inside you’ but also assists in dealing with any digestive issues you may also be experiencing. Taken with Flora-Fiber tabs it will cleanse your digestive system and improve your immunity levels overall.
You may find benefit from our information on detoxification as well as a bit about detoxing because of change of diet
It may be due to difficulties with your digestive system that is causing your body to be starved of key nutrients, vitamins or minerals. In this case you may find useful answers by reviewing our article on Nutrition For Your Cells. There is also more information here about why is nutrition such an issue nowadays?
It may be that your metabolism has slowed due to pressures that have been placed on your system through life in general or through specific “challenges” you have faced in the last few months or last few years. Review this by looking at our article about balancing your Metabolic Rate.
Further reading through our articles on bronchitis health issues will give you a body of information that will help you decide what options you have to deal with the underlying causes of your problem through giving your body the nutrition products that will assist you body to heal from the inside out.
You can visit our health food products page here: Herbalife Health Nutrition Supplements and learn more about our core nutrition program, the Cellular Nutrition Advanced Program and also check out these targeted products, Florafiber to replace your healthy flora and Aloe Vera Juice to help cleanse your system.
We wish you well in your search for solutions to this bronchitis problem and your movement towards better health in all areas.
More Resources available about bronchitis:
You can visit our health food products page here: Herbalife Health Nutrition Supplements to learn more about some of the nutrition products mentioned in our recommendations above.
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This page details the symptoms and treatments for Allergic bronchitis
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