What is bronchitis
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the mucous membrane of the walls of the bronchi. The bronchi, in turn, represent an extensive network of pipes of different diameters, the conductive inhaled air from the larynx to the lungs. An infection or inflammation of the bronchi interferes with the circulation of air to the lungs and from them, due to edema of the bronchi and overproduction of mucus.
As a rule, bronchitis develops after acute respiratory infection or a cold, and since we suffer from colds each year, most of us have had an episode of bronchitis at least once in their lifetime. With appropriate treatment the bronchitis passes in a few days, leaving no consequences, while cough can last three weeks or more. If You suffer from bronchitis several times a year, this may indicate the development of a more serious condition - chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The state described by this term, is a group of diseases, the devastating impact on the tissue of the lungs. These include emphysema, chronic bronchitis, bronchial asthma and asthmatic bronchitis. Chronic bronchitis is characterized by cough with phlegm, lasting most of the month, at least three months a year and within two years, if no other reason can cause coughing (who recommendations).
The symptoms of bronchitis
The main symptom of bronchitis is a cough with discharge of a yellowish-gray or greenish sputum. In some cases, sputum is mixed with blood. Released during coughing or having unpainted white tint of the mucus is not a symptom of a bacterial infection. It is important to remember that a cough is one of the most important protective functions of the organism. His role is to cleanse the respiratory tract. However, useful only wet, productive cough, in which the liquid phlegm can be easily removed.
Normal bronchi produces about 30 grams of mucous secretion daily. Produce mucus performs barrier and protective functions. It protects the surface of the bronchial tubes from damage, moistens and warms inhaled air, removes foreign particles. Biologically active substances contained in the mucus, increase local immunity of the bronchi. Infectious agents (viruses, bacteria, fungi) or noninfectious (dust, pollen, components of aerosols) cause damage to cells of the bronchial mucosa. There is inflammation, in which the quantity of the mucus increases several times, and also increases its viscosity. The accumulation of mucus causes difficulty in breathing and impaired lung function. In addition, mucous secret is an excellent nutrient medium for the growth of microorganisms.
In addition to the coughing, symptoms of bronchitis are:
- pain and spasm feeling in my throat
- shortness of breath, wheezing, low - grade temperature
Causes of bronchitis
Viruses that cause acute respiratory infections or the common cold can cause acute bronchitis, but the peculiarity of the inflammation of the bronchial tree (as mentioned above) is the possibility of secondary bacterial infection.
Sometimes the development of bronchitis is facilitated by the inhalation of tobacco smoke, dust, toxic gases, and hydrochloric acid, which in this disease such as gastroesophageal reflux passes from the stomach to the esophagus and larynx.
Risk factors in the development of bronchitis
The risk of acute bronchitis or of its transition in the chronic form increases several times, if You smoke or passively inhale tobacco smoke. This is especially true for children whose parents smoke. In this case, in addition to bronchitis, in children increases the risk of respiratory catarrh, asthma and pneumonia. In cases when Your immune system is weakened by acute or chronic disease, the risk of bronchitis also increases.
If You work in areas with high airborne levels of dust, such as cotton, and chemical reagents, acids, alkalis, peroxides, risk of developing respiratory diseases increases.
When should I contact the doctor?
If You have a cough, with opaque expectoration, sore or discomfort in the throat, slight fever, and these symptoms persist for 2-3 days, you should definitely contact the doctor. You should be especially careful if you have such co-morbidities such as asthma or heart failure.
If You have frequent bronchitis, contact your doctor. May You live in ecologically unfavorable area, or work in hazardous industries. With complete information, the doctor can prescribe the most effective treatment.
Methods of diagnosis of bronchitis
Specialist usually listens with a stethoscope, Your bronchi and lungs. To exclude more serious diseases, such as pneumonia, can be assigned to an x-ray. Analyses of sputum for identification of the pathogen.
Treatment of bronchitis
Depending on the severity of the disease, the doctor will prescribe You a medication and / or non-pharmacological therapy. Were most commonly prescribed inhalation therapy, massage, therapeutic exercise, physiotherapy and medicines, reducing sputum viscosity and improves expectoration (expectorants and mucolytic agents), immunomodulators, antibiotics. Very rarely can be assigned to drugs that suppress the cough.
Doctors often recommend medications, prepared on the basis of plants - herbal remedies. Bronchitis useful decoction mother and stepmother, rosemary, elecampane, juice black radish with honey, the juice of plantain, the fruit extract of anise and thyme, combined herbal preparations, for example, bronhikum. Make the herbal remedies are needed every 3 hours, strictly following the therapeutic dose, since overdose can cause vomiting. It does not, however, overestimate the significance and potential of herbal medicine. If on 3-4th day of illness, the cough becomes wet and the sputum is still a problem, you should start treating modern synthetic mucolytic drugs, which will prescribe the doctor (e.g., Bromhexine).
Antibiotics for bronchitis are assigned to is not always. The need for their use can be determined only by the doctor. It all depends on severity, nature of the pathogen and duration of disease. Still, there is no effective antiviral drug.
Treatment without medication includes the following activities:
- drinking large amounts of fluid to liquefy the phlegm
- proper rest
- the air conditioning in the room You are in (the air should be moist and clean)
In the complex treatment of diseases of useful light massage of the chest.
Physical movement (but not too active) improve the cleansing of the bronchial tubes of accumulated mucus and speed up the recovery. Easy eat enough nutritious food. You need to drink a lot. The body, especially during illness, is in need of a large amount of liquid. It improves the elimination of toxins from the body, contributes to thinning and removal of phlegm.
Prevention of bronchitis
The following simple tips will help Your body in fighting infection:
- relax completely
- drink plenty of fluids
- possible air-condition the indoor air. Warm and moist air helps expectoration and removal of phlegm
- do not smoke
- if You work or are in areas with polluted air, wear a protective mask