Bronchitis: Causes, Symptoms, Prevention & Treatment

What Is Bronchitis?

Bronchitis is a severe disease in which the lining of the bronchial tubes get inflamed and swollen. The tubes carry the air to and from your lungs. The presence of mucus in the airways often leads to breathing shortness.

This article puts light on the basic types, causes, symptoms, prevention, and treatment alternatives for Bronchitis.

Bronchitis: Causes, Symptoms, Prevention & Treatment

What Are The Types Of Bronchitis?

Bronchitis is of two types:

1. Acute Bronchitis

  • More common
  • Symptoms last for a couple of weeks.
  • Less severe

2. Chronic Bronchitis

  • Less common
  • Long-lasting and recurring
  • Very severe

What Are The Symptoms Of Bronchitis?

  • Fever
  • Night chills
  • Cough
  • Wheezing
  • Breathing problem
  • Chest tightness
  • Fatigues

What Causes Bronchitis?

  • Cigarette smoking
  • Second-hand smoke
  • Dust mites 
  • Fumes
  • Smoke from coal, fire

Also Read: Colon Cancer: A Definitive Guide

What Are The Risk Factors Of Bronchitis?

Smoking: The risk of both acute and chronic Bronchitis increases with smoking. If you smoke or even reside with someone who smokes, you are at a serious risk of getting the disease.

Family History: If you have a close friend or relative with Bronchitis, you can also have the disease. 

Low Immunity: If you are suffering from some other disease and have weakened your immune system over a while, you are at an elevated risk of getting struck by Bronchitis. 

Exposure to certain pollutants: If you are involved in jobs with frequent exposure to lung irritating substances like textiles, grains, or chemical fumes, your risk of having Bronchitis is excellent. 

Acid Reflux: GERD or acid reflux is a condition in which the acid of the stomach backflow to the food pipe. It raises the chances of the disease. 

Viruses: The presence of microorganisms of cold and flu increases the risk of Bronchitis.

When To Call A Doctor?

Acute Bronchitis provides you with cold and flu-like symptoms related to cold. Call a doctor if:

  • Cough lasts for over and above three weeks
  • You experience pain in the chest
  • There is the presence of blood or thick mucus in cough
  • You can't sleep because of a severe cough
  • You are losing weight even without trying 
  • You get a fever above 100.4 degrees
  • It causes a problem in breathing

How Can You Prevent Bronchitis?

  • Regular exercising can assist you to breathe correctly.
  • Stay away from people who are suffering from any acute or chronic illness. 
  • Get the vaccinations of flu and pneumonia on time. It lowers the risk of many dangerous infections.
  • Consider washing your hands frequently with soap and water. The viruses of cold and flu are incredibly transmissible. Follow the preventive measures and prevent getting those viruses in the first place. 
  • If you get cold, take medications and get it treated soon.
  • Have a healthy and balanced diet.
  • Weak a surgical mask in case you are suffering from COPD. 

How Is Bronchitis Diagnosed?

Following tests are beneficial in the diagnosis of Bronchitis:

Chest X-Ray: If you have been a smoker or taking second-hand smoke for a considerable time, chest x rays can be beneficial.

CT Scan: In this, several images from different angles are taken to diagnose the issue. The computer used in the CT scan creates cross-sectional images of bones, tissues, and blood vessels. CT scan produces more detailed images as compared to x rays. 

Sputum Culture: The sputum of the person is tested to determine if the condition is treatable with antibiotics. If you are suffering from some allergies, this test will uncover the presence of it. 

Spirometry: It is a test that determines how well your lungs are performing its functions. It checks the amount of air you inhale or exhale and how soon you exhale. This test helps determine most lung disorders, including Bronchitis. 

How Is Bronchitis Treated?

Slight changes in your lifestyle and taking certain medications can help you reduce the symptoms. It lessens the chances of disease getting worse over a period. 

Following are the treatment options available for Bronchitis - 

Oxygen Therapy: oxygen therapy is provided when there are inadequate levels of oxygen in the blood as a result of severe damage caused in the lungs. It is a severe case when a doctor supplies oxygen to the patient's body with the help of a portable device. 

Anti-inflammatory Drugs: Certain drugs are given to relieve the symptoms of Bronchitis. It will reduce the pain and inflammation effectively. Bronchodilators: It is a medication that widens the airways and makes breathing easier. It is given to treat chronic symptoms when the airway narrows down and becomes inflamed. 

Special Rehabilitation Program: If breathing has become really difficult for you, join some specialized rehabilitation program. You will get to learn excellent ways to breathe while exercising. 


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Tags: Bronchitis Home Remedies, Bronchitis Prevention, Bronchitis Antibiotics, Bronchitis Pneumonia