Bronchitis is an acute inflammation of the air passage within the lungs. Specifically this inflammation occurs within the windpipe as well as the bronchi – the minute air sacs within the windpipe. This inflammation is attributed to irritations or some viral infection of sorts. Bronchitis is divided into two categories – acute and chronic. Acute bronchitis is characterized by the development of a cough that comes with or without the production of sputum that is expelled from the respiratory tract. This strain of bronchitis develops during the course of a viral infection such as influenza. Chronic bronchitis on the other hand is more of a chronic obstructive disease that develops as a result of some recurrent injury on the airways due to inhaling irritants of one kind or another. The irritants in question could range from cigarette smoke to industrial effluent from occupational hazards. The inflammation of the constituent parts of the nasal passage has causes, manifests itself with certain symptoms, and will have a system that is used to manage its recurrence or possible incumbency within the respiratory system.
Causes of Bronchitis
Acute bronchitis – Acute bronchitis is caused by viruses that affect the epithelium of the bronchi. The result of this infection is inflammation of the epithelium. The end result of this is that the system attempts to battle this infection by increased mucus secretion. It is estimated that 90% of all cases of acute bronchitis are caused by viral infections. The most common being influenza and Rhino viruses. The other 10% of all cases of acute bronchitis are attributed to bacterial infections. Chronic bronchitis on the other hand is caused by a recurring injury to the chronic epithelium of the bronchi. The usual suspects to this injury are tobacco, industrial gases, and even persistent dust. This is possibly why this disease has a very high incidence rate amongst chain smokers or individuals who have worked in the belly of the earth (sic) for a very long time.
Symptoms of Bronchitis
The symptoms of both acute and chronic bronchitis are enumerated below. For an individual who is said to be suffering from acute bronchitis the dead giveaway is usually as follows: the increased secretion of mucus in an attempt to clear the nasal passage, an increase in the amount of sputum in the nasal cavity. This is often seen with an increased feeling of a wet chest, for want of a better word.
The individual who is affected might possibly develop a cough. The cough in question is often classified as a wet cough. It is accompanied by mucus, and once again this represents the body's attempt to clear up the air ways. These are but some of the bodies mechanics used to clear the disequilibrium created by the condition. If these symptoms are backed with a feverish condition or general malaise in the body, then you can be guaranteed that you are dealing with a case of acute bronchitis.
For chronic bronchitis, the symptoms are usually as follows: Foremost is the presence of a cough that lasts for an extended period of time. Experts avow that if a cough lasts in excess of 2 months, then you have a potential chronic bronchitis sufferer. It is important to note that coughs will clear out by themselves. A cough that has a lifespan in excess of a week needs some intervention of one kind or another. What the article alludes to by the 2 months time line is a cough that despite several interventions is nonresponsive and lasts out this long. If this cough persists for up to 2 years, then you can be assured that the individual is suffering from chronic bronchitis. The other symptoms of chronic bronchitis are a wheeze, more so when an individual exerts themselves; and episodes where the sufferer actually runs short of breathe.
Bronchitis Home Remedies
The following are but some of the home remedies that are applied when an individual is afflicted with a case of bronchitis. Remember, you should always consult with your physician in order to get a proper diagnosis and before trying to incorporate these home remedies yourself!
- Quit Smoking– One intervention that is given with regard to dealing with chronic bronchitis is the individual being asked to stop smoking. Similarly such an individual might be asked to step down from his job if the condition is attributed to a certain occupational hazard.
- Anise- This herb is very effective in relieving bronchial pain and coughs. It has a number of essential oils that have important chemicals such as anethol. This chemical plays a very important role in facilitating expectoration of bronchial tubes especially in children.
- Caraway- This herb has mild antihistamines. This antimicrobial compound helps in relaxes body muscles and also help in easing spasms. It has been used by many people with bronchial infections resulting to pain relief and healing.
- Colts foot- This herb helps in relieving congestion. Regular use of colt’s foot helps in opening up bronchial passages. However, it is important to be careful when using this herbal remedy because large doses of colts foots closes bronchial passages.
- Coffee- Coffee is a stimulant that accelerates the rate at which a human heart beats. This results to increased flow of blood and breathing. Theophylline and Theobromine which are substances in coffee helps in expanding lung passages while inhibiting Bronchospasms.
- Copaiba Balsam- This herb acts as a diuretic, stimulant, laxative and carminative. It is a good remedy for bronchitis. It works as an antiseptic and it also assist in expectoration. However, it is important to be careful on dosage of this herb since large doses can result to vomiting, fever, bloody urine and nausea.
- Coach grass- This herb helps in relieving inflammation on the mucus membranes. It provides mucilage that coat the inflamed surfaces.
- Lobelia- This also an effective remedy for bronchitis. It has been used for a long time in the treatment of bronchitis especially in children with severe respiratory illnesses.
Diet for Bronchitis
As stated from the outset of this article, this is a condition that afflicts the inflammatory system. In the medical intervention of bronchitis, the long and short of it is that matters dietary rarely feature. This is the case , at least in Western medicine. The reverse obtains in other medical paradigms globally. In Eastern cultures for instance there is the use of certain poultices and herbs all meant to ensure that the nasal congestion is to some degree dealt with. There are also some certain home remedy treatments that can be applied when dealing with matters nasal blockage. This includes the consumption of fruits and possibly homemade soups. The effect of all this however is to ensure that you deal with you mitigate against the discomfort that has been brought on by the disease.
Prevention of Bronchitis
The prevention of this condition is twofold. Foremost ensure that you do not expose the respiratory tract to conditions that might inflame the existence of bronchitis. In mind are environments that are tobacco or smoke filled. There are also occupational hazard areas such as working in mine shafts and that sort of thing. These are environments that are to be avoided at all costs. The second way you can prevent Bronchitis is to ensure that you deal with the onset of this condition immediately. The effect of this is that you end up arresting the condition in the event that it might exacerbate from being an acute condition to being a chronic condition. Other possibly methods that the condition can be prevented are still being though out by members of the scientific community.
This is a general article on the causes, symptoms, and possible means via which one can prevent a bout of bronchitis. Granted, the article is by no means exhaustive. The article is similarly not intended to be a medical manual of sorts. The reader is advised that they do well to heed the warnings and the knowledge that has been given herein. It will go a long way in saving them in case they are battling with this condition, or in the event that they know an individual who is afflicted by this condition. Hopefully, the article has been of help to such a reader and the general reader.
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