Bronchitis can be described as the inflammation of the bronchial tubes. It can be caused by a bacterial or viral infection or can be the result of an allergy. The latter is known as allergic bronchitis. This may be triggered by exposure to pollen, smoke, pollution, tobacco or dust. Symptoms usually disappear within a few weeks. However, chronic bronchitis can last for months at a stretch.
Common symptoms associated with allergic bronchitis are coughing, expectoration of yellow or greenish mucus, pressure in the chest, fever, and fatigue. Smokers have the highest risk of allergic bronchitis. Passive smokers also have a high risk of suffering from this condition. People who are exposed to a lot of air pollution or those who work in coal mines, farms and textile factories also have a high risk of allergic bronchitis. Women particularly those above the age of 45 years are at a high risk. The existence of any preexisting allergies can also aggravate allergic bronchitis.
Treatment for this condition aims at opening the airways by relaxing the bronchial muscles. Bronchodilators can be very effective in treating this type of breathing issue. These medicines are administered through an inhaler. There are two types of bronchodilators; short-acting bronchodilators that work quickly and long-acting bronchodilators that work at a slower rate but remain effective for longer. Steroids may also be prescribed to reduce the inflammation and swelling in the bronchial tubes. These are also administered through an inhaler.
In severe cases, the blockage in the bronchial tubes can cause oxygen levels in the body to dip drastically. In such cases, oxygen therapy may be needed. This involves delivering pure oxygen into the lungs through a respirator.
Patients who have difficulty sleeping at night because of breathing issues can benefit from a humidifier. The warm air helps loosen mucus in the bronchial passages and makes it easier to breathe.
Allergic bronchitis can be prevented to an extent. Quit smoking and maintain distance from people who smoke is the best thing you can do. In addition, always ensure that your work area is well ventilated especially if your work involves chemicals of any kind. Wearing a breathing mask when outdoors can help on days when the pollution levels are high. Alternatively, avoid stepping outdoors on days when the pollen levels and pollution levels in the air are high. Allergy shots can also help reduce the frequency of such attacks. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!