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:
Unlike bronchitis, pneumonia is a more severe and life-threatening disease. Most of the symptoms in pneumonia are identical to bronchitis, yet in pneumonia patient also experience symptoms like:
Some common symptoms are:
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.
Treatment for bronchitis can be conducted on anyone regardless of age and gender.
There are different treatment plans available for each age group but everyone can undergo the treatment process if they are feeling problematic.
There are no certain restrictions made for the eligibility of bronchitis treatment.
The guidelines post-treatment are:
Yes. If not treated on time bronchitis can turn into pneumonia. There are two types of bronchitis that can develop into pneumonia and they are:
Other than that there are two types that might not convert into pneumonia, but can develop a severe case if not treated on time:
Around 90 percent of all cases worldwide of acute bronchitis are caused by viruses that are contagious. Viral bronchitis has an incubation period of between two to six days and the patient starts to become contagious within a few hours of the initial onset of symptoms. Most of the patients remain contagious until the symptoms go away.
Acute bronchitis that’s caused by bacterial infections is less contagious than the viral to other healthy people, although the patient is at greater risk of spreading the infection to those who have compromised immune systems.
If one takes antibiotics for bacterial acute bronchitis, it will become less contagious within 24 to 48 hours.
On the other hand, Chronic bronchitis is not usually contagious. But it can be if the patient is suffering from both acute and chronic bronchitis.
If a patient experiences uncontrollable cough during night time, then it can be a sign that bacterial or viral bronchitis is getting worse.
Although there are few reasons which make bronchitis worse at night, they are:
In a nutshell, it’s not the time frame that makes bronchitis worse, it is lack of physical activity and sleep habits that worsen the case.
The body reacts to disease-causing bacteria by sending white blood cells via increased blood flow. Under bacterial attack, the body starts to produce new antibodies which later get attached to the bacteria and destroy them completely. In this case, the body uses most of its resources to heal the bacteria of bronchitis through this process which usually makes a patient tired and exhausted.
Also, bronchitis bacteria grows into the lungs and blocks most of the nasal passage making respiration difficult for an individual. This creates a low oxygen supply in the bloodstream making it difficult for the body to fiction daily activities properly.
Acute bronchitis typically cured within 15 days, or in some cases, one may experience basic symptoms for up to three weeks.
In the case of chronic bronchitis, one may develop a long-lasting form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In this case, the patient experiences frequent episodes of bronchitis which last up to three months. Chronic bronchitis takes two or more than two years to cure, depending upon the recovery from the initial episode.
In acute cases, early detection and treatment may prevent the lungs from permanent damage. As in most acute cases, bronchitis generally fades away without any specific medication or antibiotics.
If not detected on time acute bronchitis might develop into a severe case of chronic bronchitis or even pneumonia. In this case, it is very likely that the disease will damage the lungs. The damage depends on the facts like:
Some behavioral remedies are suggested for people suffering from bronchitis as mentioned below:
Edibles that are low in fat are ideal to consume during bronchitis. Healthcare professionals recommend eating plenty of fruits and vegetables for an overall healthy diet. Here is the list of fruits that will you improve your respiratory tract:
Rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, apples will help fight against toxic bacteria present in the lungs.
One of the richest dietary sources of lycopene, tomato contains carotenoid antioxidants that has been associated with improved lung health.
Great source of anthocyanins, including malvidin, cyanidin, peonidin, delphinidin, and petunidin; known to protect lung tissue from oxidative damage.
In general, there are no such adverse effects of bronchitis treatment. In a few cases where an individual is allergic to any element in the medication can have some side effects.
Even though it is easy to manage it can take a drastic turn if not taken care of on time. Contact your nearest medical services in case the bronchitis patient shows:
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.
There is no such requirement for antibiotics to cure bronchitis. In most acute cases, the patient heals through self-care only. But in severe cases, doctors will prescribe a specific set of antibiotics to prevent bronchitis from turning into pneumonia. Here is the list of antibiotics that are commonly prescribed to treat severe cases of bronchitis:
NOTE: Prolog consumption of antibiotics in bronchitis might develop health problems like rash, diarrhea, antibiotic-resistant infection, or even C. diff infection which might lead to a severe cold or even death.
Generally, the symptoms in acute bronchitis start to fade away eventually and the patient feels more healthy than before. Since chronic bronchitis includes frequent relapse of the disease, it is hard for a layman to detect the progress of the treatment on its own. So, only the medical professionals can provide the exact progress of the treatment through tests and examinations.
Generally, bronchitis usually gets better on its own. If not, one can use some self-care methods like:
If the patient has successfully undergone the treatment without any complications, bronchitis may lead to remission.
Amongst all cases, the success rate of the treatment within three months is quite high.
Food can create a great change when it comes to fighting diseases. Here are some of the food items that help you manage bronchitis:
Here is the list of food items that can make bronchitis worse:
The cost of the treatment usually depends on the treatment plan. Medications or bronchodilators can cost you around 18-20 thousand a year. The bandwidth of expense is also determined by the type, severity of further complications associated with the medical condition.
The cost also depends on the hospital branch, your location, and if the patient is under medical insurance or not.
Since bronchitis affects your lungs, it is advisable to keep your fitness regime light and discuss it with your doctor beforehand. Avoid any pressure on the physical lungs, it can make things worse.
Here are some of the exercises that you can peruse for a healthy lifestyle:
Summary: Bronchitis can be described as a respiratory disorder that causes inflammation in the bronchial tubes caused by bacteria or viral infections. It can be short-lived or prolonged, but in both cases it makes you feel breathless so treatment is recommended.