Bronchitis is a respiratory problem in which the mucous membrane in the lungs bronchial passages becomes inflamed and usually occurs in the setting of an upper respiratory illness and is seen more frequently in the winter months. It can be short-lived (acute) or chronic, meaning that it continues a long time and often recurs and can have causes other than an infection. It can also happen when acids from your stomach consistently back up into your esophagus , a condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. Both adults and children can get it.
If you are a smoker and develop the acute form, it will be a good deal harder for you to recover. If you continue smoking, you are increasing your chances of acquiring the chronic type which is a serious long-term disorder that often requires regular medical therapy. If you suffer from the chronic form, you are at risk for developing cardiovascular problems plus more serious lung diseases and infections, and you should be monitored by a doctor.
Symptoms lasting up to ninety days are normally classified as acute; symptoms continuing longer, sometimes for months or years, are usually classified as chronic. Signs of Infectious bronchitis generally starts with the symptoms of a common cold: runny nose, sore throat, fatigue, chills, and back and muscle aches. The signs of either ind include: Cough that produces mucus; if yellow-green in color, you are more apt to have a bacterial infection, Shortness of breath made worse by exertion or mild activity, Wheezing, Fatigue, Fever — usually low and Chest discomfort. Additional symptoms include: Frequent respiratory infections (such as colds or the flu), Ankle, feet, and leg swelling, Blue-tinged lips caused by low levels of oxygen.
Most people can treat their symptoms at home. However, if you have severe or on going symptoms or if you cough up blood,you should see your doctor. The physician will recommend that you drink lots of fluids, get plenty of rest, and may suggest using an over-the-counter or prescription cough drug to relieve your symptoms as you recouperate. If you do not improve, your doctor may recommend an inhaler to open your airways. If symptoms are severe, the doctor may order a chest x-ray to exclude pneumonia.
Over time, harmful substances in tobacco smoke can permanently affect the airways, increasing the chances for emphysema, cancer, and other serious lung diseases. Persons at risk for acute bronchitis include: The elderly, babies, and young children, Smokers, those with heart or lung disease. Passive smoke exposure is a risk factor for asthma in adults. Smoking (even for a brief period of time) and being around tobacco smoke, chemical fumes, and other air pollutants for long periods of time increases a persons risk for producing the disease.
In total, tobacco smoking accounts for as much as 90% of the risk. Secondhand smoke or environmental tobacco smoke elevates the likelihood of respiratory infections, augments asthma symptoms, and creates a measurable reduction in pulmonary function. Malnutrition increases the chances of upper respiratory tract infections and subsequent acute bronchitis, especially in children and older people.
Therapy depending on the symptoms and cause, could include: Antibiotics for treating acute bronchitis that appears to be caused by a bacterial infection or for persons who have other lung afflictions that put them at a greater risk of lung infections, Bronchodilators, which open up the bronchi, may be utilized on a short-term basis to open airways and diminish wheezing, Cool-mist humidifiers or steam vaporizers can be helpful for wheezing or shortness of breath.
Early recognition and therapy, combined with no more smoking, significantly increases the chance of a good outcome. With the severe form, your fever may be as high as 101 to 102 F and may last for three to five days even with antibiotic treatment. However, if influenza is the suspected cause, treatment with an antiviral drug might be useful.
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the air ways within the lungs and may be accompanied by signs and symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, including: Soreness and a sensation of constriction or burning in your chest, Sore throat, Congestion, Breathlessness, Wheezing, Slight fever and chills, Overall malaise.
Tobacco and infectious agents are primary causes of chronic bronchitis and although seen in all age groups, it is diagnosed most frequently in children younger than 5 years. In 1994, it was diagnosed in more than eleven of every one hundred children younger than five years old. Fewer than 5% of those with the disease go on to develop pneumonia. Most cases clear up on their own in a period of a few days, especially if you rest, drink plenty of fluids, and keep the air in your home warm and moist. If you have repeated bouts of bronchitis, see your MD.
Ricardo Henri is the webmaster of alternative Remedies,Treatments And Cures,a website with a plethora of information concerningcaring for your health without relying on drugs and needless surgery. Subscribe to his monthly newsletter @ alternative remedies cures