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Treatment for Bronchitis

Medikoe Health Expert

Medikoe Health Expert

  Koramangala, bengaluru, karnataka, india, Bengaluru     Feb 9, 2017

   5 min     


What is bronchitis?

Bronchitis is a respiratory condition, which causes inflammation or swelling of the tubes within the system. The bronchi are tubes, which transport air between the mouth, nose, and lungs. Often developing from a cold or other respiratory infection, acute bronchitis is very common. Chronic bronchitis, a more serious condition, is a constant irritation or inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes, often due to smoking.

If someone develops this condition, the linings of these tubes get irritated and swell up. This causes difficulty in breathing and increased phlegm in the system. Individuals with bronchitis have a reduced ability to breathe air and oxygen into their lungs; also, they cannot clear heavy mucus or phlegm from their airways.

Asthmatic bronchitis is bronchitis that happens as a result of asthma. The two conditions are linked. Having asthma puts you at an increased risk of bronchitis. This is because asthma constricts the air vessels in your lungs. When the airways get inflamed, they produce mucus.

There are two types of bronchitis:

  • Acute bronchitis: This is the more common type. Symptoms last for a few weeks, but it doesn’t usually cause any problems past that.

  • Chronic bronchitis: This keeps coming back or doesn’t go away at all. It’s more serious, and it’s one of the conditions that make up something called “chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,” or COPD. You are more likely to have this if you smoke.

Bronchitis causes

Bronchitis is caused by the inflammation of the bronchial tubes, by viruses, bacteria, or other irritant particles

Acute bronchitis is usually caused by viruses, typically the same viruses that cause colds and flu (influenza). Antibiotics don't kill viruses, so this type of medication isn't useful in most cases of bronchitis.

The most common cause of chronic bronchitis is cigarette smoking. Air pollution and dust or toxic gases in the environment or workplace also can contribute to the condition.

Bronchitis symptoms

Signs and symptoms of both acute and chronic bronchitis include:

  • Persistent cough, which may produce mucus

  • Wheezing

  • Low fever and chills

  • Chest tightening

  • Sore throat

  • Body aches

  • Breathlessness

  • Headaches

  • Blocked nose and sinuses

It is common for the symptoms of chronic bronchitis to get worse two or more times every year, and they are often worse during the winter months. One of the main symptoms of acute bronchitis is a cough that lasts for several weeks. It can sometimes last for several months if the bronchial tubes take a long time to heal fully. However, a cough that refuses to go away could also be a sign of another illness such as asthma or pneumonia.

Bronchitis treatment

  • Acute bronchitis usually goes away on its own over some time but chronic bronchitis has no particular cure but measures can be taken to reduce the symptoms and keep things under control.

  • The most important thing if you are a smoker is to quit because it worsens your condition.

  • The doctor might prescribe cough medicines and antibiotics for a while to ease the symptoms.

  • In the case of wheezing or asthma inhalers are prescribed to help relieve your breathing problems.

  • Anti-inflammatory medicines, oxygen treatment, and pulmonary rehabilitation programs can provide some relief.

Bronchitis Home Remedies

  1. Get some rest: One of the main symptoms of bronchitis is fatigue. The infection and the persistent cough that comes with it can cause extreme tiredness. When you’re fighting an infection, your body craves downtime. It may be tough to power down and log off from work, but it’s essential.

  2. Drink lots of water: Staying adequately hydrated when you’re battling bronchitis helps to thin out mucus, making it easier to expel. And if you’re fighting a fever, you may already be dehydrated, so you want to replace lost fluid. Water is fine, but warm liquids may be more soothing. People with bronchitis can become dehydrated due to increased fluid loss from fever, rapid breathing, runny nose, vomiting, and diarrhea. Dehydration can lead to dizziness, confusion, headache, and more discomfort in the mouth and throat. The best way to thin mucus is to drink plenty of fluids like water, diluted fruit juices, herbal tea, and clear soups. Aim for eight to 12 glasses a day. Try to stay away from alcohol and caffeine.

  3. Quitting smoking: If you’re a smoker, do your inflamed bronchial tubes a favor: Go smoke-free. Smoking is the leading cause of chronic bronchitis. Stopping smoking and avoiding secondhand smoke may improve a person's quality of life. Staying away from substances like smoke, chemical fumes, dust, and air pollution is the best way to both prevent and treat bronchitis

  4. Gargle With Salt Water: This can get rid of some of the mucus that coats and irritates your throat. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Spit it out after gargling. You can do this several times a day to make your throat feel better. Swishing warm saline water in your mouth and throat several times a day when you have bronchitis may help wash away excess mucus.

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