Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Bronchitis:Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

We always suffer from coughing usually just when we think that flu is almost over. So What Is Bronchitis?
It's infection to the air passages. The lining mucosa of the bronchi (air passages delivering air to your lungs) get's inflammed and swollen due to bacterial infection.
Always associated with flu, increased with smoking, exposure to pollutants and cold air draghts.

There are 2 types of bronchitis:

Acute Bronchitis:
Defined above and mostly preceeded by cold/flu. Lasts for a few days usually.
Chronic Bronchits:
A persistent, productive cough lasting at least three months in two consecutive years.

In most cases , the very same influenza virus can cause bronchitis, and in some cases it is a bacterial infection. The cause can be non infective as in GERD (Gastro Esophogeal Reflux Disease) sometimes or chemical/smoke irritation. Allergy is the cause of bronchitis in some cases.

Symptoms and Signs:
  • Dyspnea (Shortness of breath)
  • Coughing and expectoration of mucus (phlegm).
  • fever sometimes.
  • Wheezes and chest pain.
  • Hemoptysis (coughing of blood) sometimes.
  • Fatigue and exhaustion by the continious coughing.

The cough may continue even up to 3 weeks after all the symptoms disappear.

1-Fluid intake and stopping of smoking and exposure to smoke. Make sure to drink alot of fluid and water as water is the best natural mucolytic.


3-Expectorants and mucolytics.

4-Antibiotics are used if bacterial infection is suspected by the doctor, otherwise antibiotics are not neccesary as the cause is usually viral.

5-Bronchodilators/inhalers in cases of asthma or acute exacerbation over chronic bronchitis.

6-Antihistaminics should be avoided as they cause more thickining and drying of mucus. So becareful with antihistaminics.

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