Bronchitis is an inflammation of the mucous membranes of the bronchi (the larger and medium-sized airways that carry airflow from the trachea into the more distal parts of the lung parenchyma). Bronchitis can be divided into:
Acute bronchitis is characterized by the feeling of cough or small sensation in the back of the throat. It can be with or without the sputum (mucus that is expectorated, or “coughed up”, from the respiratory tract). Acute bronchitis is one of the most common types of lung infection. It can occur at any age.
Chronic bronchitis a type of COPD, which involves a cough that produces sputum for 3 months for 2 consecutive years.
The main symptom of bronchitis is persistent cough with thick yellow gray mucous, though it may not always be present. Other symptoms of bronchitis may include:
- A tight feeling in chest
- Sore throat
- Slight fever and chills
- Blocked nose and sinuses
- Body ache and pains
The bronchitis can be caused by either a virus or bacteria, though viral bronchitis is much more common. In most cases, bronchitis is caused by the same viruses that cause the common cold or influenza (flu).
Bronchitis can also be caused by breathing irritant substances, such as smog, chemicals in household products or tobacco smoke. However, Smoking is the main cause of chronic (long-term) bronchitis and it can affect people who are passive smokers as well as smokers themselves.
When symptoms like cough persist for more than 2 weeks, one should need to visit the doctor.
Also chest X-ray is done to confirm for the infection.
For Acute Bronchitis:
- Take rest
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Headaches and body aches can be treated with pain relievers like Paracetamol or Ibuprofen. The Ibuprofen not to be taken by patients of asthma.
- Stop smoking or inhaling irritant
For chronic bronchitis:
There is no cure for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but management can help slow the progression of the condition and reduce the symptoms. If one smoke, the best way to prevent COPD from getting quickly worse is to stop smoking and avoid further damage to lungs.
The best way to prevent bronchitis is:
- Avoid smoking
- Avoid exposure to passive smoke
- Practice good hand hygiene
- Provide proper and recommended immunizations to the children