Bronchitis is a lung or respiratory disorder caused by viruses, bacteria or other particles where bronchial tubes gets inflamed or swelled. This condition restricts the movement of air between the mouth and nose and the lungs. In such condition, it is very difficult to breathe as the air passage gets packed with mucus or phlegm. In bronchitis disease, bronchi gets affected in which infection irritates it and it makes usually high amount of mucus that is tried to remove through coughing process.
This disease can be either acute or chronic in nature where inflammation of airways last for up to three weeks or three months to two year timeframe respectively. Cigarette smoker are more susceptible for bronchitis like respiratory diseases causing one serious condition of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Generally, acute bronchitis is also known as chest cold occurring due to cold or viral infection and after treatment it does not cause any future problems.
Bronchitis is divided in two types as acute bronchitis and chronic bronchitis depending upon its period of time and effects but there are some common signs and symptoms between them:
There are some different symptoms observed in acute bronchitis which are similar to flu condition like headaches, body aches, tightening in chest etc. and in some cases like children, due to increased mucus, vomiting occurs. On other side, a person suffering from chronic bronchitis experiencing signs like wheezing, persistent cough with build-up amount of phlegm, recurring chest infections, breathing difficulties. This chronic bronchitis carries productive cough for the longer period of time.
In respiratory system, trachea and bronchi are essential for air transfer from mouth and nose to lungs where bronchi is further divided in to small and small airway of lungs called as bronchioles. These bronchioles and bronchi get affected b viruses, bacteria or other particles making damage to the lungs and airways tissues.
If symptoms are similar to flu and coughing lasts for several days, it is acute bronchitis. The reasons behind the inflammation in acute bronchitis are tobacco smoke inhalation, dust, fumes, vapors and air pollution. Smoking in any form is most common reason behind the occurrence of chronic bronchitis as well as other factors like long term exposure to air pollution, dust, fumes, and repeated episodes of acute bronchitis.
Sometimes other environmental or physical factors like gastric reflux causing severe heartburn also irritates throat and making it more prone to bronchitis and working at place that have exposure to lung irritants such as grains or textile mills or chemical fume leading to bronchitis.
As a preventive measure of bronchitis, following are some points:
Patient’s medical history is asked as well as physical examination with the use of stethoscope will be done by medical professional to find out any abnormal sounds in the lungs. Further questions about coughing, flu like symptoms, exposure to dust or fume etc. are asked by doctor and followed by below mentioned tests:
People with suffering from symptoms like coughing for more than 3 weeks or mucus with blood, fever lasted for more than 3 days, chest pain or recurring bronchitis are recommended for treatment of OTC cough suppressants, bronchodilators, mucolytic, antibiotics etc. Below are some treatment plans suitable for bronchitis:
For chronic bronchitis, patients are prescribed for oral or inhaled steroids, yearly flu and/or pneumonia vaccination.
Some behavioral remedies are suggested for people suffering from bronchitis as mentioned below:
Bronchitis is categorised in acute bronchitis and chronic bronchitis. Acute bronchitis is normally occurring because of infections or exposure to dust, chemical fumes or any other lung irritant resulting into inflammation of the airways of lungs. Cough lasting for 3-4 days in dry form and converting into cough with mucus remains for three to four weeks.
The treatment plan should be followed in the manner as prescribed and acute bronchitis went away in 3-4 weeks if lungs are not much damaged and working properly. A cigarette smoker is at higher risk of occurring chronic bronchitis as it have cough with mucus or phlegm and sometimes blood, too.
Once treatment is started and followed properly, then chronic bronchitis needs recovery time-period of minimum three months to two constructive years.